585. Thursday 28th December 2017. A walk along the clifftops from Bondi to Coogee…

As promised I have broken this week into smaller parcels. Lots of photos.

Thursday 28th December

Today we caught a train to Bondi Junction then a bus to the Internationally famous, Bondi Beach.

281217 bondi
Bondi is one of Sydney’s larger beaches. At this time of day it was beginning to fill up. By midday it would became a mass of beach umbrellas and shades and groups of people lounging in the sun.

We were here to do the Bondi to Coogee Clifftop Walk.

281217 bondi1
The northern end of Bondi Beach packed with multi level blocks of flats.

Even at the beginning of this 6Klm walk one thing was very clear. This would be no casual stroll with family and very few other people. Somehow, somewhen, this wonderful cliff walk has become an International Iconic must do. walk. So many people going in both directions. Young people, older people, some barely dressed others rugged up against the blazing sun. There are steep sections and flat sections and steps and fabulous views from the top of wonderful sandstone cliffs while the ocean surges below.The walk includes Bondi Beach, McKenzies Bay, Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach, Gordons Bay, Clovelly Beach and Coogee Beach including the Giles Bath, a mostly natural rock pool at Coogee. We spent only a few minutes gazing at Bondi which was slowly filling with people. Christmas holidays at the beach is pretty traditional here in Australia. Before midday it would be almost impossible to find somewhere to place a towel on the beach.

At the southern end of the beach is the famous Bondi Icebergs Club and pools.

281217 icebergs
The welcoming blue water and the dazzling white of the pools is a stand out vision of the Bondi Icebergs Club Pools.

https://icebergs.com.au/ Bondi Icebergs has been the home of Winter swimming since 1929 and the famous pool is open to visitors all year round. The pools are blindingly white and the water colour a welcoming azure, all this set against a background of, cream, brown, yellow and orange Sydney Sandstone and the clear water of the Pacific Ocean.

After leaving Bondi on an increasingly steep path which soon levelled and then inclined down as we approached McKenzies Bay

281217 mckenzies
McKenzies Bay looking back towards Bondi Beach.

and Tamarama Beach

281217 mckenzies1
The clifftop walk pathway to McKenzies Bay is paved with irregulat sandstone slabs. Dave shows his walking style.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarama,_New_South_Wales where we planned to have coffee at the Tamarama Beach Cafe tucked into the sandstone cliffs.

281217 walk near tam
Bev Sandi and Pete along the path towards Tamarama Point. Bev and Sandi are not the two in black gym outfits.
281217 walk near tam2
Did I mention the large numbers of people walking the 6 Klm Clifftop Walk? Here they are on the way to Tamarama.

At this time of day it was exposed to the 31 degree heat and any shade was already taken up.

281217 walk near tam1
Leaving McKenzies Bay and approaching Tamarama Point.

We decided to keep walking to Bronte beach and have coffee at one of the dozen or so funky eateries overlooking the beach.

281217 tamarama
Entering Tamarama Point looking towards Bronte Beach.
281217 tam surf
A body surfer and a boardrider share the same wave break over Tamarama reef. I have fond memories of body surfing over this reef.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronte_Beach One thing you can be assured of in Australia, good coffee. The trick is to find a place not already crowded and able to provide enough seating so seven of us can have a coffee together.

Along the path we noticed a folly which is becoming a tourist attraction in its own right. A luxury home site overlooking the beach and ocean has been excavated through solid sandstone. The developer ran out of money. Unfortunately the excavation is so close to adjoining properties they would be at risk of collapsing into the excavation. Huge steel props have been installed to hold up the retaining walls but that is as far as the project has gone.

281217 excavation
This excavation is through solid sandstone. The site overlooks Tamarama Beach. Although there is lots of vegetation obscuring the view there are several steel braces to hold up the wall especially the house on the right. The excavation is right up against the wall.

As we walked along it had become apparent that English, at least on this international walk, is a secondary language. We heard many conversations as people passed and very few were in English.

