A Hearty Brekkie and 5 Gorgeous Beaches in a Day
Next to the Sydney Opera House, a visit to Bondi Beach is probably second on my list of things to see and do in Sydney. I spent about a month in Sydney around winter time on my first visit to Australia but I wasn’t keen on beach hopping at that time due to the cold weather, so I put off my visit to one of the world’s best surf beaches even though I have been dying to see it for so long now. I reckoned it would be more interesting to visit Bondi Beach and other scenic beaches around Sydney this time of the year when more sun and surf worshippers are out basking under the Aussie summer sun and riding the huge waves. Don’t get me wrong though, I wasn’t after the topless sunbathers or the bronzed six-pack abs. It’s just the pictures look better on a sunny day (seriously).
Three days after Christmas, the weather wasn’t great still but Charles and I had decided to do the coastal walk come rain or shine. Our plan was to commute by train to Bondi Junction and then by bus to Bondi beach. Luckily, Charles former flat mate, Hayden, called that morning and wanted to catch up with us over breakfast. Hayden and his cousin, Peter, dropped by our flat in Artarmon to pick us up then we headed straight to Bondi.
Breakfast with 3 blokes at Gertrude and Alice Cafe and Bookstore.
With two locals guiding me around, it wasn’t hard to find a place with good food and good vibes. Hayden took us to this great café slash bookstore along Hall Street. The food is homely that includes a good range of vegetarian selections, the ambience is relaxed and friendly and the place itself is filled with shelves of books that stretch from floor to ceiling. Finding a parking space in the area was a different story though.
The beach offers topless sunbaking, swimming and great surfing for boards and bodies, the beach is popular with the locals as well as international tourists.
“Bondi Beach is very tolerant; topless sunbathing is common and gay and lesbian couples displaying affection can be seen.”
After breakfast, Charles, Peter and I lazed on the sand for sometime while waiting for Hayden who had to move his car to another parking spot. I have seen many beaches around Australia but standing on the popular Bondi Beach still made me excited and thrilled. Perhaps it is because Bondi Beach is one of the most known Australian icons or maybe I had watched too much Bondi Rescue on National Geographic and being here felt like coming face to face with a celebrity.
The beach is just amazingly vast and the waves are just awesome. It is not something you get to see regularly in the Philippines although we are equally blessed with gorgeous beaches as well. The water is still cold though (at least for me) even though it’s now summer here. Perhaps, I would be able to brave the cold water once we reached Coogee Beach, I thought.
“Bondi” or “Boondi” is an Aboriginal word meaning water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks.
The walk to Coogee is about 6 kilometers and takes around 2 hours to complete on a leisurely pace, and maybe longer for photo junkies like us. We started our walk at the south end of Bondi Beach and passed by the Bondi Iceberg’s Club where members can swim all year round in its salt water pool. After reaching Mackenzies Point, a panoramic view of North and South Bondi unfolded to us. Then we came across Tamarana, a small beach renowned as one of Sydney’s gay beaches. They say it is full of beautiful bronzed people, now I wonder if that gorgeously tanned guy with washboard abs climbing up and down those steps was gay.
Hayden taking some snapshots of Bronte Beach.
We passed by three more lovely beaches as we traced the coastline to Coogee. One of which is my favorite Bronte Beach, a stunning beach bordered by a bowl-shaped park and sandstone cliffs. But the most interesting sight along the coast for me was this graveyard of white marble headstones with a dramatic ocean view.
Apparently, Waverley Cemetery is home to many famous Australians and guided tours are conducted at various times here for those interested in Australian history. We traversed through the cemetery and had a few snapshots here instead of taking the usual trail. After more than two hours walk, we finally reached Coogee Beach. We then went our separate ways based on our immediate priorities. Hayden and Peter scurried to Coogee Bay Hotel for cold beer, Charles swimming impromptu to cool down and me running to the nearest fish and chips kiosk.