The reward for climbing the rocks to get to Ben Buckler’s Point.
I have been to Sydney many times before but strangely the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk had never been on my ” To do List” in New South Wales.
I have heard so much about Bondi Beach & have driven there for a look-see but honestly, nothing beats getting up close personally.
To gather strength to do the Coastal Walk which stretches about 5km, I had a hearty Char-grill Ribs lunch at Hurricane’s just off Campbell Parade on Roscoe Street.
On an exceptionally good day such as today, it is no wonder that the beach loving Sydney-siders are out to play.
A group of surfers paddled further out to sea, waiting to catch the next swell.
Bondi Beach is one of the most visited tourist sites in Australia today. During the earlier days around 1855 to 1877, the beach & part of the surrounding land belonged to the privately owned O’Brien Estate. Later in 1882, the beach was made a public reserve & opened to everyone.
The turquoise waters are so inviting & this iconic stretch of fine sand can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
The water at the Northern end of Bondi is safer & novices can learn to surf at one of the accredited surf schools.
These yellow-red flags delineate the safe swimming zone & visitors are advised to swim between them. There are underwater shark nets in overlapping sections but it does not cover the entire stretch of beach.
Curious to know a little more about Bondi Beach & its history? Join the “Let’s Go Surfing’s” Discover Bondi Walking Tour which allows you to interact with a lifesaver, learn how surf lifesaving began & enter Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club!
Bondi Beach is the end point of the annual “City to Surf Fun Run” held in August which attracts over 60,000 participants. The 14km marathon starts from the Central Business District of Sydney.
Bondi Pavilion was opened on 21st Dec 1929 with extensive changing cubicles for bathers & was well utilised for about 2 decades until the mid 1950s when lightweight nylon swim wear reduced the need for changing rooms. Some alterations were done in 1977-1978 & the renewed building is now home to many homegrown artists & performers & the hub of community life & celebrations.
Spotted a film crew at work across from Hotel Bondi along Campbell Parade. Bondi Beach has been used as a location for numerous films, television series, music videos & a mobile game. One notable factual TV programme I watched whilst there was ‘Bondi Rescue’ on Channel Ten which follows the daily lives & routines of the Waverley Council professional Lifeguards who patrol Bondi Beach. They perform up to an astounding 5000 rescues over the summer months.
Colourful art to enjoy whilst strolling along the beach promenade.
Bondi Beach hosted the Beach Volleyball competition of the 2000 Summer Olympics & no expense was spared to erect a temporary 10,000 seat-stadium, a smaller stadium, 2 warm up courts & 3 training courts to facilitate the games.
Bondi Skate Park was opened to the public in 1991 with just 2 skate ramps. In 2004 the skating community was consulted on how best to improve the site & voilà a 12 foot deep with a 5 foot shallow bowl rated 4 out of 5 stars by Skateboard Australia was put in place. The ‘Bowl-A-Rama’ skating competition has been staged here since 2004.
The southern end of Bondi Beach is rated about 7 out of 10 as compared to the northern end which is about a 4 on the scale. Beneath the flat, smooth water is a dangerous rip nicknamed the “Backpackers’ Rip” because many tourists & backpackers hop off the bus nearby & choose to swim here instead of walking a long distance to the safer northern end. Bondi Baths & Bondi Icebergs dominate this end of the beach.
A magnificent view of the 1km long, crescent-shaped beach from Bondi Icebergs.
I am beginning to appreciate why Bondi Beach made it to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008!
Bondi Baths located at the southern end of Bondi Beach is managed by the Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club which was established in 1929 by a dedicated group of local lifesavers who wanted to maintain their fitness during the winter months.
Bondi Beach is flanked by sandstone headlands which are popular for walking, golfing & even whale watching. The 4.4km Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk starts near the Bondi Icebergs.
Looking across to Ben Buckler Point & the South Pacific Ocean from Bondi Icebergs.
This amazing cliff top walk brings you through beaches, parks, cliffs, bays, rock pools & even a cemetery. It is a medium grade urban walk but be mindful that there are sections with stairs & steep-gradient paths to negotiate.
From Bondi Icebergs to Tamarama the walk stretches about 1.2km & takes about 30mins.
In November, the Bondi to Tamarama Walk hosts the annual “Sculpture by the Sea” outdoor exhibition which features over a 100 artworks along the coast.
Mackenzies Bay with its rocky outcrop “the Mackenzies” is popular with surfers, fishers, sunbathers & waders. The smallest beach in the whole state of New South Wales appears here at low tide but it is un-patrolled & there is at least one rip in this area, so swimmers beware.
A glimpse of Tamarama Beach as we climb around the headland of Mackenzies Point.
Tamarama Beach aka “Glamarama” where the beautiful people like to hang out. The beach is smallish but the surf is great & it is reassuring to have the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Clubhouse & lifeguards close by.
Bronte Beach is attractive, easily accessible by public transport & is a good spot for swimming & surfing.
Bronte Park has a refreshment kiosk, sheltered picnic tables & free electric BBQ plus a large playground complete with swings, slides, rope courses, jungle gyms & climbing forts to keep the kids happy.
Enjoying the pancake like rock pool at the southern end of Bronte Beach where it is safer to swim compared to the open sea where there is a dangerous rip called the “Bronte Express” lurking.
The folks here seem happy to be swimming at the 30m long Ocean Pool & also watching the rhythmic splashing of the surf on Bronte Reef.
A magnificent view of Bronte Beach, the Rock Pool & the Ocean Pool which is one of the best known in Sydney.
Beautiful Sandstone cliffs tainted over time & a surprise find…. my initials scribbled on the face of the rock wall.
We took a slight detour from the Coastal Walkway & cut through historic Waverley Cemetery which had a serene atmosphere.
This 500m Cliff-top Boardwalk was closed off after part of it was damaged in a storm. It transverses the edge of Calga Reserve & spans the length of the cemetery on top of sandstone cliffs & rock platforms with several rest stops & lookouts along the way.
Burrows Park marks the beginning of the Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk & at this cliff top we can see part of Clovelly Beach.
Standing at Clovelly Beach where the Geoff James Pool (also known as Clovelly Ocean Pool) & the Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club are both on the right.
Clovelly Bay opens out to Little Coogee Bay & eventually the South Pacific Ocean. It was just sheer magic catching the setting sun from Tom Caddy Point.
Gordons Bay is limited to pedestrians & accessible via the surrounding streets or the Coastal Walk. It is protected by an offshore reef & is a popular dive spot.
The calm waters at Gordons Bay hide a unique underwater nature trail & it lies about 3km north of Coogee Beach. I unfortunately did not make it to Coogee Beach on time as it was already dark, so I walked to Arden Street & caught the bus back to Circular Quay where I was staying.
I must confess that I am not one who exercises frequently, so this walk was quite a long stretch to cover. It is however really interesting & worth every single step of the way because the surroundings, beaches & ocean view is truly amazing & the photo opportunities fantastic as you can see!
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