The Maroubra to La Perouse walk is sprinkled with beautiful beaches, cliffs and National Parks, and provides endless stunning ocean views. It is also one of the best places in Sydney to go whale watching. Plus it certainly makes a quieter alternative to other coastal walks along the Eastern Suburbs such as the Bondi to Bronte walk or the Hermitage Foreshore Walk.
There are plenty spots along the way to relax and enjoy the views, and whilst at 13.5km it is quite a long walk, it is flat pretty much all the way so isn’t too strenuous. Plus there are shortcuts you can take if you don’t fancy walking as much ;). Both the start and the end of the walk are easy to get to but note there are three golf courses to navigate your way across on this walk, so it definitely helps if you know what to expect before you set out! Here is all the information you need for the Maroubra to La Perouse walk!
Before we start however, there is one thing you must be aware of. On certain days part of the trail is closed! Read below for more information.
MUST KNOW INFORMATION FOR THE MAROUBRA TO LA PEROUSE WALK:
Make Sure The Malabar Headland Is Open On The Day You Want To Visit!
Be advised that on most Saturdays the eastern section of the Malabar Headland (that stretches from Maroubra Beach to Malabar Beach) is closed, as well as on the first and third Sundays of the month usually. This is because the ANZAC Rifle Practice Range in close proximity to the coastal walk and it is often in use during these times. Therefore you won’t be able to walk the Boora Point Walking Track, which is the name for the coastal walk around the headland.
Therefore check before you arrive whether the path will be open or not, or just avoid coming during these times! I had to come back the following day to complete this part of the walk which was rather annoying! If you do come when rifle practice is going on, the gate will be closed and you cannot enter. The metal gate is really high and completely encloses the area so it would be pretty impossible to get across, but it is important to reiterate that it is in the interests of your safety that you do not attempt to enter. There will also be a warning sign at the entrance and you will see red flags flying.
The western side of Malabar Headland is always open though, so whilst you won’t be able to walk around the headland you can still get from one beach to the other. This is known as the Western Escarpment Walking Track and is also the shortcut from Maroubra Beach to Malabar Beach!
Western Escarpment Walking Track (Shortcut)
If you can’t come back when the headland is open and you still want to complete the walk then there is a shortcut you can take. Instead of walking on the coastal path around Malabar Headland National Park you can cut though to Malabar Beach on the Western Escarpment Walking Track (also known as the Western Section Track). It involves some street walking but there are still nice views and it is a lot quicker! This walk is only 1km as opposed to the 3km to walk around the headland so it should only take 20 minutes as opposed to the hour it takes to do the coastal walk around the headland.
To get to the Western Escarpment Walking Track:
At the southern end of Maroubra Beach not far past South Maroubra SLSC you’ll find the purpose-built walkway. The walkway goes through heath and a field but if you look back towards the beach you’ll see stunning coastal views. Carry on walking and you’ll end up on Franklin Street. Here turn right, then at the roundabout turn left onto Dacre Street. Toilets are here at the roundabout if you need to go, and you’ll also find some at the South Maroubra SLSC. You can see the shortcut route on the map below (the main route is in blue, the shortcut route is in black).
Do note on ‘total fire ban’ days, all tracks through Malabar Headland National Park are closed.
How to get to Maroubra Beach:
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 Maroubra and La Perouse: there are spots just behind the beach at Maroubra or at the southern end of Anzac Parade in La Perouse. Make sure you double check any signs for restrictions on parking.
How to get to La Perouse:
At 1km long, Maroubra Beach is really spacious and so never feels too busy. If you want to stop off for some food before you start the walk you’ll find several restaurants just off the beach on Marine Parade. McKeon Street also offers a variety of cafes, smoothie bars and food joints.
You may also want to spend some time enjoying the beach or Mahon Pool before you start the walk. Mahon Pool is the ocean pool located just north of Maroubra Beach on Jack Vanny Reserve.
Towards the southern end of Maroubra Beach you’ll see some coastal dunes. Do not go in these dunes – you will see signs saying red-bellied black snakes have been seen in this area. Red-bellied back snakes live in coastal dunes and swamps and can grow to over 2 metres long. As their name suggests, they have red bellies. Their sides are also red and the rest of their body is black. Please keep on the beach as these snakes are active during daylight hours mostly. I don’t know abut you but when I see signs like this it really makes me nervous!
Head towards the southern end of Maroubra Beach to Malabar Headland where you’ll begin the walk. The Malabar Headland takes you from Maroubra Beach to Malabar Beach via a 3km coastal walk that should take 1 hour maximum to complete. Make sure you have adequate footwear if it has rained recently, as even though this walk is mostly over metal boardwalk some bits can be muddy, even a few days after rainfall. Make sure to stick to the paths as venomous snakes are also in this National Park.
The path turns sandy before you reach Magic Point (a grey nurse shark habitat) and you’ll get a really nice view from here. Remember to bring your binoculars and look out for humpback whales if you are here around June or July! Towards the end of the headland walk after Boora Point you can see Malabar Beach but then the path does go inland after the first few metres so the view is obstructed. Once you’re out of the National Park you’ll walk along Fishermans Road for a few hundred metres – you can turn left off it and head onto Malabar Beach.
