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Sydney has many excellent and famous beaches, and after a while one amazing beach can look much like another, but for me Coogee Beach stands out by being a bit of a Goldilocks. It's not too big, nor too small, not too busy, nor too quiet, not too wide, nor too narrow, the waves are big, but not so big as to knock you off your feet. Everyone heads to Bondi Beach, but if you want an accessible beach that's good for families and has plenty of amenities nearby, then this is the place to be.
It's also a beautiful spot, at the start of perhaps Sydney's best coastal walk - along the cliffs to Bondi.
Although Coogee is not as popular as Bondi, it has developed in recent years with more cafes and restaurants. The coastal walk I have been mentioning either starts or ends here in Coogee. You can relax in the beach and enjoy the ocean as much as you want.
If you look at picture two, imagine if you will that once right in the middle of the beach was a pier, Brighton style. The English influence was still being writ large upon the landscape and in 1928 it opened with a 1,400 seat theatre, 600 people ballroom and a 400 seat restaurant. Alas, they hadn't reckoned on the relentless Australian surf and, just six short years later, it was gone.
The shark net, installed at the same time, lasted till 1945. Its grand opening, along with Giles hot sea baths, attracted 135,000 people in 1929.
More fortunate was the Coogee Palace Aquarium that was erected a little further inland in 1887. Its dance floor was so popular it was enlarged to cater for 3,000 people in 1889 and it was used as a skating rink at other times.
A storm in 1984 saw the roof collapse but fortunately a heritage order was already in place from two years previously and it was eventually restored and, in 1987, re-opened as a place for restaurants and specialty shops.
Coogee is known these days as an eating spot and, coupled with its proximity to the ocean, makes it a very attractive destination for tourists and locals alike.
Beach Walk: Bondi to Coogee
Sydney’s 3 ‘most famous’ beaches are Bondi, Bronte and Coogee.
Bondi is the most famous one out of the 3, nice beach, lots of people came here for sun-bathing and also many cool shopping complexes, Bronte has nothing much to offer and the Coogee, small beach but loads of cool bars and restaurants (Coogee Bay Hotel is one of our favorite place to hang out.) Take a whole-day beach tour starting early morning from Bondi Junction (terminal station both train and bus), short walk to Bondi Beach be there, have lunch and late afternoon continue to Bronte then Coogee, take a bus back to Bondi Junction shoppin’ like craze!! (Cole Supermarket opens till midnight – no need to rush)
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
A smaller beach and less crowded than Bondi. We walked along the ocean-cliff path from Bondi to Bronte and then to Coogee and it was a BEAUTIFUL walk. It took 90 min or so, but worth it. Next time I'll wear shoes instead of sandals for the trek.
COOGEE Beach - more than just a beautiful beach!
This is a beautiful white sand beach and MORE. You can enjoy a swim, sunbathing, people watching, a surf, a picnic, a BBQ or hang out with friends. Right across the street from the beach are several streets full of restaurants of all types, various shops, pubs, clubs and night spots. Get some fish-n-chips, have a coffee or a beer, it's all here. There's also hostels and hotels. Book early!
Buy some souvenirs, enjoy walking along the beach, soak up some sun, enjoy some live music, take a coastal walk, overall it's a great escape for the day!
The Bondi Explorer sightseeing bus makes regular stops here throughout the day, and you can also easily reach Cooggee by car or regular bus.
Bring your sunscreen and some extra drinking water.
Not as crowded as nearby Bondi, and in my opinion offers far more.
Coogee - Abs, Lads and Kebabs
Coogee Beach is one of my favourite places, despite:
- rowdy louts at the Coogee Bay Hotel (a drinking establishment frequented by backpackers - www.coogeebayhotel.com.au);
- the lack of surf (Wedding Cake Island offshore prevents it);
- the difficulty of obtaining a carpark; and
- the presence of posers (nowhere near as bad as Bondi in this regard).
I love it because if you filter out all of the above, it actually is the coolest place to call home. After the stress of uni or work (or sunbathing), you can go for a dip as the sun sets before grabbing some nosh from the shops and cafes and heading back down to the promenade steps to graze away at your heart's content. Here, one can be a bludger, student, plumber or stock-broker, and you couldn't necessarily tell the difference - you'd probably be wearing boardshorts like everyone else in summer.
One should always wear maximum protection eyewear, however. The glare emanating from the legs sticking out from many an English backapcker lad's nylon football shorts is enough to blind anyone on a bright day ;-)
Coogee made the headlines a few years ago when somebody noticed that a fence post on the north headland cast a shadow that looked like the Virgin Mary at a certain time of the day. Despite the fact that it was physically explainable, enormous crowds resulted nonetheless, and parking was even harder to find.
- Water Sports
My home Coogee has has quite a long history (for a Sydney suburb). The original track which brought people to the Coogee Beach area back in 1832 would have followed the basic route now taken by Anzac Parade & Alison Road. Still today, the feeling you get when you are in Coogee is that of a seaside village. It is a great place to swim, eat, walk & picnic. You can explore the beautiful coastal walks - both north & south of the beach, the parklands with outdoor barbeque and picnic facilities, the children's play areas, the 3 swimming pools, or just relax on one of the finest sand beaches in Sydney.
The water is usually sparkling clean, except for the odd day when seaweed is washed up onto the beach. The beach is usually quite "flat" by Sydney standards, but there are days when it can be rough so it's wise to stay within the flags - at least on those days.
The northern point of Coogee is now named "Dolphins Point" and is the site of a memorial to the 20 local residents (including members of the Coogee Dolphins Rugby League Club) and other Australians who perished in the tragic terrorist bombing in Bali in October 2002.
Enjoy a meal or a drink day or night at one of the many cafes, restaurants and pubs including the Coogee Bay Hotel, the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach and the Coogee Palace bars.
- Family Travel
Coogee beach is small comparing to Bondi, but it's very pleasant and has a different flavour to the other beaches in Sydney.
There is a vollyball net on the beach and has plenty of free parking spots around.
Coogee Beach is a bit less know as Bondi, but a nice spot nevertheless. It's quite a poular places for backpacker with nice hostels and a relaxed atmosphere.
- Water Sports
Cogee Beach, Sydney
I prefered Cogee Beach, it's much smaller than the famous bondi beach, but much more familiar, cool place for relaxing.
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