Bondi to Coogee is arguably Sydney’s most famous walk, but if the crowds get a bit too much you can still enjoy equally fabulous coastal views further down the coast on the Coogee to Maroubra walk. Much like many of the other coastal walks around Sydney, the Coogee to Maroubra walk hugs the coastline for the majority of the route, offering stunning panoramic coastal views. Plus you will get to enjoy walking along the cliff tops, spend time on some of the Eastern Suburb’s best beaches and explore picturesque hidden ocean pools along the way. Here’s all you need to know about the Coogee to Maroubra walk!
COOGEE TO MAROUBRA COASTAL WALK
Distance: 5km one way
Difficulty: easy (trail is mostly paved and no steep sections)
When should you do the Coogee to Maroubra walk?
I would suggest if possible to try and make sure you do the walk at low tide because that way you’ll get to go along the Undercliff Coastal Route (marked ‘Low Tide Trail’ in the map above). This goes under some cliffs and really unusual rock formations and it’s not always possible to pass this way if the tide is high. If this route is not passable you just walk along residential streets for about a kilometre instead (something I am not a fan of when I am doing a coastal walk to be honest) and it means you’ll miss out on walking along the coast or having a sea view for this section. The Undercliff Coastal Route is really picturesque and is definitely worth seeing if you have the chance!
It is a relatively easy walk at 5km, plus there are no steep sections and the trail is paved for most of the way (except for the Undercliff Coastal route). The walk should take just over an hour if you go from start to finish with no breaks, however many people like to do the walk over a few hours and stop off and relax at the beaches and ocean pools along the way.
Should you start the walk at Coogee or Maroubra?
You can start the walk from either direction, whichever is easiest for you. Both Coogee and Maroubra Beach have a nice atmosphere and lots of places to stop off for food at the end of the walk. There are also options to extend the walk and continue walking along the Malabar Headland all the way to Malabar Beach and even La Perouse, or alternatively start from Bondi or Bronte and work your way down. Below I will describe the walk from Coogee down to Maroubra.
What’s great about this walk is that it is super easy and convenient if you are coming by public transport as both beaches offer direct buses to and from Circular Quay, meaning you don’t have to go back on yourself.
How to get to Coogee:
Take the 373 or 374 bus from Circular Quay – they usually run every 15 minutes. These bus routes will take you to Coogee Beach and should take around 40 minutes. The X73 is the express bus and will get you to Coogee Beach even quicker but it runs less frequently. Click on each of the bus numbers to see their respective timetables.
How to get to Maroubra:
From Central Station take the 395 bus to Maroubra Beach. Buses run roughly every half hour and should take around 35 minutes.
If you are coming by car then you’ll probably start the walk from one end and then get the bus back to your car once you’ve finished. You can get free parking at both Coogee and Maroubra but you’ll need to get here early! You can find free parking just behind the beach at Maroubra or on Dolphin Street at Coogee. Make sure you park in one of the 4P (4 hour) free parking spots and not the 2P ones as this will mean you’ll have to do the walk quite rushed.
Coogee Beach is one of the Eastern Suburb’s most popular beaches. The large crescent shaped sandy beach has amenities such as toilets, showers, changing rooms and free lockers. There are also plenty of places by the Pavilion and off Arden Street to sit down and have some food before you start the walk. Coogee Pavilion is always a popular place and has three floors, a lovely outdoor seating area and terrace, as well as delicious Mediterranean food.
Start the Coogee to Maroubra walk by walking to the southern end of Coogee Beach. You’ll need to get onto the path and then from here you’ll reach the small but picturesque Russel Jones Memorial Pool.
Russel Jones Memorial Pool
The Russel Jones Memorial Pool lies at the southern end of Coogee Beach by the Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club. Despite being at one of Sydney’s busiest beaches, this pool has always been relatively quiet whenever I have walked past, so it makes the perfect place to get away from the crowds at Coogee Beach!
Head up the steps and into Grant Reserve – a lovely grassy area with picnic tables, toilets, a water refill station and a playground. You’ll come across two more beautiful ocean pools here – McIver’s Baths and Wylie’s Baths. In contrast to almost all of Sydney’s ocean pools, these two pools both require an entrance fee to be paid and can only be accessed through a gate during opening hours. This is in comparison to Sydney’s other ocean pools that can be accessed at any time of the day.
McIver’s Baths is the first pool you’ll come across. This ocean pool is for ladies and children only – in fact it is the last remaining ladies and children’s only bath in the whole of the southern hemisphere! It is also sometimes known as Coogee Women’s Pool or the Ladies Baths. Entry to the baths is $2 and currently they are operating at reduced hours from 8am to 4.30pm. Do check on the official website for the most up-to-date information. The baths are not visible from the path – you’ll just see a gate and path on your left hand side that you’ll need to go down, before heading down the stairs to the pool.
The baths are truly stunning, perched on the edge of a rock platform and cliff face and offer fantastic views out towards the ocean. They are Heritage Listed, being built in the late 1870’s, and are very well shielded from onlookers – something that was very important back in the day.
A couple of hundred metres past McIver’s Baths is Wylie’s Baths. Wylies Baths is one of Sydney’s oldest, largest and most spectacular ocean pools. They were built in 1907 by Henry Wylie – father of Australia’s first female Olympic swimmer Mina Wylie. Like McIver’s Baths, Wylie’s Baths are Heritage Listed and are noted for holding the first Australian Swimming Championships. It was also one of the first swimming baths in Australia for mixed gender swimming. It is a tidal swimming pool and the ocean waves are continuously splashing over the sides. Plus you can even get massages here!
