If you want to escape the chaos of the city and admire some of the best Sydney beaches you cannot miss the Bondi to Coogee Walk. Beginning in one of the most famous beaches in Australia and ending in the coastal neighbourhood of Coogee, you will pass the most incredible shoreline, surf spots, cafes and lookouts along one of the most popular Sydney coastal walks.
This guide will cover everything you need to know from what to bring, where to stop, our full Bondi to Coogee walk map and most importantly, where to go for that well deserved post-walk pint.
The Bondi to Coogee walk was one of the many highlights from our 4 days in Sydney and not just because it was completely free but because it allows views of the city that make you feel world’s away with very little effort. It is a very easy walk that is suitable for all ages – if two Scots can cope hiking from Bondi to Coogee in the Australian sunshine then anyone can and here’s how!
BONDI TO COOGEE WALK MAP
Our Bondi to Coogee walk map below highlights the best stops along the route and even where to stop for coffee or a quick swim. You can save the map offline if signal is scarce. The best thing about the Bondi to Coogee walk is you can adapt it to your ability – whether you spend the entire day, only do Bondi to Bronte or walk some and get the bus back, it’s totally up to you!
HOW LONG IS THE BONDI TO COOGEE WALK?
Bondi To Coogee Walk Distance: 6km
Bondi To Coogee Walk Time: 2 Hours
As the full Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is only 6km it is supposed to take around 2 hours, however it can turn into a day trip from Sydney if you fancy a swim or a bite to eat along the way.
Remembering it is 6km one way so you will still need to make the return trek from Coogee to Bondi or do as we did – meet up with friends in Coogee, have a pint too many, end up in McDonalds at 1am and need a taxi home (oops!)
The path is paved nearly the entire way with railings. Despite the heat and our dire level of fitness we didn’t struggle. We did sweat a disgusting amount (the joys of Australia) so recommend drinking plenty water. There are water refill points along the Bondi to Coogee route.
TIPS BEFORE STARTING THE BONDI TO COOGEE WALK
1. Check the Weather
Before you head off, checking the weather might sound obvious, but it is important to not just check for rain or wind which can make the Bondi coastal walk difficult but check the tides before planning any beach swimming. Check the weather here.
2. Slip, Slap, Slop the Suncream
Sun cream is essential for the Bondi to Coogee walk as there is little shelter from the sun. Even when it’s cloudy, you are still exposed to the strong Australian rays and it’s not worth getting burnt or sunstroke on your holidays.
Also, if swimming in the sea, one of the easiest ways to be a responsible tourist is to always wear an ocean-friendly sun cream. That way you won’t be harming the coral and marine life when you head for a dip.
3. Remember a Reusable Water Bottle
As you walk Bondi to Coogee there are many water points along the route, so there is no need to buy plastic water bottles, simply fill up as you go. It should go without saying, if you do find any plastic along the way – please pick your three for the sea!
4. Do Not Wear Flip Flops
Although we agree the Bondi to Coogee walk is easy, parts of the walk involve steep steps and cliff edges – not the best conditions for flips flops so wear trainers or hiking shoes.
5. Allow Plenty Time
Although we give recommended Bondi to Coogee walk times, these vary depending on photo stops, weather and personal fitness. Don’t rush. Enjoy the views, refreshing swim stops and a coffee or two along the way to make it a day trip. Alternatively, do as we did and meet up with friends at the end for a pint or 6 and make a night of it too (hello Coogee McDonald’s at 1am.)
6. Walk Coogee to Bondi Instead
As a tip, you could walk from Coogee to Bondi instead as that way you end with a refreshing swim at the famous Bondi Icebergs. Another tip is if you’re starting in Coogee is to leave a little later in order to witness sunset at Bondi which is incredible!
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE BONDI TO COOGEE WALK
Microfibre Travel Towel
You might not plan on swimming, but once you start the Bondi to Coogee walk it will be hard to resist the beaches along the way. Microfibre towels are ideal as they are light weight & quick to dry if you decide to swim and take up very little space in your bag if you decide not to.
Reusable Water Bottle
As mentioned, it is essential to star hydrated during the Bondi coastal walk – save money (and the planet) by filling up along the way! We highly recommend these water bottles – we’ve used the same ones every single day for over TWO YEARS. Twenty countries (and numerous hikes later) they they are still going strong!
There is very little shelter along the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk so sun cream is essential. Please make sure it is at least Factor 50 because, Australia and also ensure it’s reef friendly if you plan on swimming to protect marine life.
We hate hats – like genuinely, feel we look so stupid wearing them but we also hate sunburn so needs must. As mentioned there is limited shade on the Bondi to Coogee walk so you’ll need to wear a hat to bring your own. Hats will not only stop your scalp burning but protect your neck and face from damaging sun rays.
