Bondi to Coogee Walk
The Bondi to Coogee walk is perhaps the most famous coastal hiking trail in Sydney, New South Wales and perhaps even Australia.
Tourists from all over the world and local Sydney-siders alike come to Sydney’s east coast every day to enjoy Australia’s best beaches, stunning ocean views and lots of parks, cafe’s and restaurants on the way from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach.
The track consists of two sections: the Bondi to Bronte walk and the Bronte to Coogee walk. Read on for more details about these two sections!
– Distance: 6 km (one way)
– Time: 2-3 hours (including stops)
– Grade: easy
– Kid friendly: yes
– Good for running: yes
– Dogs: on a lead
– Visit Sydney’s famous beaches
– Beautiful panoramic views
– Lunch/picnic at any of the parks
– Swimming, surfing, snorkeling
– Fish and chips in Coogee
– Sculpture by the Sea (Oct/Nov)
Bondi has 2 paid parking areas close to the beach. There is limited free street parking. Coogee has paid parking and free parking at Trenerry Reserve. Plenty of buses run between Coogee and Bondi.
1. Bondi to Bronte Walk
With 5 of Australia’s most famous beaches included in the Bondi to Coogee walk, this is going to be one beautiful day out. The hike to Bronte from Bondi is the first section of Sydney’s most popular walking trail.
– Time: 1 – 1.5 hours (including stops)
– Grade: easy (some steep stairs)
The official starting point of the Bondi to Coogee walk is the same as for the Bondi to Bronte walk. Head to Notts Avenue, close to the famous Bondi Icebergs Club, just south of Bondi Beach.
From Bondi Icebergs, follow the trail south on a concrete waterfront walkway. Enjoy beautiful views over Bondi Beach and North Bondi before turning around the corner towards Mackenzies Bay.
From Mackenzies Bay it’s only a short stroll to Tamarama Beach. Also known as “Glamarama” by the locals, Tamarama offers good but somewhat rough surfing conditions. The beach itself is small and narrow with a couple of popular volleyball courts.
Tamarama is not the best beach for swimming because of the deep and strong rip currents. This is why Tamarama Beach is better suited for sunbathing, a game of volleyball or for simply hanging out, rather than swimming.
Tamarama Park, just behind the beach, has recently been upgraded and now has great BBQ and picnic facilities and also a brand new cafe with toilet and shower facilities.
Follow the coastline further south to Bronte Beach, less than 1km away from Tamarama. Bronte, with a huge park with excellent BBQ and picnic facilities right behind the beach, is a very family friendly place. The strip of cafes down the road is a great spot to get a coffee or some lunch.
2. Bronte to Coogee Walk
The hike to Coogee from Bronte Beach is the second section of the Bondi to Coogee walk.
– Time: 1.5 – 2 hours (including stops)
– Grade: easy (some steep stairs)
From Bronte Beach, follow the track south that leads to Waverley past Calga Reserve, which marks the start of a very popular boardwalk.
Waverley Cemetery and Boardwalk
In 2009 a 550m wooden boardwalk was opened to the public that swings around the famous Waverley Cemetery. This section was the missing piece in the Bondi to Coogee walking trail and changed it into a continuous path.
The official name for this $2.5m boardwalk is the Sesquicentenary Boardwalk, to commemorate Waverley council’s 150th anniversary. Walking or running over this boardwalk is an adventure in itself, with the rough ocean water right below you. There are 5 viewing points with comfortable benches that give you the best panoramic views.
The boardwalk ends right where Clovelly starts. Clovelly is a vibrant and charming beach-side suburb with a lawn bowls club, a lovely beach and a large parking area.
Swimming here is great but can get a bit rough the closer you get to the ocean.
Just around the corner of the Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club is a very large car park which is also a great spot to simply relax and enjoy the ocean views.
Next stop is Gordons Bay, but to get there you need to first conquer Cliffbrook Parade. This very steep passage from Clovelly to Gordons Bay is not for the fainthearted so take your time.
Nestled between Clovelly and Coogee, Gordons Bay is a small and secluded oasis. The bay itself has no parking available and is only accessible via the coastal walk.
Gordons Bay does have a small strip of sand but it can hardly be called a beach. Racks of boats from the local fishing club cover most of it, which makes Gordons Bay feel like a quiet fisherman’s village in remote Greece. A boardwalk swings around the bay, as part of the coastal walking trail.
Besides fishing, Gordons Bay is also popular with divers and snorkelers. Maintained by the Gordons Bay scuba diving club, the Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail is a 600m bushwalking trail, only this one is underwater.
The trail consists of concrete filled drums linked by a chain. There are even steel plaques on the way that display useful information. It takes divers around 40 minutes to complete the trail. The deepest point is 14 meters but on a very clear day snorkelers can try it too.
We’re nearly there! Just around the corner from Gordons Bay is Dunningham Reserve where you’ll have great views of Coogee Beach.
Before heading into Coogee, it’s worth checking out the memorial for the victims of the 2002 Bali bombings. Another point of interest is where the famous Giles Gym and Baths used to be. The complex was demolished in 2000 due to old age but the portico (old entrance to the baths) is still there. You can make your way down for a swim or a bit of sunbathing.
At the north end of Coogee Beach is the famous Coogee Pavilion. If you’re hungry or if you’d like a cold beer, this is a great place to hang out. The rooftop, if not too busy, gives you great views too.
Otherwise, head into Coogee, and settle into one of the many cafe’s or grab some fish and chips to enjoy at the beach or in the park.
Coogee Beach itself is a very popular and characteristic 400m strip of sand facing Coogee Bay. Goldstein Reserve, the large parkland area located right behind the beach, has lots of tables, barbecues, picnic shelters and trees that provide shade. Between Coogee beach and Goldstein Reserve is a long promenade popular with both joggers and hikers.
Established in 1907, the much needed Coogee Surf Life Saving Club has built up a strong reputation over the years. Its club house is located at the southern end of the beach and can be hired for private functions.
South of Coogee Beach
Further south of Coogee Beach are two private baths that are worth paying a visit. Surrounded by coastal vegetation and grassed areas, the McIver’s Baths complex consists of a large concrete sea pool, a sunbathing area, change rooms and a small clubhouse. McIver’s is one of the last remaining women’s-only sea pools in Australia.
A bit further south you will find Wylie’s Baths, a large ocean tidal pool that has been around since 1907. For a small entrance fee, you can hang out here all day and enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean and Wedding Cake Island. You can also have a massage here, or practice yoga and pilates.
The Bondi to Coogee Walk (or Coogee to Bondi walk) is one of Sydney’s finest attractions and for good reasons. The hiking trail is absolutely stunning and with so many beaches to visit, it’s very easy to spend an entire day at the coast and not get bored a single minute.
The hike from Bondi to Coogee is very easy to do, with lots of facilities on the way, such as drinking fountains, showers, toilets, public BBQ’s and cafe’s. For the return trip, you could catch a bus or a taxi, or if you have enough time and energy you may as well walk back.
Bondi to Coogee Walk Map
If starting in Bondi, head towards Notts Avenue at the south end of Bondi Beach, close to Bondi Icebergs Club. Keep heading south along the coast to follow the trail.
If starting in Coogee, a great spot to start the walk to Bondi is at Trenerry Reserve, at Wolseley Road and Neptune Street. From there, head north towards Coogee Beach and then all the way to Bondi.