The gates to Wylie’s Baths are only open from 7am to 5pm April to September and from 7am to 7pm October til April. There is no way you can gain access to the pool after hours. It is also one of the only ocean pools where you need to pay an entrance fee to enter. Currently only season pass holders or those with a Multi-Visit Ticket ($55 for 10 visits) or Fitness Passport can enter. Casual day passes ($5.50) can no longer be administered due to the current global situation although hopefully that will be lifted in the near future.
Fear not if you can’t get in to Wylie’s Baths as you can get a fabulous view of them as well as Coogee Beach as you walk around Grant Reserve and onto Trenerry Reserve. Come off the path a little onto the rocks on the left hand side. From here you can see just how big the pool is and you can get some lovely pictures of the pool. You can also see Wedding Cake Island from here (not to be confused with Wedding Cake Rock in the Royal National Park!). The island is named so because apparently the breaking waves on the rock look like icing on a cake.
As you walk around Trenerry Reserve it will turn into a bit of a wetlands swamp known as the South Coogee Wetlands. You’ll walk on the boardwalk and on the rocks a little, so be careful if it has been raining. I managed to see some beautiful birds when I was here so look out for them whilst you are here! You’ll get some really incredible ocean views from here and you’ll be able to see stunning views of the cliffs and headland in the distance.
Continue along the Coogee to Maroubra path for half a kilometre or so, then you’ll see a tiny circular ocean pool below you called Ivor Rowe Rock Pool.
Ivor Rowe Rock Pool
Almost at the halfway point in the walk you’ll come to the Ivor Rowe Rock Pool: a stunning rock pool accessed by stairs. The rock pool is really shallow and quite small so you can’t really swim in it but it makes for some fantastic pictures! If you do plan to go down to the rock platform be careful as sometimes the waves can be quite powerful!
The next part of the route can be a little bit tricky to find. Head back up the stairs from the pool and keep the pool on your left hand side. Looking ahead you’ll see some steps in an alleyway inbetween the last two houses at the end of the street here. Head up these steps. This will lead you up Cuzso Street – from here you go uphill and then turn left on Malabar Road. This is the only bit of street walking you’ll need to do throughout the walk. However depending on whether the tide if high or low, you can be walking on the streets for only 800 metres or for 1.8km. You’ll see green and blue signs pointing you in the correction direction to the coastal walk towards Maroubra.
If you know the tide is low follow the next part of the route. If the tide is high, you’ll need to skip it and continue walking down Malabar Road and along residential roads for part of the route. Obviously the low tide coastal walk is a lot more scenic. If you aren’t sure of the tide timings you can always follow the route below, then you can see if the tide is too high before you get onto the rock platform.
Undercliff Coastal Walk (Low Tide Trail)
From Malabar Road take the second left onto Liguria Street. Head all the way down to the bottom. You will think you’re going on someone’s drive at the end but you’ll see some steps – head down these. Once you’re at the bottom of the steps you’ll find yourself at the end of Seaside Parade. Turn right here, then look for houses 35 and 37. Between them you’ll see an unmarked passageway – head down here and go down the steps. This is the Eastern Beaches Undercliff Coastal walk and is a lovely secret part of Sydney even not many locals know about!
Come here at low tide and you can easily walk across the rocks in 10 minutes. You’ll see lots of little rock pools with water in so be careful where you step!
The rocks here are so unusual and fascinating – I found it so hard to believe I was really in Sydney!
There is even a small ocean pool (Rob Walker Ocean Pool) and some caves you can sit in. Definitely one of my favourite parts of the walk!
If you come at high tide and it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to walk across the rock platform, head back up Liguria Street and continue along Malabar Road until you get to Torrington Road. Take a left again when you reach Inman Street, follow it to the end and then turn right onto Marine Parade, where you will join onto the end of the Undercliff Coastal Walk.
Follow Marine Parade all the way round to Mistral Point. This is another great lookout point with interesting rock formations that offers unobstructed and expansive views of the headland. From here you can see Maroubra Beach and you can look across to Malabar Headland and the Undercliff Coastal Walk.
Head down from the rock platform on Mistral Point to the Jack Vanny Reserve and you’ll see the picturesque Mahon Pool down on your left.
There are toilets and changing rooms here if you need. From here you’re just a few hundred metres to Maroubra Beach – just follow the path round to the beach!
Maroubra Beach offers a really nice relaxed vibe and as the beach is really long it never feels too busy. Just off the beach on Marine Parade you’ll find several restaurants. McKeon Street also offers a variety of cafes, smoothie bars and restaurants.
Feel free to head to the restaurants, the beach, get a bus back into town or continue walking along the scenic Malabar Headland to Malabar Beach.
Where to get food on the Coogee to Maroubra walk:
There aren’t really any places along the walk where you can stop to buy food or drinks, so my suggestion would be to stock up at the beginning, whether that is at Coogee or Maroubra. Bring snacks if you fancy a picnic along the way, or stop off at one of the many coffee shops or restaurants at the beginning or end of the walk.
Where to find toilets on the Coogee Beach to Maroubra Beach walk:
- Coogee Beach
- Grant Reserve (by McIvers Baths)
- Jack Vanny Reserve (by Mahon Pool)
- Maroubra Beach.
If you are looking for inspiration for other Sydney coastal walks, check out my selection of Sydney Coastal Walks here!
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