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Bondi - Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk - NSW

sunny 26 °C

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Bondi to Bronte walk and on to Coogee is one of the most popular activities in the Sydney area. The coastal walk takes in stunning beaches, pools, cliffs and parks whilst hugging the coast line.
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I decided to take it that one step further and walk the 8.6miles from Bondi to Maroubra.
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Starting at Bondi beach...
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From Bush to Boom - Although just 7km from the city, Bondi was described in 1842 as 'a place of peculiar loneliness...a shining sandy beach unmarked by human foot'. However, the rock carvings alone are a clear reminder that Aboriginal feet have walked these sand before those of European settlers. and today, it is far from lonely
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North Bondi Rocks - Bondi Beach
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The word Bondi is Aboriginal for 'water breaking over rocks'. Surfers visit from far and wide in search of the perfect wave, and inline skaters hone their skills on the promenade. The pavilion, built in 1928 as changing rooms is now a busy venue for festivals, plays and arts and crafts.
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As surf bathing became more and more popular, changing sheds for 750 men and 350 women were opened in 1911. The foundation stone for a new Bondi Pavilion, which included the Turkish baths, a ballroom and dressing rooms for 12,000 people was laid in 1928. The excitement and competition of surf carnivals attracted thousands of spectators to Bondi. Hessian screens were put up to keep people off the beach and to change administration.
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Although just 7km from the city, Bondi was described in 1842 as 'a place of peculiar loneliness...a shining sandy beach marked by human foot'. However, rock carvings alone are clear reminders that many Aboriginal feet have walked the sands long before those of European settlers.
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Australia's first lifesaving club was formed at north Bondi in 1906 after an heroic rescue.
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The Bondi Aquarium, Sydney's first coastal amusement park, opened on this headland in 1887, it's greatest attraction was a plunging rollercoaster that dived and twisted over the beach.

In the 1890's 'Nosey Bob' or Robert 'the Gentleman Hangman' Howard lived a lonely life in a cottage on the cliffs. A former horse drawn cab driver, he worked for almost 30 years as the state hangman after being shunned by society following a horribly disfiguring accident, in which his nose was destroyed. this, ans his reputation as a decent fellow, who carried out his job with respectability, gave rise to his nicknames.

Bondi is a great place for surfing, as you can see from all the little specs in the water
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Sometimes they even 'catch a wave'!
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Even when I got back to Bondi as the sun was setting, the surfers were still waiting for that perfect wave
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Tamarama Beach
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Tamarama Beach is a small beach between two prominent headlands, with a sand filled valley to the back, surrounded by pleasant parkland and picnic areas. Tamarama is an extremely narrow beach and deceptive for its size. Tamarama Beach is often referred to as Glamarama (or Glamourama), owing to the alleged abundance of glamorous people who sunbathe (often topless), on what must be one of the smallest strips of sand in the state. Tamarama Surf Club is located on the northern side, perched up on the headland where it overlooks the entire beach.
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Because of its deep water, small size and easterly aspect, Tamarama is dangerous for most swimmers even in a moderate ocean swell. When swimming at Tamarama beach the directions of the surf life savers should not be ignored. Tamarama is considered the most dangerous patrolled beach in New South Wales, with more rescues per thousand bathers than any other of Sydney's beaches, by the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club.

