With a shimmering beach, magnificent coastal walk and protected marine reserve with excellent surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving, Coogee sums up the classic Australian beach lifestyle. Coogee Beach has a sweeping stretch of golden sand, historic ocean baths and plenty of green parks for barbecues and picnics, all only 20 minutes from the busy centre of Sydney. It’s an ideal beach for families, with safe swimming and lifesavers on patrol all year round. Coogee is also one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs, with many historic buildings. The surrounding cliff tops offer spectacular bush walks and some of Sydney’s most panoramic views.
Coogee Beach is one of Sydney’s great suburban beaches, located in the city’s eastern suburbs.
It’s regarded as an ideal family beach, with calm surf and patrolled swimming all year.
As the beach curves south, a park leads to Grant Reserve, where there is a delightful picnic area with spectacular ocean views and a children's playground. These linked areas of open space are part of the Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk.
At the northern end of the beach stairs are leading from Dolphin Point down to the old Giles Baths, an open rock pool pounded by surf. Encompassing Gordon Bay, the Bronte Coogee Aquatic Reserve starts from the southern end of Bronte Beach to the northern tip of Coogee Beach. Here you can go snorkelling or scuba diving with the resident population of inquisitive giant blue gropers, the official state fish of New South Wales.
At the southern end is the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club. Founded in 1907, it is one of Australia’s oldest. See Australia’s volunteer lifesavers in action at the annual surf carnival. On weekends in summer, you can catch the Coogee Minnows, Australia’s future lifesavers in training.
Also at the southern end, the coastal walk leads to McIvers Baths, a popular and controversial women-only pool since 1876. Further south, Wylies Baths was established in the early 1900s by champion Australian long distance swimmer Henry Alexander Wylie. After a refreshing swim, enjoy a massage beside the ocean or an early-morning yoga class.
The six kilometre-long coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach takes about two hours along a clearly marked pathway. Along the way you’ll be rewarded with some of Sydney’s most stunning ocean views and cosy uncrowded inlets.
The promenade along Coogee Beach also has many restored historic buildings, excellent restaurants and cafes, and fashionable boutiques. After enjoying the water, you can see the latest movies in the grandeur of the heritage-listed Ritz Cinema; or go shopping along cosmopolitan Coogee Bay Road. The nearby suburbs of Kensington and Randwick are close to the Centennial Parklands for horse-riding, bird-watching or just relaxing.
Around 800 metres offshore from Coogee Beach is Wedding Cake Island, featured by Australian rock band Midnight Oil in the 1980s. The annual Island Challenge, which involves a marathon swim out and around the island, is a prominent fixture on the Sydney ocean swimming calendar.
Be sure to visit Coogee Beach while you are in Sydney. It is easily reached by bus from the city centre.