Sydney is an ocean city, and its beaches are among the best in the world. Take a stroll along the clifftops between Bondi and Coogee Beaches, scanning the ocean views, and stopping for a swim or a meal along the way.
Start your tour at the northern end of Bondi Beach; to get there take bus 380 or 389 from Circular Quay. From Campbell Parade, wander down Ramsgate Avenue to the (1) panoramic lookout at the end of the street. Survey Australia’s most famous beach and the craggy cliffs jutting south to Coogee.
From the lookout the track heads down along the rocks onto (2) Bondi Beach, but if the sea is rough, backtrack along Ramsgate Avenue instead. There are strong currents and rips at Bondi that aren’t always obvious. If you feel like a swim, stay between the red and yellow flags where the professional lifeguards can keep an eye on you.
After you’ve dried off, visit the (3) Bondi Pavilion (Queen Elizabeth Drive; www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/things_to_do/places_of_interest/bondi_pavilion). Built in 1928 in the Mediterranean style, the pavilion serves as a cultural center, hosting concerts, performances, exhibitions, and movie screenings. There’s a crop of good restaurants here too.
If you’re in Bondi on a Sunday, the (4) Bondi Markets (corner of Campbell Parade and Warners Avenue; www.bondimarkets.com.au) will be underway at the Bondi Beach Public School. Browse the trestles for vintage clothing, secondhand books, jewelry, and retro records.
Bondi’s main commercial strip is (5) Campbell Parade, which mimics the arc of the beach. Here you’ll find surf shops, hole-in-the-wall juice bars, sushi stalls, and quality restaurants. Bondi locals are a strange mix of laid-back and highly fashionable: everyone from backpackers to surfers, models, and suit-wearing business people.
At the southern end of Campbell Parade, veer left onto Notts Avenue and the classy (6) Bondi Icebergs (One Notts Avenue; www.icebergs.com.au) restaurant. At the end of the street the cliff-top trail begins. Cut into the sandstone, the pathway is popular with joggers, dog walkers, and hand-holding couples.
Heading south, the first beach you’ll come to is (7) Tamarama Beach, also know as “Glamarama” for the beautiful crowds it attracts. Next up is (8) Bronte Beach, which has a string of low-key eateries and a family atmosphere. At the southern end of the beach are the (9) Bronte Sea Baths (Bronte Road), where you can swim without having to contend with waves or surfers.
Continuing south, the track winds past the (10) Waverley Cemetery (St. Thomas Street; www1.waverley.nsw.gov.au/cemetery/). The residents here have some of the best views in Sydney.
The trail then winds through Burrows Park onto (11) Clovelly Beach, a great spot for swimming and snorkeling.
Follow the path along Cliffbrook Parade to (12) Gordons Bay, continuing through Dunningham Park to finish up at impressive (13) Coogee Beach (Arden Street). From Coogee, bus 372, 373, or 374 will take you back to the city.
Shop National Geographic