Sydney is not just about the city and if you are looking for something to do after looking at Sydney Harbour Bridge for the umpteen time, here is an activity that won’t take you far but still bring you outdoors for some sunshine.
You’d probably heard of Bondi Beach, the famous beach where surfers ride the waves and nude sun bathing is allowed. Besides enjoying the beach and waves, you can also hike the coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. It’s about 6km and you could probably complete it in less than 2 hours. It’s an activity that can be done in half a day and still get back to Sydney for lunch or dinner.
It was the end of July and in most parts of the world it would be the middle of summer. But here in the Southern Hemisphere it was the middle of winter. So a mid winter’s day might be too cold to spend at the beach, but you can take the coastal walk and it’s quite nice to have such a long walk without sweating like a pig due to the cool weather.
You have a choice of starting the coastal walk from Bondi or Coogee. Your choice depends on which beach you want to end up at after completing the hike. For myself, I decided to start from Bondi Beach which is slightly nearer to Sydney’s CBD.
I started by taking the bus from Sydney’s CBD. Buses to Bondi Beach start from Circular Quay (380 or 333) and pass through Sydney before making their way to Bondi Beach. It takes around 45 minutes to get to Bondi Beach if you board the bus at Circular Quay.
If you decide to start from Coogee Beach then take Bus 373 or 374 from Circular Quay instead. The bus ride is also around 45 minutes.
So I found myself at Bondi Pavilion after getting off the bus. This is a large mall like building where you can find restaurants and shops.
There is a boardwalk that runs behind Bondi Beach and this is start of the coastal walk. The whole walk is on dedicated pedestrian pavements so I wouldn’t consider this to be a nature walk. However, you will get to see the Pacific Ocean and some wildlife along the way.
Along the way, you will go pass 3 other smaller beaches and various lookout points. The beaches are Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly in that order if you start your walk from Bondi Beach.
After around more than an hour of hiking, I found myself at Bronte Beach. This is more or less the halfway point between Bondi and Coogee. Bronte Beach is a much smaller beach but it’s quite popular for surfing and I stopped to catch some surfing action.
From Bronte Beach I continued my hike and found myself in a large cemetery. Thousands of tombstones and crypts could be seen stretching out in the distance. In the bright morning sunlight, the cemetery gave an air of silence and serenity. I just wonder if it would be scary to walk through here at night.
I made my way down to the beach and Coogee Pavilion where I found myself enjoying a late lunch before taking the bus back to Sydney.
Some Tips Before you Go
Bring along a bottle or 2 of water and some energy snacks like cereal bars, chocolates or sandwiches. Besides Bondi and Coogee which have a variety of restaurants and shops to take a rest, there aren’t any restaurants or kiosks to stop for refreshments along the way.
Despite it being winter, the weather can be very sunny and warm. I took off my jacket after a while as it got warmer. Dressing in layers would be advisable as you can take off layers if you feel too warm. The wind can be quite cold and you probably need a windproof outer shell. Of course wear good walking shoes as some parts are hilly and require some effort to walk uphill.
While the cliffs edges along some of the lookout points are great for taking selfies while sitting on the edges, it’s quite dangerous as the wind along the coast is quite strong and at times I was knocked off balanced. If you fall off, it’s a 10-20m drop to the rocks and ocean below.