A small swell can produce rip currents of up to 2 metres a second (which is about the speed of the current 50m men's world record). One or two rip currents are always present, making the entire surf zone virtually all rip. When the swell really rolls in, an offshore rock shelf shapes a stunning 12 to 15 foot wave that draws committed board-riders, photographers and onlookers, taking in the grand spectacle from the cliffs above.
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Variation in the layers of sandstone helps produce wonderful shapes in the cliffs.
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Harder layers resist attack by wind, water, waves and salt and are left protruding.
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It can also produce some great effects in the layers
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Bronte Beach
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Bronte Baths opened in 1887 with strict rules - the ocean pool was reserved for women between 10am and 4pm.
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Outside these hours and on Sundays and public holidays, the pool was for men only.
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Trams started running to Bronte in 1911 when a new route was cut deep into the sandstone above the baths. For 49 years beachgoers enjoyed breathtaking views across Tamarama to Bondi as the tram rattled down to its terminus, the same shelter that todays' visitors arrive at by bus.
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A long distance ocean swimming event is held every December between Bondi Beach and Bronte. The beach is popular with surfers and despite the often rough surf, less abled swimmers can avail themselves of the bogey hole or rock pool towards the southern end of the beach. At the south end of the beach is a 30 metre ocean pool, one of the best known in Sydney.
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The beach is patrolled by Waverley Council full-time lifeguards on a daily basis (except during winter) and volunteer lifesavers from the life saving club on weekends and public holidays.
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It is home to Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club and is the oldest such organisation in the world, having been formed in 1903. A public park adjoins the beach, with provision of picnic seats and barbecue hotplates, although parking is limited and restrictions are strictly enforced. The beach is served by the number 378 Sydney City Bus from Sydney's Central railway station or the 378 bus from the Bondi Junction station. The beach is shaded by hills to the west and tends to become cool, windy and deserted towards the end of the afternoon.
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The beach is widely represented in literature. Sylvia in Kathleen Stewart's Spilt Milk (1995) regularly walks the cliffs. Poets have often found voice on its sands.
The path leads through a conservation area
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and squeezes past more cliffs
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Twice Twist Bands
Keizo Ushio, 2012
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Bronte to Waverley
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Waverley Cemetery
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The Waverley Cemetery opened in 1877 and is a cemetery located on top of the cliffs at Bronte. It is noted for its largely intact Victorian and Edwardian monuments. The cemetery contains the graves of many significant Australians including the poet Henry Lawson.
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The cemetery is self-funded, deriving its income from interments – including burial, cremation, memorials and mausoleum – of which there has been over 86,000. Waverley Cemetery was used during the filming of the 1979 Mel Gibson film Tim. The Cemetery was designed to function along similar lines to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and Kensal Green Cemetery in London.
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Clovelly Beach
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Clovelly Beach is a small beach that sits on the end of the narrow bay. The bay is popular with swimmers. The bay is home to one of the first surf lifesaving clubs in the world, Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club, which was founded in 1906.
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Gordons Bay
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A unique and protected aquatic reserve, Gordons Bay is one of Sydney’s most popular dive spots.
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Offering Sydney’s only underwater nature trail, the pocket-sized beach is lined with racks of boats from the local fishing club, reminiscent of a European fishing village.
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The trail can be compared to a walking trail in the wilderness, only it's underwater. It usually takes about 40 minutes to dive the 620m trail following signs that illustrate the marine biodiversity in the area.
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Coogee Beach
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The beach is popular for swimming and famous for its dangerous shorebreaks. The name Coogee is said to be taken from a local Aboriginal word koojah which means "smelly place". Another version is koo-chai or koo-jah, both of which mean "the smell of the seaweed drying" in the Bidigal language or "stinking seaweed", a reference to the smell of decaying kelp washed up on the beach. Early visitors to the area, from the 1820s onwards, were never able to confirm exactly what "Coogee" meant, or if it in fact related to Coogee Beach. Some evidence suggests that the word "Coogee" may in fact be the original Aboriginal place name for the next bay to the north, now known as Gordons Bay.
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The Aboriginal population had largely relocated by the mid-19th century after being decimated by disease and violent clashes with early settlers, though some Aborigines still live in the area today.
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Randwick Council first allowed unrestricted surf bathing in 1902, provided neck to knee bathing dress was worn by anyone of five years. the popularity of bathing in the surf grew rapidly. In 1911 Council reported an average of over 15,000 per day at Coogee with 5,000 in the water in the middle of the day. However, the suitability of un-bathing of 'loitering clad only in a bathing costume' was still in question. It was banned in Coogee in 1910 by Council but Solicitor General agreed with sun-bathing as a healthy activity, allowing it to be banned from open beaches and the Council provided a special enclosure.

Lurline Bay
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A surprising little seafront pocket, located on The Sports Coast between Coogee and Maroubra Beaches, Lurline Bay is a secluded rocky basin, exposed to the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.
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Nestled between weather sculptured headlands, the small bay can only be accessed via the coastal walk from either Seaside Parade to the north or Marine Parade if coming from Maroubra Beach
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A platform of potholes and pools - waves rolling onto this coast from across the pacific crash most fiercely onto the protruding headlans. the tip of the headlands is undercut as wave level until the mass of rock above fall away in giant chunks.
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These chunks are pounded into smaller and smaller pieces and washed away, In some places all that remains is a platform of rock at sea level.
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Pools are generally formed by potholing where the waves wash smaller rock pieces in and around small holes which makes them bigger. They may also be caused by the water wetting and then drying crack in the rock, causing them to enlarge.
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Maroubra Beach
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Maroubra is a local Aboriginal word meaning place of thunder. In 1861, the first house was built in the area by Humphrey McKeon. A number of other settlers arrived on the land in the 1870s to work on the wool scouring works located at the northern end of the bay.
The suburb first made headlines on 6 May 1898, when the Hereward, a fully rigged iron ship weighing 1,513 tons, was caught by the gale force winds and shipwrecked at the northern end of Maroubra Beach while heading north toward Newcastle. The shipwreck remained on the beach for a number of years until a failed attempt to refloat it was made by building a coffer dam around the wreck. Hereward Street in Maroubra is named after the event.
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Just before Maroubra is a headland and home to Jack Vanny Memorial Park.
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From here I could see all the way back to Bondi.
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but whilst standing chatting to a lady I met, we watch a kestrel swooping on the thermals and I took this shot perfectly timed with the helicopter that was passing, unfortunately you can't see the aeroplane that was also passing!
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The helicopter seemed to be out quite a lot, here they are over Bondi. Hopefully only practicing or maybe just a tourist scenic flight
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For me, it was the bus back to Bondi...shared with a surfer, of course
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As I sat enjoying a well earnt hot chocolate, the sun set, and the moon appeared from the horizon, the most stunning red colour, and unbelievably large.
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The pictures don't do it justice, but the memories will stay with me.
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A top day of walking some beautiful beaches
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Posted by charlystyles 13:45 Archived in Australia Tagged bondi bronte coogee maroubra

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