The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is easily one of the top highlights when visiting Sydney. No matter how long you are visiting the city, it’s a must see activity because of its incredible beauty and the pinch yourself I’m in Australia moments you’ll experience along the way.
There are many options to consider when choosing which part of the path you want to take between the nearly 16km stretch from Maroubra to Watson’s Bay. I’ve broken it down into two walks which technically can be done in one day if you’re a keen hiker. And I’ve also included some of my favourite places to eat and ocean pools as well.
South Coogee – Bondi, 6.6km
About 2 hours
Most people start the trek from the northern end of Coogee but what they’re missing out on is some of Sydney’s best ocean pools and coastal path in South Coogee.
Ivor Rowe Rockpool is absolute heaven!
My absolutely favourite place in the Eastern Suburbs is the Ivor Rowe rock pool. This is my go to spot for hot sunny days in Sydney where you will pretty much get the whole pool to yourself for most of the day. During last summer, I spent the day exploring loads of beaches and swimming spots in the Eastern Suburbs and all were so incredibly busy apart from this one – I couldn’t believe it! Was there something wrong with this pool? Or did people just clearly not know about it? I’m starting this post with this absolute gem because whenever I run the coastal path, I always start and finish here so I can sit and relax in the pool afterwards. Parking is free around this area and it’s easy to find a park as well unlike the busier spots like Coogee or Bondi. If you are going to drive to this trek, I recommend starting at Coogee as it’s much easier to find parking than in Bondi.
Once you walk along from the pool, this is a lovely start to the track as it’s pretty quiet. You’ll then come to another couple of local pools such as Wylie’s Baths which is a fantastic pool with amenities like a cafe, toilets and even a massage parlor (my friend said she had the best massage here). It’s $5 to get into the pool ‘complex’ but totally worth it.
Wylies Baths – paradise away from the busy beach of Coogee
Walk along a bit further and you’ll come to McIver’s Baths, a women’s only baths. I have not actually been here but I’ve heard it’s great!
Just a few minutes more walk and you’ll arrive at Coogee with another two ocean pools either side of the beach. Stop off at Melon Head juice bar for an Acai Bowl to enjoy on the beach! I’ve tried a few places for acai bowls in Coogee and they do the best! Other options for food include Coogee Pavilion for roof top views of the beach for food and cocktails!
Coogee Pavilion Rooftop views
Once you start walking up the hill from Coogee towards Bondi, you’ll come to Gordon’s Bay (one of Sydney best snorkelling spots!) Clovelly (a very family friendly beach) and onto Bronte beach. Bronte is my favourite beach in the Easter Suburbs as it’s got an amazing ocean pool (although it’s a bit chilly!), and it has a far more relaxed vibe than the other beaches in the area. I also like the fact that there’s not a main busy road next to the beach unlike Bondi and Coogee.
The beautiful Bronte Baths
The most popular part of the Bondi – Coogee walk is between Bronte – Bondi. The nearly 2.5km should take just 30 minutes (not stopping) but it’s pretty spectacular and I have to admit, it’s the most beautiful part of the Coogee-Bondi walk. Unfortunately, it’s absolutely jam packed, so expect a conga line of people in front of you on this walk.
Passing by Waverly Cemetery from Coogee to Bondi
After Bronte, you’ll then come to Tamarama which is another gorgeous beach and given that it’s so close to Bondi, it’s not nearly half as busy.
You’ll know you’re in Bondi when you come to the famous Bondi Icebergs at the end of the walk. You can go for a swim in the famous pool or take an Instagram worthy photo. I’d definitely recommend coming here for lunch or dinner as the views are incredible.
The famous Bondi Icebergs – This is a public pool and costs $6.50 to get in.
My top two places to eat in Bondi has to be Speedos, a healthy cafe right on the northern end of the beach with stunning views or a local’s favourite, Bondi Wholefoods which is located in a more residential area. But that’s all OK because you’ll be heading up that way for the next part of the track.
These vegan pancakes are absolutely delicious at Speedos! And, check out the view!!
North Bondi – Watson’s Bay
The Federation Cliff Walk, 5km
1-2 hours walk
Recently I decided to change up my weekend running route and start from North Bondi’s Raleigh Reserve up to Watson’s Bay. I just looked it up on Google Maps and didn’t even know this track had the name of The Federation Cliff Walk until now. I could see there looked like a path along the coast so I thought I’d go and explore and it was easy to find free, all day parking in the area as well!
Walking path to Raleigh Reserve
This track has a totally different vibe to the Bondi – Coogee track. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was to begin with. When starting at Raleigh Reserve, it opens up into a big park right on the cliff. You’ll then come to the main road and onto Dudley Page Reserve, a beautiful look out point over to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s stunning and definitely worth a visit especially for the New Year’s Eve fireworks!
Stunning views at Dudley Page Reserve
Walk on a bit further and you’ll come to the gem, Diamond Bay Reserve. I couldn’t believe this place even existed and went back straight after my run to take some photos. A beautiful walkway sits right on the cliffs with what looks like a castle ruins beneath it. There are a few remaining steps that go right down to the bottom of the cliffs. It’s mind blowing and hard to believe this is in Sydney right next to Bondi! Amazingly, no one was even in sight – what a difference from the conga line on the Bondi – Coogee track.
The walkway at Diamond Bay will blow your mind!
Incredible views at Diamond Bay Reserve and barely another person in sight!
Continue up the hill and you’ll start approaching many lighthouses including Australia’s first, the Macquarie lighthouse.
Just 2 more kilometers up to the famous lookout point The Gap and you’ll arrive at the beautiful Watson’s Bay. I’d suggest stopping at the Watson’s Bay Hotel for a bite to eat and views of the Harbour. If you fancy a swim, pop on over to Camp Cove or for the nudist in you to Lady Bay Beach. You can catch the ferry back to Circular Quay from Watson’s Bay.
One of Sydney’s best harbour beaches, Camp Cove
What’s your favourite spot on the coastal path?
Thanks for reading!