281217 bronte
Pete on Tamarama Beach. It would have been our firts stop for a coffee at a beach cafe. The location was perfect except that all the tables were in full sun. On a day when temperatures reached 31 degrees, sitting in full sun is not very comfortable.

While enjoying coffee at Bronte Beach I pondered about continuing the walk. The day was getting hotter and my feet were protesting but we started the walk as a group and by golly we would finish as a group.

A common misconception about Bronte Beach is that it was named in honour of the Bronte Sisters. It wasn’t. It was named after a military figure, Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, Duke of Bronte. Nelson was awarded the title of Duke of Bronte from the King of Naples in 1799 and from that time signed his name as “Nelson and Bronte” In the early days the beach was called Nelson. I prefer Bronte.

281217 bronte1
Bronte Beach,

After being refreshed and recharged by coffee we started on the next leg of the walk. This proved to be long and steep in parts but all of it picturesque.

Part of the cliff walk in this next section has been closed for safety reasons. Land slip at the bottom of Waverley Cemetery has pushed the path towards the sea.

281217 cemetery
At the southern end of Bronte the clifftop walk usually passes helow the Waverley Cemetery. Recent heavy rains ment some land slip and the clifftop path became unstable. While repairs and rerouting are underway the path now leads through the cemetery.

While repairs are carried out the walk has been diverted through Waverley Cemetery.

281217 cemetery1
Waverley Cemetery busy with clifftop walkers.

Most of the cemetery is closed off to walkers and strangely there were signs stating that photography and videography of the graves, headstones, mausoleums etc is banned. I am unable to find any information about why such a ban is in place. I did find the following – Waverley Cemetery is of State Heritage significance. This means that it will never be anything other than an operating cemetery.

Next beach on the walk is the long and narrow, no surf, popular family destination, Clovelly Beach.

281217 clovelly
Clovelly Bowls Club. Although this site and the land is worth multi millions of dollars, the club itself is not very wealthy.
281217 clovelly1
Clovelly Beach is long and narrow. Most beach goers sit on the rocks or concrete as there is not enough beach for the families who flock here. There is no surf.

Although there is no surf there is a Surf Lifesaving Club.

281217 clovelly2
The little beach at Clovelly.
281217 clovelly3
Clovelly Beach. In the upper left can just be seen a small seawater pool. For some strange reason it is undergoing and empty and clean process – at the busiest part of the season!

Next is a another popular family beach called Gordons Bay.

281217 gordons
Gordons Bay looking towards Coogee.
281217 gordons2
A quiet place for family swimming at Gordons Bay. No surf, no rips, no undercurrents…no lifeguards.

There is no surf, no surf club, no facilities except timber racks to store small boats. Regardless of no facilities it is still popular.

281217 gordons1
Boat storage racks at Gordons Bay.

After another long uphill trek we finally made it to Coogee Beach which is popular with everybody. We stopped for a cooling dip in a rockpool known as Giles Baths

281217 giles1
Dave sits on a rock carrying out his duties as watchful sentinel at Giles Baths.
281217 giles
Pete is cautiously entering the water at Giles Baths. Water temp was described as brisk.
281217 giles3
Boys of all ages just love jumping off the rocks into the water especially if there are a couple of girls they can show off in front of.
281217 giles4
Look carefully. You can see this show off mitimed his back flip at Giles Baths.
281217 giles2
Sheer and tall solid sandston cliffs surrounding Giles Baths at Coogee.
281217 headland
High sandstone cliffs at Lurline Bay to the south of Coogee Beach. By the time we had lunch at Cooggee the thought of continuing the walk to Lurline Bay and Maroubra Beach was out of the question.

Every eatery in and around Coogee was busy but we still managed to find somewhere to stop for lunch before catching a bus back to Central Railway and then a train back to Gymea.

281217 central
Dave Sandi & Pete on Central Station. Although Dave is hamming it up the train was zooing into the station. We had only arrived moments before.

My bum bag arrived by Express Mail earlier in the afternoon.


I feel whole again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s