One of the best things about Sydney is that in addition to the vibrant city, you get amazing beaches and sunny weather, making it the ideal location to combine city fun with a trip to the beach. And while there are plenty of choices around city, my favorites are the Eastern Beaches along the ocean, ranging from Bondi in the North to Coogee in the South! And even if it is not warm enough to lay out on the sand, you can still go for a great walk along the beautiful coast!
The most famous beach is Bondi Beach, with images of surfers making it known around the world. If you don’t want to brave the waves, you can enjoy a day on the sand with lunch in one of the many cafes and restaurants on the road right behind it. My funniest beach day was Christmas one year, with blow-up christmas trees and Santa bikinis all around! There are full facilities, with showers and toilets, making it a convenient place to spend a day!
It’s also the start of a great coastal trail that connects the Eastern Beaches: Follow the road (and the crowds) on the Southern end and you’ll find a path winding its way along the rocky cliff. You’ll get amazing views over the beach and coastline, making for a great and easy hike!
After a leisurely 20 minute walk, you’ll reach the much smaller Tamarama Beach (for it’s young & beautiful crowd nick-named Glamarama). It’s a narrow cove that’s great for sunbathing and relaxing.
If Bondi Beach is too busy for you and Tamarama doesn’t have enough cafes and amenities for you, you can walk further South to my favorite stretch of sand – Bronte Beach! It is much smaller, quieter and relaxed than Bondi Beach, but still offers a nice stretch of cafes, restaurants and shops to break up your day with a nice meal. Of course, this being Australia, every one of the beaches has the famous lifeguards on duty!
Bronte used to be the end of the coastal walk, but thankfully the authorities have extended it: South of Bronte you’ll reach Waverley Cemetery next. Unfortunately, the well done wooden walkway was damaged in the storms of 2016 and is still under repair, so you’ll have to detour through the cemetery, which makes for a more somber walk. As you walk around Shark Point, you’ll see tiny Clovelly Beach, the smallest of the lot. It’s a lot less busy with fewer amenities, giving you another option.
You’ll have to earn the views of Gordons Bay cutting deeply into the shoreline with a climb up a few stairs, making it a more demanding part of the walk. The final beach of the Eastern Coastal walk it Coogee Beach. It used to be a sketchy part of town that has seen a lot of development, making it the new & trendy beach.
The Coogee Pavillion offers food and drinks with nice views from the upstairs terrace. There are also a few beach clubs that have quite the party going on during weekends, so if you prefer a drink or three with your beach time, this is your beach of choice! If you had one to many, you can book a room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel right on the beach!
Travel Tips: All the beaches are easy to reach by bus from Bondi Junction (at the end of the blue metro line). You can easily pick a bus to one of the beaches, walk all or part of the coastal walk, spend time on the various beaches, before picking up another bus to take you back to the city.
The nice thing about these city beaches is that you have the beach towns right behind the beach, so you can pick up anything you forgot to bring (sunscreen!) at a convenience store, have a lunch break out of the sun or a apres-surf happy hour after a day in the sun & surf.
Whatever beach is your personal favorite, it’s hard not to enjoy a day on the beach on a trip to Sydney!