Close to the city, Bronte Beach Sydney offers safe swimming, decent surf, shady picnic spots, a playground and the ultimate coastal walk. Great cafés too.
Less in your face than Bondi beach it’s a lovely laid-back spot to spend a day. It’s also a prime location for holiday rentals.
The beach lies at the end of a deep gully which is still native bushland, providing both shade and privacy. You don’t feel as though you’re in the middle of Sydney at all. It has many little shelters with tables and benches, and there’s a large grassy area with free public barbecues to picnic around.
You can hide yourself away up the gully, be part of the action on the beachfront, or survey it all from up high on the hill.
Coast Walk to Bondi Beach
From Bronte beach you can follow the coastal cliff walk to Bondi. It takes about half an hour.
On the way you’ll cross Tamarama beach, mainly used by surfers. It can have a rip which makes it less attractive to swimmers. But the beach is lovely.
After Tamarama the path takes you past a decent sized park where there’s a children’s playground. It is a bit higher than the walking path and you get very good views up and down the coast from here.
Your next stop will be Bondi. Much bigger than Bronte beach Sydney and, for my money, less personal. But I’m a little biased, having lived around Bronte for many years. It was always “our beach”.
Surprisingly, when you walk back you’ll find the views are quite different.
(Another great coastal walk to try is the Sydney Harbour National Park Hermitage Foreshore Walk)
Bronte Beach Sydney Cafes
Go early, go often. From breakfast to dinner these great Sydney cafes will do you proud.
In the mornings, as well as the necessary heart-starter, you’ll be spoilt for choice among home-made muesli, fresh fruit salads, bacon and eggs for those who can’t live without.
And did I mention muffins, crumpets, pancakes? You name it, you can get it.
I wouldn’t worry too much about which cafe you choose. I’ve found them all to be good. And they’ll all give you the morning papers to read.
The real question is which one will have a table available – especially if you want to sit outside.
Lunch and dinner are equally impressive, and the coffee is terrific. So, when you’re at Bronte beach Sydney, pop across the road if you need something to eat. You’ll have no problems if you’re a vegetarian either. There are plenty of choices.
Bronte Beach Family Vacations
One of the best Sydney beaches for a family vacation, Bronte beach has something for everyone.
There are good public transport connections into downtown Sydney so it’s easy to get in and out. At the same time it’s laid back and casual and still has a real village feel about it.
The extensive park and gully make it an easy place with children and it is very quiet. There’s really only local traffic as it’s not on the way to anywhere else. It’s a beautiful Australian family suburb.
Bronte beach Sydney has quite a few beach property vacation rentals, both houses and apartments. They tend towards deluxe rather than cheap, reflecting the upward trend of the suburb itself.
You can still find less expensive accommodation a street or two back from the beach. Except for the coastal views, you’ll get all the benefits of the beach location. So if you’re put off by the high rentals of absolute beachfront properties dig around a little.
It gets busy on the weekends. Lots of extended families go to Bronte beach Sydney for picnics, barbecues and reunions. So it’s pretty buzzy then. On weekdays it belongs to the locals – and those lucky enough to be staying there.
You’re in the heart of Sydney’s eastern suburbs in Bronte. You can walk to Bondi or Clovelly (another very family-friendly beach just south of Bronte).
For shopping there is Bondi Junction, with big supermarkets and department stores, and for just mooching around there are small communities such as Charing Cross where you’ll discover vintage clothing and artisanal workshops.
The Old Cemetery
Once you’ve taken the coast walk north to Bondi beach, make your next walk down the coast to Waverley cemetery.
Old cemetery locations are often found in fantastic spots, but this one has to be one of the very best. It has a zillion dollar view.
The old Waverley cemetery gives an interesting insight into Sydney and Australia’s history. Big families and high infant mortality rates. Young men lost fishing at sea or fighting for the British Empire.
Those who survived early childhood often lived surprisingly long lives. And because these are mostly family plots you get a bit of a picture of how it was then.
Probably the most famous Australian buried there is Henry Lawson (1867-1922) poet and story writer. His grave is still well-tended.
More poignant, perhaps, are those graves which haven’t been the subject of special care. There are whole areas of this old cemetery location where the tombstones are tumbled and the grass has grown over them. Juxtaposed against the extraordinary beauty of the Australian coastal landscape, there must surely be a great photo essay here.
As you go in, or out, glance down Chesterfield parade, the street running perpendicular to the entrance. It has a wonderful canopy of Hills Fig trees (ficus microphylla ‘Hillii’), planted in the 30s I think, because it was this street that the funeral processions went up and down. The street still carries a certain gravitas. We lived there when we first came to Sydney and I’ve always loved it.
Sun Protection Tips for Australian Beaches
Summer or winter, you need sun protection on Bronte beach Sydney. And to be aware of the time! Between 1000 and 1400 (10am and 2pm) is the time to stay under cover. Read or play in the shade, have coffee or lunch under your umbrella. Just don’t lie out in the sun.
When you go out, wear sun protection hats with a wide brim or a flap at the back to protect your neck.
In the water you can follow the example of many Sydney surfers and wear light tops made of special sunscreen fabric. Lots of Australians use these for infant sun protection, they’re better than any cream.
And always wear sunscreen when you’re tanning. The best sunscreens have a high SPF rating. In Sydney the minimum should be 30+ – and go much higher if you have sensitive skin.
Look for a combination sunscreen moisturizer if you have a dry skin. For swimmers get one that’s waterproof. In any event reapply it every few hours.