How gutted would you be to walk from Bondi to Bronte, witness that epic beach and realise you forgot your swimmers!? Trust us, it is impossible to walk past the Sydney beaches without being tempted for a swim. To avoid disappointment (and save carrying them/finding a changing spot) we wore our swimwear under our clothes for the Bondi to Coogee walk.
Although you’ll pass some of the most famous Sydney beaches along the way, you maybe didn’t know you’ll also pass some of the best snorkelling spots too! One of the best snorkelling spots on the Bondi to Coogee walk is The Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail. It is nearby Clovelly beach and is a 500m trail that guides you over reefs, kelp forests and an abundance of marine life (more on this later!)
Waterproof Dry Bag
Although we love our Osprey backpacks, when it comes to the coast these handy dry bags are better as they are sand and waterproof. You could literally take them in the sea with you (to avoid leaving your valuables on the beach) and your contents will stay completely dry! Also super handy if you get stuck in a down pour on the way home.
BONDI TO COOGEE COASTAL WALK STARTING POINT
It probably goes without saying that the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk starting point is Bondi beach. However, many people don’t realise that despite being one of the most famous Sydney beaches it’s actually around 40 minutes out of the city.
As most people just walk the coastal trail one way, it doesn’t make sense to drive as you’ll then need to walk all the way back for your car. We suggest using public transport, as it’s the easiest ways to get to the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk starting point, here’s how:
Bondi from Sydney by Bus
We took the bus from our accommodation, either the 380 or 333 which will show “North Bondi, Dover Heights, Watsons or Bondi Beach” – all will stop at Bondi Beach.
The fare from Sydney to Bondi is around $3.50. Buses run every 10 minutes and take around 40 minutes from the city. For timetables or info you can visit here.
Bondi from Sydney by Train
Apart from driving, the quickest option is to take a train from the city (Martin Place Station) which will go as far as Bondi Junction station. From the station, you will then need to switch to a bus, either 380, 381, 382 or 33 for around 15 minutes until you reach the beach.
You could walk from Bondi Junction station as it takes around 20 minutes and is the perfect little warm up to begin the Bondi Coastal Walk. For all train timetables and info visit here.
Things to do at Bondi Beach
If there’s one beach you’ve heard of in Australia it’s Bondi but there is so much more to do in Bondi than surf and sunbathe. Begin your Bondi to Coogee walk with a delicious breakfast from one of the many cafes then admire the vibrant street art scene as you head up the hill to the famous Bondi Icebergs.
Swim at the Bondi Icebergs
The famous salt water swimming pool that’s also an insta fave marks the official start to the Bondi to Coogee walk. It costs AU$7.00 for adults and AU$5.00 for children for a refreshing swim looking out to the surfers at Bondi beach.
We didn’t take a dip as we didn’t fancy the rest of the walk wet and knew we’d be sweaty again the minute we started walking. We recommend saving your dollars for a free refreshing swim at the end of the Bondi Coastal walk or at one of the numerous beaches on route.
Alternatively, you could flip this guide and do the Coogee to Bondi walk instead if swimming at the famous Bondi Icebergs is on your bucket list. This means, Bondi beach would be your grand finale and you’d be finishing nearer the city.
BONDI TO COOGEE WALK ROUTE
After admiring the surfers or stopping for some breakfast at Bondi it’s time to start the walk. To save you time and stress we have created a handy Bondi to Coogee walk map for you to follow. This features all stops mentioned in this guide including where to swim, brunch spots and photo opportunities along the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.
Bondi to Tamarama
Approx. Time: 30 minutes
The best part about the Bondi to Coogee walk is that within half an hour, you’re already at the next beach. Although, it took us more than half an hour as the rock formations (including an aboriginal rock carving) provides many fascinating photo stops on the way.
Sculpture by the Sea
If you can, time your Bondi to Coogee walk during the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition which takes place around October / November each year. The walk from Bondi to Tamarama beach transforms into an open air sculpture gallery, with over 100 artworks on display, allowing for some incredible photo opportunities against the striking coastline backdrop.
Tamarama to Bronte
Approx. Time: 10 minutes
It is literally minutes from one beautiful beach to the next. Tamarama to Bronte is a quick walk around the corner and one of our favourite beaches on the Bondi to Coogee walk.
If you are limited on time, many people just walk Bondi to Bronte as it is only 3km and to us, the Bondi to Bronte stretch was the most beautiful. We also would happily spend the rest of our day in Bronte as not only is it an incredible beach but offers amazing free swimming spots too.
