Car: Parking at Bondi Beach is scarce, particularly in summer. If you do find a spot it will cost from $7 per hour. If car is your only option, why not drive to Coogee, walk to Bondi and get the bus back. You should be able find free on-street parking in Dolphin St at the northern end of Coogee Beach. Regular buses run between Bondi and Coogee and take around 20 minutes.
Public Transport: Bondi Junction is the nearest train station. Buses depart regularly for both Bondi and Coogee beaches. Check Transport NSW for public transport information.
Although it’s more widely known as the Bondi to Coogee walk, we prefer to walk it the other direction. We think the reveal of Bondi Beach makes it more exciting; more like you’ve arrived at your destination. There are also way more options to enjoy food and drink at Bondi when you’ve finished your walk. These notes are written as if you are walking from Coogee to Bondi.
Coastal walking on the east coast of Australia is a simple concept. If you’re walking north, keep the ocean on your right. If you’re walking south, keep it on your left. Simple, yeah? It isn’t always so, but walking from Coogee to Bondi is that easy. What are you going to miss by following the signs?
On the Coogee to Bondi walk, you aren’t going to miss a lot if you follow the concrete footpath the whole way. Start in the middle of Coogee Beach, opposite Coogee Bay Rd and turn left, north, keeping the beach on your right. Follow the walkway past where the 180m long Coogee Pier was built in 1928 (it was torn down in 1934 after being damaged by huge swell). Past the Pavillon and around the corner toward the headland. Take the path that veers right, off the main path, toward the memorial to the local victims of the Bali bombings. Before you reach the memorial, on your right, you’ll see a small shrine to Virgin Mary on the fence. Go down and read the news articles pinned beside the statue. Numerous people claim to have seen an apparition of Jesus’ mother at this spot. Pay your respects at both the memorial and sculpture on the way back to the main path and continue north (ocean on your right, remember?).
If you are comfortable walking over uneven sandstone you’re approaching the section where you want to leave the footpath. It’s only a 500m detour but it’s worth it. Follow the fence line towards the rusty sandstone, to the right of the fenced-off bush regeneration area. Continue around the headland for views of Gordons Bay and you’ll find a small boardwalk through the native banksia scrub that will bring you back to the main track. When you come out of the bush onto the grass, veer left so you go around the small white fence, rather than under it.
The only other spot worth deviating from the main Bondi to Coogee walk is north of Clovelly beach. There are some spectacular un-fenced sandstone cliffs behind the football field at Burrows Park. If you are nervous with heights you might like to give these a miss. The track rejoins just south of Clovelly Bowling Club. Burrows Park is an off leash dog area so mind where you step.
Sculpture by the Sea 2018 is an unmissable art event, transforming the 2km coastline from Bondi Beach to Tamarama. It is held annually for about two weeks from mid-late October. The 2018 dates will be announced soon.
But with its unmissability, comes the crowds. People everywhere. Here are some tips to make the best of it:
* weekdays are less crowded than weekends, as is poor weather compared to glorious sunny days
* really early or later in the day is quieter too
* take your camera. There are some seriously good images of photogenic art that even an amateur can capture.
* if you can time it, the day or two before opening is when you may catch an artist during installation. It’s relatively uncrowded and a spectacle simply to see it all come alive.
Images: Destination NSW
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