The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk Sydney is tailor-made for day two or three of your stay. Day one has to be the harbour. After that, walking the coast with its panoramic views, lovely bays and white sand beaches is a wonderful way to stretch your legs and get a feel for coastal Sydney.
Coastal Walk Sydney Distances
From start to finish, Bondi to Coogee, the walk is about 6 km, a little less than 4 miles. Most of it is easy, with a few lots of steps taking it into the medium range of difficulty. People do it in a couple of hours, but I recommend leaving a whole morning or afternoon.
Half the fun is stopping along the way.
You’ll be going past some of Sydney’s best views, beaches, swimming spots, cafés, and bars.
You’re selling yourself short if you just march past them.
If 6 km sounds too long for you then don’t do it all. Bondi to Bronte is a very doable 2.5 km (about 1.5 miles). Be aware though, that this is one of the stretches with steps.
Failing some mysterious fog (never been known to happen in my lifetime) you are pretty much guaranteed to get some jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos to post online or take home with you.
You could do worse than start with breakfast at Bondi, stopping for a coffee once you get to Bronte.
Or save breakfast until Bronte when you’ve worked up an appetite. Both areas have excellent breakfast cafés.
On the way you’ll probably see surfers at Tamarama beach. It’s a lovely small, sandy beach which you can choose to walk through or around. Don’t swim there though, it has a nasty rip. Save the swim for Bronte or beyond.
Bronte beach is a favourite of mine. It has everything, I think.
Gorgeous sand, plenty of grass, both sun and shade, free barbecues, children’s play areas, a gully to explore, safe swimming – I could go on and on.
Point of Interest
Think you can handle a bit more? (You don’t need to decide until you’ve arrived at Bronte.) Then walk on to Waverley cemetery, located on one of the best headlands in Sydney. That’s about another 1 km, less than a mile.
There are steps to negotiate if you follow the coastal path around the front of the cemetery but these can be avoided by going through the cemetery. It’s also more interesting. A slip (small landslide) in 2016 has temporarily closed the coastal path there and, until reconstruction is finished, there’s no choice – everyone is routed into or around the cemetery
If you go to Section 6, 832-833 Vault L you will come across Dorothea Mackellar.
In 1908, when she was 23, she catapulted to fame with her first published poem, My Country. It is still one of the iconic Australian poems. Here it is.
The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
More on the walk from Bondi beach to Waverley cemetery here.
More Coastal Walk Sydney Beaches
By now you might be on a roll. So go on for another 1 km to Clovelly Beach.
It’s extremely sheltered, like a monster swimming pool with a gorgeous little beach attached, then grass and a shady gully going back up the hill behind it. A café too, of course. A coastal pool and a children’s play area complete the deal.
A final 1.5 km and you’ll be at Coogee.
But, before you get there, pause at Gordons Bay, about halfway between Clovelly and Coogee on the coastal walk Sydney.
It’s a small, rocky bay, not much sand around. What it has instead is an underwater nature trail: 25 underwater markers to explore, each about 25 metres apart over a 620 metre chained circular course.
At its deepest point it is 14 metres down.
Lots of learning scuba divers here, as you’d expect, but also just curious swimmers who can hold their breath for a short while in between submerging at the shallower points. It’s a different way to explore the coastline.
Even if you don’t fancy going underwater the rocks are just right for lounging around, slipping in for a dip now and then. It’s safe and a popular spot with locals.
Gordons Bay is one of the other stretches of the walk with stops to navigate.
Endpoint, Coogee Beach
After Gordons Bay it’s a level stroll to Coogee Beach. Hot and happy, you’ve well and truly earned your drink, your lunch, your swim, whatever you’ve decided on.
Coogee’s a good place to finish your coastal walk Sydney.
It’s a big beach with a large park behind it – room for everyone to stretch out and do their thing. Like practising your tightrope walking.
Covered kiosks with tables and benches, beach volleyball courts, two coastal pools and electric barbecues in the parks cater for almost every need.
As with all major city beaches there are outdoor showers to wash off the salt and sand, toilets and changing rooms and all the other elements that go to make up an enjoyable beach break.
With wall to wall eating and drinking places across from the beach and up every side street, Coogee is also a proper shopping hub if you need to pick up supplies or go to a bank. From supermarkets to shoe repairs it’s all there.
Coastal Walk Sydney Public Transport
You don’t have to do the walk both ways. Buses back to the city or on to other destinations are right on the beachfront at Coogee.
Indeed, no matter where you start or stop along the coastal walk Sydney public transport is easily accessible. Regular buses with frequent timetables run to and from Bondi, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Just keep your Opal Card in your pocket.
More walks you might like
If you feel like getting out of the city for a day, then look at Sydney Royal National Park & Bundeena