After Bondi Beach, Coogee is probably the most popular of the City beaches that face onto the Pacific Ocean and back on to Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
Coogee Beach, of course
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 beack. An ocean pool lies at the southern end of the beack 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 rapdly 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 unexperienced in large surf, wait for a calmer day! (or head down to the ocean pool....)
Cliff top walk - a popular walking track between Coogee and Bondi takes you past most of the city beaches, and along some spectacular clifftops. The walk takes about 1-2 hours at a normal pace.
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 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!
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.
Coogee Sands Hotel and Apartments, 161-167 Dolphin Street, tel 02 9665 8588, fax 02 9664 1406