Better than Bondi: Explore Sydney’s best beaches in one day

Tamarama is a great spot for surfing and showing off. Pic: stephcuvelier/Instagram

Bondi Beach is famous for TV shows, T-shirts, beers, and bronzed bodies but it’s not Sydney’s best stretch of sand.

Take a day, a beach bag and a 6km walk along stunning cliff tops and you’ll encounter five spots that give Bondi a run for her money without spending an hour looking for a parking space.

A snaking path south of Bondi takes you past the iconic Icebergs Club where the ocean pool will be teeming with members and tourists. From here, the coastal walk has azure water to your left and gawp worthy residences to your right. Take your time and see where the locals play.


First stop for a healthy breakfast is ‘Glamarama’ as it’s affectionately known — a spot for surfing and showing off. Sydney’s beautiful people sip smoothies at the beach front cafe and lifeguards strut their six packs on the sand.

As far as swimming goes, it’s better to look but not touch — this pretty beach is one of the most dangerous surf spots in Australia well known for its strong currents and rips . Sit back with a latte and savor the view.

Bronte Beach

A photo posted by Bronte SLSC (@brontesurfclub) on

Families feast on picnics and gather around the electric barbecues in the pretty park at this cracking beach. There’s a kids’ playground and even a toy train to entertain them. Junior lifesavers or “nippers” festoon the foreshore training in the surf of a morning.

Join the locals lingering for lunch at the swanky strip of cafes such as Bogey Hole; you’ll see them chomping down quinoa salads and slurping super juices.

Enjoy a swim in the ocean or either of two rock pools, then rejoin the coastal path which wends its way through Waverly Cemetery, surely one of the world’s most stunning final resting places.


A photo posted by ʙʟᴜʀʙᴏɪ (@blurboi) on

Next stop is this pretty swatch of sand where you’ll be fighting for sunbathing space with the strollers of the the mummy crowd (or their nannies).

Enjoy a swim in the calm clear water or partake in a leisurely afternoon of lawn bowling with a stunning view at the bowling club perched on the cliffs. You might even spot a dolphin or two from the greens.

Gordon’s Bay

A short walk takes you to this idyllic inlet overlooked by stunning houses. A great place to snorkel and scuba dive, Gordon’s Bay is also an underwater nature trail for the aquatically adventurous.

There’s a few steps to take in on this part of the walk but you’ll be rewarded with lovely views of this crystal bay.


A fine place to end the day with a few sundowners at Coogee Pavilion’s rooftop bar, this beach is worth a day to itself. Locals rub shoulders with the many travelers who make this their base.

It’s a lively place and the Coogee Bay Hotel has a huge, legendary beer garden. For a quieter experience ladies only can hang out at McIvers Baths for a steep twenty cents.

Anyone is welcome for a couple of dollars at Wylie’s Baths, a Victorian-era ocean pool with sweeping views and a charming deck that’s popular for weddings (my own included).