Walking in Sydney: Coogee to Bondi Coastwalk

I have been sharing things semi-regularly elsewhere (Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn) but this space has been quiet, hasn't it? My last post was about my latest book, officially launched last year (and do check the link, if you haven't yet) when I was already in Sydney. (In this post, I talked about how IDP helped me fix my documents for the student visa application.)

I know no one blogs anymore (I understand everyone's releasing newsletters now?), but memory is faulty, and I want to be able to record some events and share some news with you. I've looked at my old posts and noticed highly specific details (like this funny anecdote about Doris Lessing that Danton Remoto made while introducing Gina Apostol) that I would have lost if I had not written them (and published them online). I can't imagine the many details about our early months here in this new city that are lost to me now. (Though I have some food photos lying somewhere--maybe I'll write another post about it.)

It seems appropriate to resurrect this page on Easter Monday--not so much because of the religious connection as the fact that I'm on a short break from school. (Here I am talking about school in my 30s. Who would have thought.)

Today, let me tell you about this nice walk we did on Easter.

The Coogee to Bondi walk is a famous urban, coastal walk in Sydney and is considered a trip highlight. It spans six kilometers across Sydney's eastern suburbs, hugging the coastline and heading north from Coogee Beach, passing several swimming spots until it terminates at Bondi Beach.

Photo source 

You can do the reverse (Bondi to Coogee), but I've read some bloggers saying Bondi Beach has the bigger "wow" factor, so it would make sense to end the walk there instead of at Coogee, which might be sort of anticlimactic. I don't quite agree, but that's the reasoning. I've been wanting to do this walk since last year (I wanted to see the Sculpture by the Sea art installations, which go up in October) but due to various reasons (e.g. laziness, the wretched summer heat) we only managed to do it this Easter.

We woke up early on Sunday, had a light breakfast, and dressed in activewear. (Bought for cheap in Kmart; to quote a Sydney-based Filipino friend, "Kmart is life.") This is an urban walk, so it's easy to find places to eat, but if you want to save money, you can pack some snacks. The absolute requirements are: a hat, water bottle, sunscreen. Sunscreen! Be kind to your skin, the sun here is brutal. (And this is a tropical girl telling you this.)

Our path to the bus stop.
Waiting for the bus to Coogee. Sunday's a good day to use public transport--fares are at half the price.

We got off at the Arden Street stop and just crossed the street to get to Coogee Beach. Many of the place names in modern Australia are Aboriginal in origin. "Coogee" is derived from "an Aboriginal word meaning 'stinking place', probably from the smell of rotting seaweed washed up on the beach."

Well, it wasn't stinking when we got there. Someone was making burgers and the smell made me.so.hungry. But we need to walk first!

We walked in the morning, but it might be good to walk in the afternoon because then the sun would be on your back. 

Climbing up to the coastwalk path from Coogee Beach.

One of our irrational fears (which may not be completely irrational seeing that um this is Australia?) is that a sea creature would attack us if we swim and we would die immediately. So we'll just swim next time.

From Coogee you will find the Dolphins Point lookout, where apparently you can see migrating whales during the winter months?? What? I'd love to see that.

The lookout also has the Bali Memorial sculpture commemorating the 2002 Bali bombings that killed several Australians.

You will then arrive at Gordons Bay, a shallow, rock-lined beach. We weren't able to take photos because the path was narrow and there were a lot of people walking. We didn't want to be that couple blocking the path for a selfie.

From Gordons Bay you will pass a parking lot to Clovelly Beach. You may want to stop here longer as this beach has public restrooms.

You will also pass heritage-listed Waverley Cemetery, which was opened in 1877. You can take a short detour to look at the Victorian and Edwardian graves, but we were focused on just finishing the walk. Maybe next time. The cemetery's quite a sight.

Before Bondi, you will see Bronte Beach (below) and Tamarama Beach (no photo--I think I was too hungry to take one).

Bondi's within reach!

I don't know what this is but it seems important.

Bondi Beach. The lap pool pictured here is filled with seawater.

There are some stairs and relatively steep inclines, but all in all, the Coogee to Bondi coastwalk is an easy walk. (I mean, I did it and I'm not very diligent with my exercise.) (Oops.) We walked for more than two hours, but similar to watching one of the better Marvel movies, I didn't feel the hours pass by because the views are stunning. The heat wasn't too punishing too, thanks to the cool ocean breeze, so this is definitely a fun walk to do on a whim. (But remember kids, wear sunscreen!)

As for the beaches, Bondi is beautiful, and I'm intrigued by the "ocean pool", but boy is it crowded. I think if I'm going for a dip, I'll stick to Coogee.

Lunch at Surf n Fries Bondi Beach: barramundi and chips, with parmesan mayo dip and tartare sauce, and a large Tropical soda. 

A quick one before you go: you may have heard that my publisher Visprint is closing next year. (I was interviewed by CNN Philippines about the closure here.) Do consider buying my books, while they're still in print. Thank you! 

More writing (and walking) news to follow, hopefully. In the meantime, I'll have to sort my food photos!


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