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.
We were here to do the Bondi to Coogee Clifftop Walk.
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.
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
and Tamarama Beach
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.
At this time of day it was exposed to the 31 degree heat and any shade was already taken up.
We decided to keep walking to Bronte beach and have coffee at one of the dozen or so funky eateries overlooking the beach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While repairs are carried out the walk has been diverted through Waverley Cemetery.
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.
Although there is no surf there is a Surf Lifesaving Club.
Next is a another popular family beach called Gordons Bay.
There is no surf, no surf club, no facilities except timber racks to store small boats. Regardless of no facilities it is still popular.
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
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.
My bum bag arrived by Express Mail earlier in the afternoon.
I feel whole again.