Emergency blog posting! I don’t want to forget this day, so it is getting memorialized on Instagram and its very own blog post loaded with pictures taking you along for the walk. I took a gazillion photos and tried to capture our day and the beauty and not set up too many posed pictures. Wes was snapping some as well. I would love to do the walk again with no camera and just soak it all up, but that’s unlikely to happen, so I happily clicked away as we walked. I’m so glad I did. These photos will remind us of a fun family day and that time we lived in this beautiful city.
A little background: The Bondi to Coogee walk is kind of a big deal around here, and we are lucky enough to live in Coogee. So, we ended up seeing bits of it just wandering around our neighborhood. However, people travel far and wide to take this 6k costal walk because it’s so beautiful. We decided to walk Coogee to Bondi because we’re rebels like that. The walk technically begins at Bondi Beach (see map below) and climbs south along the coast of Sydney and ends at Coogee Beach. The walk actually does continue on the other side of our beach and is also very pretty. I walk that way often when I take a morning stroll. We’d been to Bondi before and Clovelly and Gordons’s Bay. The rest was going to be a surprise. And it is just that. Every time you climb a staircase or turn a corner, there was a new sight to see. Luke ran ahead a few times to peek and would run back and say, “Mommy, you’re going to love this. It’s so pretty.” Along the windy walk, there are rocks, cliffs, a cemetery, public beaches, playgrounds, and ocean pools. Most of all, you are walking along the most stunning coastline and seeing the most specatular views.
The plan: Doing this walk has been on our Sydney bucket list. We were waiting for the right conditions. One night back in February, we ended up walking home from dinner in Clovelly along the path. We got a feel for how hilly and windy it was and sometimes narrow and crowded. That day Wes announced that there was no way we could do the whole thing with our kids. They kept bumping into people, complaining, and overall it was just pretty miserable. That day I knew we WERE going to do it. Challenge accepted.
May 11, 2017: Here we go! Weather forecast was just right. About 70 degrees and mostly sunny. We chose to go on a weekday hoping there would be less people. We left right after breakfast. First stop…coffee for mom. First tumble…Mae Mae fell before we even made it a block down the street. It was all good. As I mentioned, most people walk Bondi to Coogee. Since we live in Coogee, we decided to start here, walk to Bondi and take the bus home. Off we went. We decided to take a “start” and “finish” selfie, and a nice lady offered to take our “start” pic for us!
Most places I read predicted the walk takes around 2 hours at a leisurely pace. I don’t think that factors in 3 kids. We had no idea how long we’d be gone or how many times we would stop. We just went for it. First stop. Gordon’s Bay. I’ve been here a few times on normal walks because it’s very close to Coogee, but today it looked different. I don’t remember the water being this pretty shade of turquoise. We didn’t want to hang around too long because we knew we could come back here anytime. However, it was beautiful and serene.
1. Gordon’s Bay
Next we continued on to Clovelly, which is a public beach. The stretch between Gordon’s Bay and Clovelly was fun. We hopped off the path to climb on rocks and cliffs. We watched the waves crashing against the rocks (see video below) for a while and just soaked up the vast views in all directions.
2. Gordon’s Bay ➡️ Clovelly
Then we arrived at Clovelly. Kids beelined for the tiny playground, and we pulled out some snacks. The area on either side of the beach are nicer than the actual beach. The kids walked right past the ocean pool, which is unusual. They were just happy to see a playground. Kids are the best. Typically, I have to drag them to the playground near our house, but after all that sightseeing, they just wanted to play!
3. Clovelly Beach
We said goodbye to Clovelly after a short pit stop and began the walk to Waverly Cemetery. On the other side of Clovelly Beach, there were sports fields and outside exercise equipment and lawn bowling fields. A very cute town. Some parts of the walk are actually along streets, so you can see the towns too. Then we climbed on more rocks, of course.
4. Clovelly ➡️ Waverly Cemetery
We arrived at the most amazing cemetery I’ve ever seen. Hard to even really show in pics. Unfortunately, this part of the coastal walk (a boardwalk that extends over water) was damaged in a storm last year, so we had to take a detour through the cemetery. Walking through it was fascinating. We got to check out some gravesites and have some interesting conversations. Like I said, it was hard to capture the size and beauty of this place. Google ‘Wavery Cemetery’ in Sydney and maybe you’ll be able to see it better. While you’re at it, buy yourself a plot because we should all rest in peace here together.
5. Waverly Cemetery
Onward. Next we arrived at Bronte Beach where we stayed for a while. First, we unpacked all our snacks and had a little lunch by the beach. Wes popped up to see the town as he does. We watched surfers for a while. The waves were huge! I told the family I wanted to take a quick peek at the ocean pool, and they all came along. Good thing. We had no idea it was so nice. The kids hopped in right away. It was cold, but felt like a real pool. Then an orange rolled out of our bag and down the rocks and plooped into the water. There is a pic below of us all trying to rescue it. What a funny memory. Glad Wes snapped a pic. Another man was watching the whole thing. How silly we must have looked. That’s us… silly Marshalls trying to save an orange from the ocean. We succeeded, by the way. It was a lovely break at Bronte. We must have been there for at least an hour. Next up… on to Tamarama!
6. Bronte Beach/Rock Pool (aka: The Great Orange Rescue)
After leaving Bronte… we walked over to Tamarama. This next set of pics is from the walk to Tamarama and of our stop there. We didn’t plan to stop. Tamarama is a small beach, also known as Glamarama. I read up on our walk before we left, and it was called this because it’s where all the “good looking” people hang out. My kids found this funny, and we joked about it. Clearly, that is why we had to stop here. No, actually, it was because there was another playground! Wes and I were hungry so we shared a salmon bruschetta from the beach kiosk and sat at a table near the beach while the kids had popsicles on the playground. The kids began to play an imagination game of “Animals”, which was Mae and Luke’s favorite part of the whole day. Their game continued for a bit more after we left Tamarama. Mae was a kitty. Luke was a puppy. Elle was the owner. Something cute like that. I had to include a pic of them at this playground since 2/3 of them declared it their best part of the walk. They played nicely, and it allowed Wes and I time to sit quietly for a few minutes. Then we carried on to our final stretch! So close.
7. Bronte ➡️ Tamarama & Tamarama Beach
Finally, the walk from Tamarama to Bondi. Nothing too exciting to report during this time. I thought it was so, so beautiful here and, possibly, my favorite stretch of the walk. I took heaps or pics, so I’d better stop writing words and get to the photos. Besides… they speak for themselves.
8. Tamarama ➡️ Bondi
9. Arrival to Bondi/ Bondi Beach/ Finish Line
Walk Home From Bus Stop:
THIS. This picture below is everything and may need its own blog post someday. It’s not a perfect picture. It truly epitomizes this experience. THIS is what we came for. Not the beaches or the coffee or the kangaroos. THIS. In Denver, my kids walked in 3 different directions, and if we ever did go somewhere all together, they’d be in the car fighting. But here, in Australia, they are stuck with each other and it’s been good and bad and ugly. But they’ve done it all together. The reason I’m so glad Wes snapped this photo is because it’s something we’ve done 100 times living here in Coogee. Walking up Coogee Bay Road home from _________. And, here, after a 5 hour walk and 2 busses to get home… they’re strolling along side-by-side chatting it up (which will likely end in a blowout and someone storming ahead). They now have THIS 6 month shared experience.
Together, they will always have “that time we lived in Australia” (-SM).
This is what we came for…