Swim Stop at Bronte Baths
Although you can swim at Bronte beach, the surf can be really dangerous, the first surf lifesaving club was even started here in 1903. Instead, we recommend sticking to the Rock Pool / Bronte Baths which are a fabulous FREE alternative to Bondi Icebergs. There is also a kiddie’s pool, famously titled the Bogey Hole.
Bronte Beach Cafes
Bronte beach cafes are also the perfect half-way stop to fuel you the rest of the way. One of the most famous being The Three Blue Ducks. We visited the Byron equivalent and it was hands down, the best brunch we’ve ever had so it’s no surprise it’s Bronte sister is usually queued out the door.
Bronte to Clovelly
Approx. Time: 20 minutes
According to Google Maps Bronte to Clovelly is only 20 minutes along the Bondi Coastal walk path, however there are so many photo opportunities and beautiful views back towards Bondi Beach that it will likely take a lot longer if you’re snap happy like us.
A fascinating find along this stretch of the Bondi to Coogee Walk was Waverley Cemetery. We get it, amongst stunning ocean views and beautiful beaches a cemetery isn’t exactly a bucket list stop. However, this iconic cemetery is actually heritage listed and is regularly referred to as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world due to it’s striking monuments and unique location.
Following the stunning sands of the beaches thus far we were a little confused by Clovelly and the abundance of beach goers sunbathing on concrete!? Although it is not the most attractive beach to look at, the beauty lies below the waves as Clovelly is one of the best snorkel spots in Sydney.
Instead of walking around Clovelly beach along the Bondi to Coogee walk, we suggest a little detour by crossing the South side of the bay and heading past the car park. Here you will reach a protected marine reserve and one of Sydney’s best hidden gems – The Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail.
For an unforgettable swim spot along the Bondi Coastal walk, the Gordons Bay Underwater Natural Trail is similar to a nature track in the bush except you follow it underwater. There is a 500m chain with frequent buoys that guide you over reefs, kelp forests and of course plenty marine life!
Clovelly to Coogee
Distance: 1.8 km
Approx. Time: 40 minutes
The final stretch of the Bondi to Coogee walk is unfortunately the most difficult. There are several steep steps and slopes which only make the finale of Coogee beach all the more rewarding.
Although we could almost see the finish line (and taste the finish line ice cream), after that last stretch we had to stop for a little seat at Dunningham Reserve which boasts incredible views over the coastline and several shaded seats.
This memorial is a tribute to the Australian spirit of courage and endurance after the 2002 Bali bombings where 202 people were killed, 88 of which were Australian. Of the 88 Australian victims, 20 were from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, particularly Coogee and Malabar. The statue signifies 3 linked figures that represent family, friends and community.
If you are saving your swim for the last stop of the day, one of the best things to do in Coogee is take advantage of the free saltwater pools. You can head to Wylies which overlooks the famous Wedding Cake Rock or nearby the Bali Memorial is Giles Baths which is a large natural rockpool and is also free to swim in.
THINGS TO DO IN COOGEE
Although a well-deserved lie down on the beach is one of the most popular things to do in Coogee, we can recommend 2 more stops to end your Bondi to Coogee Walk. No Sydney coastal walk would be complete without a post-walk pint or ice cream.
Ice-Cream in Coogee
Our red sweaty faces headed straight for one of the best things to do in Coogee – eat ice cream. After the Bondi to Coogee walk, we went to Andersen’s of Denmark for our ice cream as it was the first shop we spotted, however the ice cream was nothing to write home about. On second thoughts, Gelatissimo Coogee has far better reviews and a greater variety of flavours so save your ice cream dollar for there instead.
The Coogee Pavilion
If you fancy hanging where the cool kids do, one of the most famous things to do in Coogee is a visit to The Pavilion, or The Pav as said cool kids like to call it. From the insta-worthy décor to sunset cocktails, it is a watering hole like no other.
We loved the view and vibe from the rooftop bar, so much so our post-walk pint turned into 6 as we met up with friends who live in Coogee and ended up home at 1am – a definite highlight from our Sydney itinerary!
The Pav is incredibly popular on weekends with trendy locals sipping on espresso martinis so our sweaty Primark hiking gear probably wouldn’t be allowed in. They also offer a Mediterranean inspired menu for some well earned carbs after your Bondi to Coogee Walk.
COOGEE TO BONDI WALK
If you’re feeling super fit and your ice cream sugar rush hits, you could then do the Coogee to Bondi walk all the way home. Personally, we didn’t fancy a dose of de javu and we’d already consumed any calories we’d lost in post-walk pints so we opted for trusty Uber home instead.
As a sneaky tip, opt for an Uber Pool to make your drive from Coogee to the city cheaper – our Uber was around AU$27.00 back to our accommodation.