Coastal walk : from Bondi to Coogee
Let’s go for another walk along the sea! I am from Finistère in France so I love being close to the sea. Moreover here I can’t find crêpes, salted caramel and Hénaff pâté. Instead I try to feel like at home by enjoying the ocean and the beaches. This is still winter (until the end of august) so I will not go for a swim nor I will be laying on the sand all day. However, this day is still enjoyable. The Australian’s winter is not the same as the Brittany’s one : what a pleasure to take off my sweater and to contemplate this panorama under the sun!
The walk between Bondi and Coogee is well-known to be one of the most beautiful in Sydney. I think it is true. This walk is one of my favourite. The one we did in Manly could is marvelous and could have been my favorite if there where no accessibility issues. Well, back to the topic! Six kilometers to roam and five beaches to discover : this is what this walk have to offer.
Th walk start at Bondi’s beach, the most famous beach of Sydney. It is well-known for its surfing spots. I heard so many good things about this beach that I looked forward to discover it. Well, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. This beach is beautiful indeed, but there is nothing extraordinary. My expectations must have been too high. This is the perfect example of why, sometime, too much documentation and speculation on a country can be bad. But, my opinion starts to change. The view of the beach and the shore from the coastal walkway is just perfect and this place is very enjoyable. On the top of that : there are barbecues everybody can use. Now I want to come back during the summer!
Go, it’s time to move. The walkway is fitted out. Perfect. A few hundreds meters after : surprise! Two weeks ago there was a very violent storm in Sydney and a part of the path collapsed. So today it is impossible to continue on the path as usual. We have to follow another path and that will be a pretty big workout! We have to go through a extremely steep path. A few minutes later, we reach the summit of this slope… sweaty and out of breath! Let’s continue! The sun is stiflingly hot, we need to put some sun cream. Australia, like New Zealand, are located just underneath a hole in the ozone layer. So it is better to put some sun cream if you are exposed, even if it is cloudy and sometimes even in winter. In Australia, skin cancer is the most common cancer. Unfortunately many people still get it so it is easy to understand why the locals keep reminding to us to protect our skin from the sun.
We reached Tamarama, then Bronte Beach. Tamarama beach got nothing very special. The beauty of this place lies in the cliffs around it. Bronte beach is more little than Bondi beach but I found it charming with the little benches and the picnic area. Grrr, my belly starts to growl… Perfect, there is a food truck just near. I taste fish & chips and BLT (Bacon Lettuce Tomato) for the first time. I never heard about BLT before. Franck and I shared this two meals, but we ate too much. That was copious. One fish & chips is enough for two people, as in New Zealand.
A few minutes later, a warning sign informs us that the storm made others damages. The walkway collapsed on several points on the path so we have to take a detour. We walk through a field ( the wheelchair sinks onto the grass) and we reach Waverley cemetery. This detour was, in the end, a good thing. I really enjoyed to walk in the cemetery. Maybe that sounds a bit weird but, surprisingly, walking in the middle of theses graves in quite peaceful. The view on the bay in magnificent. There are so many graves and some of them are so old. I spend time just looking at birth and death dates. I was surprise to be able to see the death cause on some graves. So, I try to imagine the lives of these persons, of these families. How was the Australian life at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th?
On the other end of the cemetery we reach the original walkway. Some adults are playing a game which looks like the « pétanque » but the bowls and the jack is bigger. I take some time to observe them. After doing some research on internet, I found that this game is called « Lawn bowls ».
The shore is still so beautiful. We arrive at Closely Beach, the fourth beach. It find it less charming. It is smaller than the others and it is surrounded by concrete. It seems that this beach is well appreciated by families because it is easier to keep a eye on children. A car access seems possible for the disabled persons. We already are at the end of our walk which end at Coogee beach. This beautiful beach is not easy to reach : the last kilometer is not accessible in a wheelchair. There are so many stairs. Ok, it is time to do some work out! Franck carries the wheelchair and I go up and down the stairs. Today, I am in a good condition and in a good mood so this is not a big deal.
Right after, in a little cove, there is a film being shot. We stay to watch it during few minutes. This is something new to me but not for Franck who explains me what is going on. It reminds him the time while he was at the university.
A few minutes later, we already reach Coogee beach. It is a very long beach like Bondi beach but maybe less touristic. We don’t dawdle because this is already sunset and it start to get chilly.
I had a really good time today. Sun and oceans always make me happy. If you have the chance to do this walk don’t hesitate, it is a really good one. If you are able to walk for a few steps and go through some stairs, go for it! All along the coastal walkway the view is amazing. You will be able to admire the pacific ocean for as far as the eye can see. The waves smash against the cliffs and shore’s craggy reliefs. So much happiness!
You are looking for more ideas about what to do in Sydney? You will find many great ideas in my other posts about Sydney like exploring Manly or going for a day trip to the blue mountains. You will even find useful information about visiting Sydney in a wheelchair.
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