After Bondi Beach, Coogee is probably the most popular of Sydney's beaches that face the Pacific Ocean and back on to the City's Eastern Suburbs. Coogee Beach is not a surfing beach as it is know for its dumping waves. Even for beginners the waves would usually not be suitable.
Check out the Coogee Beach website for more information and photos. .
The northern headland of Coogee preserves the solitary doorway of the old Giles Gym and Baths, now completely demolished after standing in ruins for many years. The area is now known as "Dolphin Point", the old gym doorway and a 4 metre high bronze sculpture nearby serving as a powerful memorial to 20 of the Australian victims of the 2002 Bali bombing , residents of Coogee and neighbouring suburbs, including 6 members of the Coogee Dolphins Rugby League team.
Wedding Cake Island and Coogee Beach swimmers on an overcast day
Beach activities - Coogee Beach is a relatively safe swimming beach, sited in a somewhat protected bay. Wedding Cake Island, approximately 400m offshore (and the inspiration for a classic Midnight Oil instrumental) is a rocky reef that helps shelter the beach. An ocean pool lies at the southern end of the beach which is popular for small children. Coogee beach is patrolled by council lifeguards throughout the year and also by volunteer surf lifesavers during the summer months. In larger surf, there can be a dangerous shore break and coastal rips, and there are sometimes blue-bottle jellyfish, particularly when there is a north-east wind. Note that the beach itself drops off rapidly at the edge of the water, which can result in a dangerous shore break particularly when the surf is large. The combination of this shore break and high visitor numbers mean that Coogee has more spinal injuries than any other Australian beach. If you are inexperienced in large surf, wait for a calmer day! (or head down to the ocean pool....)
Coogee Bowling and Tennis Club - a popular place to play social tennis or an afternoon of bowling. The tennis club also has space to host parties.
Cliff top walk, Bondi to Coogee walk - a popular walking track between Coogee and Bondi takes you past most of the city beaches, and along some spectacular clifftops.
A cliff top coastal walk, the Bondi to Coogee walk extends for six km in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The walk features stunning views, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. The beaches and parks offer a place to rest, swim or a chance to eat at one of the cafes, hotels, restaurants or takeaways. All beaches offer picnic shelters, electric barbecues, play areas, kiosks, toilets and change-rooms. The walk is not difficult, there are medium gradient paths and several staircases with occasional seating. It takes about two hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee Beach section of the walk and another hour and a half if you choose to continue to Maroubra.
The Bondi to Tamarama walk is the venue for the Sculpture by the Sea ,Tamarama Beach and Mackenzie’s Point is a favorite with surfers and Bronte Beach is popular with families. A board walk takes you past Waverley Cemetery, the most scenic burial ground in the world. Swim snorkel or dive at Clovelly Beach and Gordon’s Bay. Enjoy the cafes and Wylie’s Bath at Coogee. If you like you can continue to Maroubra Beach via the Lurline Bay wetlands. Make sure you wear comfy shoes, bring a hat, sunglasses, sun screen and water.
Gordon's Bay- ( Also has a local nickname - Thomo's the origin of which appears to be unknown. ) a small rocky inlet just north of Coogee Beach, accessed from the cliff walk, popular for snorkeling (there is an underwater snorkel trail there for the adventurous) and (ahem) nude sunbathing and everything that that might entail! Parents beware!
Randwick Rugby - Coogee is the location of the home ground of Randwick Rugby Union Club, one of the main teams in the Sydney rugby union football competition. Alternate weekends see Randwick and an opposing team battle it out on Coogee Oval, just over the road from the beach - a great way to spend a winter afternoon!
Chilli Box, Thai restaurant, has recently moved to bigger premises. The new very chic Chilli Box also has a new menu which is even better than before. Prices are still very reasonable.
Coogee has a wide array of restaurants, cafes, bars, wine bars, ice-cream shops, supermarkets and delis, located on Coogee Bay Road, or on the beachfront facing Arden Street or Brook Street.
Favorite coffee and breakfast places are:
Beach Street - on northern side of the beach: there are two cafes here. Both open early for breakfast and offer great views. On the southern end of the beach you'll be able to spot the very well known "[Barzura]" facing the beach. This is a slightly more expensive option, but if you're early and lucky enough to find a table outside, you'll feel like you're sitting right on the beach.
Coogee Bay Hotel, corner of Coogee Bay Road and Arden Street (opposite the beach) -
The Palace, on Dolphin St at the northern end of the beach.
The Legion Club With balcony overlooking coogee beach the legion has long been the secret watering hole of coogee locals. Cheap drinks and a relaxed atmosphere, midweek trivia and live music at weekends the legion is an attractive alternative to people of all ages.