A Backpacker Guide to Coogee Beach, Sydney

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A Backpacker Guide to Coogee Beach, Sydney

So many beaches, so little time! If there’s one thing Sydney has an abundance of, it’s beautiful sprawling beaches. If you’re looking for a mellow, more local beach to frequent or stay at during your Sydney travels, Coogee Beach might be everything you’re looking for and more. This area not only has a picturesque beach, but tons of restaurants and bars to choose from, a plethora of activities, and chill vibes that are perfect for your beach vacation. Read on for everything you need to know about Coogee Beach in Sydney, Australia!

Coogee Beach Ariel View

Aerial shot of Coogee Beach © Courtesy of Shutterstock

Things to do in Coogee Beach

Aside from the normal sunbathing that you’re sure to do at Coogee, there are more activities you can join in on to get some exercise, check out some amazing views, and overall get in touch with your inner mermaid/man.

The Coastal Walk

If there’s one thing you must do while you’re in Coogee, it’s the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach (or the opposite route). Not only does this walk offer phenomenal ocean views, but there are dozens of activities to partake in along the way. Practice your chaturangas at Yoga by the Sea, take a dip in one of the ocean pools on the way, check out some art with the ocean as a backdrop at the Scultpure by the Sea exhibition, or stroll through the Waverly Cemetary. To make the best of your day, check out our Bondi to Coogee Walk guide!

Coastal walk Coogee beach
The Coastal Walk © Courtesy of Shutterstock

Discover the underwater world of Gordon’s Bay

Just north of Coogee and south of Clovelly Beach lies Gordon’s Bay. This little oasis is breathtaking both above and under water. The abundance of vegetation here attracts many different species of birds and lizards. Snorkelers and divers will be sure to love their trip here, as Gordon’s Bay has a 600 meter underwater trail. This nature trail takes about 40 minutes to complete and is easy to follow with multiple information boards underwater to learn about the marine life.

Gordon's Bay

Gordon’s Bay © Courtesy of Shutterstock

Swim in an ocean pool

Get your dose of Vitamin Sea at Coogee Beach and choose from one of the many ocean pools. Wylie’s Baths is a local favorite, built by champion long-distance swimmer Henry Wylie in 1907. If you’re a woman wanting a bit more privacy, come check out Mciver Bath. Bathe topless if you prefer and enjoy the gorgeous turquoise views. For other options, go just north of Coogee Beach to swim at Giles Baths or head to the south end and dive into the Ross Jones Memorial Pool. All are sure to cool you off on a hot day and offer magnificent ocean views.

Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach baths © Courtesy of Shutterstock

Where to Eat in Coogee Beach

Coogee Pavilion

This trendy spot is a favorite amongst locals. With sweeping ocean views, an expansive menu, games, separate sections (hello adult-only zone!), and superb happy hour deals, it’s easy to see why locals and tourists alike flock to “The Pav”.

Coogee Pavilion

Coogee Pavilion © Courtesy of Merivale

Location: 169 Dolphin St, Coogee NSW - VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 9114 7321 | Menu | Facebook
Hours: Sunday - Thursday from 7:30 am to 12 am. Friday and Saturday from 7:30 am to 3 am.

Beach Burrito Company

If you’re hankering for some Mexican food, head to Beach Burrito Company. They hold regular events and promo nights like Frozen Margarita Fridays and Sangria Sundays. They also host live music performances you can listen to while enjoying Taco Tuesday!

Beach Burrito

© Courtesy of Beach Burrito Company

Location: 3/260 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee NSW - VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 9665 6932 | Facebook | Website
Hours: Daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Out of the Blue

Sometimes all you need in life is a good burger — and that’s where Out of the Blue comes in. Serving up delicious homemade burgers and fish and chips, Out of the Blue is a family business that keeps everybody coming back for more. Because of its popularity, you may sometimes have to wait a bit, but we assure you that it’s well worth it!

Location: 2/272 Clovelly Rd, Coogee NSW - VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 9315 8380 | Facebook
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday)

Melonhead

Trying to maintain that beach bod while still indulging? Head to Melonhead to try Coogee’s best juices and smoothies! Nothing hits the spot like a fresh, fruity beverage and a healthy snack. Get takeaway so you can enjoy this deliciousness on the sand!

Melonhead

Fresh juice from Melonhead © Courtesy of Melonhead

Location: 256 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee NSW - VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 9664 3319 | Facebook | Website
Hours: Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sugarcane

For those craving some Southeast Asian cuisine, your best bet is Sugarcane. This beautiful restaurant not only has delicious food and a foliage-filled interior, but epic ocean views to enjoy whilst dining. Feast on your favorite Asian dishes with a modern twist just a block from the beach!

Sugarcane

© Courtesy of Sugarcane

Location: 1/56 Carr St, Coogee NSW - VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 8313 9790 | Facebook | Website
Hours: Lunch Sunday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dinner daily from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

For more tips and recs, check out our full list of Coogee Beach restaurants.

Coogee Beach Nightlife

Barzura

This chill bar has incredible views and is perfect for a post-surf sesh. Choose from the long list of beers, cocktails, spirits, and wines while mingling with the locals who often frequent Barzura.

Location: 62 Carr St, Coogee NSW - VIEW MAP

Contact: +61 2 9665 5546 | Facebook | Website

Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Clovelly Hotel

This spot is separated into a few different areas with a unique vibe. Hang out on the rustic-themed ground floor, check out the colorful bistro, kick back in the industrial-chic lounge bar, or sip on a cold one at the breezy beer garden.

Location: 381 Clovelly Rd, Clovelly NSW - VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 9665 1214 | Website | Facebook
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 12 am, Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm

Coogee Diggers

This exclusive bar is members-only, but certainly worth the $10 fee. Listen to some live music at The Bunker while eating American-style food, get your tan on at the Main Bar, drink an ice-cold beer at the Beer Garden, or watch some footy at the Sports Bar. Be sure to stop by for Happy Hour: $4.50 drinks Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Carr St & Byron St, Coogee NSW
Contact: +61 2 9665 4466 | Website | Facebook

For more information about Coogee Beach’s nightlife, check out our list of favorite Coogee pubs and bars.

Where to Stay in Coogee Beach

If you’re into ocean views and chill vibes, Mad Monkey Coogee Beach is an ideal spot to stay at! As the first Mad Monkey in Australia, this beautiful and newly renovated hostel sets the bar for hip accommodation on Sydney’s coast. Located just steps from the sand, you’ll be just moments from that beach life you’ve been dreaming of. Across from Mad Monkey is a bus stop that can easily bring you into the city to explore the main attractions in Sydney.

Mad Monkey Coogee Beach

Location: 186 Arden St, Coogee NSW 2034, Australia — VIEW MAP
Contact: +61 2 9315 7888 | Website

How to Get From Coogee to Sydney CBD

The easiest way to get from Coogee Beach to Sydney CBD is by taking the bus. Bus 373 and 374 are the most direct and bring you by Centennial Park, Central Station, Hyde Park, Botanical Gardens and Circular Quay. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Circular Quay from Coogee Beach and costs around $3.50 each way. The main Coogee stop is located on the main beachside road (Arden Street) right at the center of the beach (look for the yellow and blue sign). To go to Bondi Beach, you’ll head north from this bus stop and make the short trip to Sydney’s most popular beach.

For more information about getting around Sydney and using a public transportation card, go here.

Want more? Check out a Backpacker's Guide to Cambodia on a Budget

Article by Kirsten Muolic

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