Eastern Coastal Walk - Part 1

It was a beautiful day last Sunday and I had been bugging Joe for a while to do the "Bondi to Coogee" walk. This particular trek is one part of a beautiful walk along the beaches and cliffs that stretch from the mouth of the Sydney Harbour down to a beach called Maroubra.  The walk in it's entirety is called the Eastern Coastal Walk so I suppose the title of this post is slightly wrong - however, I do hope to complete the entire walk eventually and so have parts 2 and 3. 

The portion of the walk that we did was 6 kilometers long (just shy of 4 miles) - it didn't seem all that long; but there was a lot of stairs and climbing involved so it did take us a couple of hours to complete.  In this first picture you can see the approximate route that we took.  It's not a great indicator of scale, so, in this second photo, I backed the map out so you can get a better idea of the length of the walk. 

It was an absolutely perfect day with bright blue skies - I took about 70 pictures in total and then whittled that number down to 30 once I got home and started editing.  Just a warning:  I'm not sure how I am going to pick only a few photos to add to this entry.  There may be multiple entries with lots of photos on each one so be prepared!
We started by taking a bus to Bondi - I have to admit - not a great way to spend a morning.  It was crowded on the bus (the Bondi buses are always crowded); however, we were lucky to have boarded the bus at the first stop so we did have seats for the entire trip.  The last time we took a bus to Bondi it only took about a half hour.  There was so crazy traffic on Sunday though, so we were in route to Bondi for almost an hour.  Once we got there we sunscreened up and we were off.  The beach was already starting to be really crowded (even though it's just early Spring here) and we weren't in the mood for crowds after our bus ride. 
It was very crowded to begin with - there seemed to be a lot of people just strolling up the first hill to get a better view of Bondi beach in it's entirety or maybe going up to the famous Bondi Icebergs Club (so named because their members swim year-round... yes, even during the dead winter) to see the salt water swimming pool.  Either way, Joe and I were ready to take off at a good pace so that we could get away from the worst of the crowds (again, we were pretty sick of people at this point).  Well, to be completely truthful, Joe was ready and I kept lingering behind to take pictures.  I couldn't help it really!  I have been stricken with shutter-bug-itis!
The surf was crashing up over the corner of the Icebergs swimming pool and everywhere I looked there was blue water, blue sky, white rock and green foliage.  It was very very hard not to take many more than 70 photos.  Heck, I would even venture to say that only taking 70 photos showed great restraint on my part!

Once we rounded the first cliff thingy ( I don't know what to call them - maybe a curve?  Yea, that sounds good). So, once we rounded the first curve in the cliff walk we could see down the coastline for miles. 

It was incredible to see people on the cliffs so far away looking for all the world like tiny ants and to think that we would be standing there too in about an hour. 

The beginning of the walk by Bondi was very challenging.  There were dirt paths and lots of precarious steps that had been hewn in the rock.  Sometimes the steps were more like divots so it would be tough keeping your balance.  There was also a great disparity in the size of the steps - there would be a couple that were about 6 inches, than one that was 10 then two that were 3 then.... well, you get the idea.  Murder on the calves I tell you. 

The rocks along the walk were particularly beautiful - they had that distinctive "erosion" look to them... that softness of line that can only come from years and years of the harsh elements facing the Tasman Sea. Some of the rocks were a golden colour that was really beautiful up against the blue sky; but my favourite were the white and grey rocks.  They were just so stark and dramatic against all that blue.  It made the coastline pop out at you.  This one was an accidental dead end that we got to - I think it was meant to be a lookout of some sort... or maybe just a resting place.  We only had to retrace our steps for about 10 meters to get back to the main path. 

I'm certainly glad for the wrong turn though as this was one of my favourite photos that I took the whole day.

Well, the next beach on the walk was called Tamarama Beach.  I had a little information card talking about the walk and it proclaimed this tiny little beach to be where "all the most buff, tan bodies" were in Sydney.  Yikes!  Once we got down there though, we realized that it wasn't anything special...  I think once you start actively advertising a specific beach as a place where all the hot people go to get half naked, than all of the not-hot people start showing up to gawk.  Once that happens than it is just a regular beach....  After the walk, when I was doing some googling research on it, I read that Tamarama was actually considered to be a gay beach.  I have to admit, it just looked like a regular beach to me... 

After Tamarama, we walked on to Bronte Beach which was about the half way point in our stretch of the walk.  I liked Bronte the best - it seemed very family friendly without being overrun by unruly children.  Plus the sand looked completely gorgeous.  I made a mental note to keep it on our list of beaches to frequent this summer.

I did read later that it can have some pretty dangerous undertows/rip tides etc... so maybe it will be a beach where we lay on the sand and wade in the water - not a "swimming" beach.  Not that either of us are major swimmers but.... I digress..

We stopped at a little picnic shelter in the park overlooking Bronte to eat our packed lunch of sandwiches.  We had bought them at a stand in Circular Quay earlier that morning so my hopes were not high.  Rightly so, they were just ok; but we were pretty hungry by that point so we really didn't care.

I am going to go ahead and cut this walk into two posts. It's already one in the morning here and I have to work in the morning.  I love you all; but not that much.  I will add the rest of my photos down below; but you will have to make up your own stories to go with them!

6 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    These photos are gorgeous! I especially like the second to the last one! I'm glad you had a great (albeit crowded!) day! Keep the pictures coming - I can't help but imagine being there too! One day!


  2. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Mandy - Thanks for your comment!

  3. Florida Girl In Sydney Says:

    Hi Mimi- Next time you are coming to Bondi Beach or if you ever want to meet up there to do a walk, I'd love to! Sculpture of the Seas is coming up-- it's a must see, last year they have a really cool one right inside your favorite rock formation!-- huge eyes! But really, email me when you want to come back over here, I'd love to meet you.

  4. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Florida - I am so excited for the Sculpture event! I saw your photos from last year ((and also have heeded your advice about a fly net) at least I think this was you - if not, please disregard my crazy) and it looked totally cool.

    I'd love to meet up some time - I'm pretty booked up this week and the weekend; but maybe the week after?

  5. Brooke, WhyGo Australia Says:

    Great photos! It's nice to see other Americans in the land down under. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

  6. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Brooke - Thanks!!

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