Malabar Beach and Rock Pool
Malabar Beach is a lovely beach to spend some time on before you continue the walk. There are lots of amenities here including a water refill station, toilets, picnic tables, BBQ stations and a playground by the beach for you to enjoy.
Malabar Rock Pool is about 400 metres to the right of Malabar Beach via Bay Parade. The rock pool is really beautiful and as it is not right next to the beach it is usually not too busy which is great! Walking along Bay Parade to the rock pool, look back and you’ll be rewarded with nice views across to the beach. There is also a sign saying that snakes have been spotted in this area so don’t go walking on the thick grassy parts: make sure you stick to the paths!
Randwick Golf Club
Just by Malabar Rock Pool the walk continues via Randwick Golf Club – you’ll see the path on the left up by the grass. This isn’t actually an official walk so please keep to the path so as not to annoy the golfers or get hit by a golf ball.
There are actually three golf courses on this walk that you will need to navigate through. Only the last one has an official path through it. Randwick Council have proposed a constructed Coastal Track along the other two, but at the time of writing nothing has been agreed. Having to walk through the middle of a golf course on a coastal walk kind of spoilt the walk for me as I was constantly on edge I would get knocked out by a golf ball! I was there on a sunny Saturday afternoon too which was probably the absolute worst time to be there as the golf course was packed. So you’re best to visit when it’s mid-week, or when the weather isn’t too fabulous (shame right?!).
Some golfers may get annoyed by you walking on the golf course so just stick to the dirt path and don’t dawdle. You will need to follow the footpath all the way along the coast around the golf course for about a kilometre. You’ll be walking by the cliff edge so will have nice views but still keep an eye out for golfers.
If you don’t fancy walking this way you can walk inland through the estate. The views are non-existent but at least you can walk in peace. The inland route starts on Howe Street opposite the Malabar Rock Pool. You then turn left onto Prince Edward Street. Follow this around to your left to Bilga Crescent and you’ll then see a path that will take you to Little Bay Beach.
Little Bay Beach
Once you’ve managed to safely make it through the golf course head down to Little Bay Beach on your left. This is a cute sandy cove and the water is really lovely and clear here. There are showers and toilets if you need to freshen up, and Randwick Council provide free wifi here on the beach if you need it! From Little Bay head up to your right by the chapel and beach cafe, and around the second golf course to continue the walk.
The Coast Golf Club
The second golf club is called The Coast Golf Club and I think this one is my least favourite as the path wasn’t always so easy to follow here. You’ll probably want to use an offline map to help you – personally I always use maps.me. Keep to the road that goes through the golf club – again look out for golfers and exit the road safety when it ends and make your way on to the Cemetery Fire Trail. There are a few different small turnings you can take if you don’t manage to get on this Fire Trail but most of them lead the same way. Keep to the coast where possible, but if you do get on to Cape Banks Road turn left, then left again when you see the rescue helicopter base.
Continue along the path and you’ll see a WWII artillery placement. Follow the path towards the coast and you’ll reach Cape Banks.
The walk then continues through Kamay Botany Bay National Park (often just called Botany Bay National Park) towards La Perouse. Botany Bay National Park is split into two and this is the northern headland of the National Park. The rest of the National Park is on the southern headland at Cape Solander, between Kurnell and Cronulla. Both spots are a really good place for whale watching during the winter months! Note that as it is a National Park dogs are not allowed.
Walk across the bridge to the end of Cape Banks – this is where lots of people like to sit on the rocks, have a picnic and look out for whales. Download the app wildaboutwhales to see the best tips to spot whales and when they were last sighted.
When you’re ready, head back over the bridge, continue the walk to the left and you’ll then reach the third and final golf course: the New South Wales Golf Club. There is a new stone footpath that has just been constructed here to the side of the golf course so you don’t need to worry about golfers here. Everything is signposted quite well from now on so you should have no trouble finding your way to La Perouse from here. The walk is also mostly flat which is great, although do watch out for puddles or slippy rocks if it has rained lately.
Carry on along the path and you’ll come to Henry Head. Here you’ll see WWII bunkers and the Henry Head Lighthouse. There are lots of rocks to sit on if you wish to relax here for a bit and enjoy the view.
Continuing along to La Perouse from Henry Head on the Henry Head Fire Trail, parts of the path lead on to boardwalk for a bit but the majority of it is on the dirt path and on the sandy Fire Trail. You’ll then start walking slightly inland in the bush so it will provide you with some much needed shade if it is a sunny day. The inland path means so you won’t have ocean views but there are a couple of openings in the bushes where you can get a glimpse of Congwong Beach and Bare Island. You’ll also see (and hear!) several lizards scurrying around!
At the end of the path turn left and then after about 200 metres you’ll reach the beautiful Congwong Beach.
Congwong Beach is a lovely sandy beach that offers nice views across to Bare Island and Kurnell. Relax here for a bit, then if you fancy a small detour head to Little Congwong Beach – you’ll see the sign on the left.
Little Congwong Beach
The path up from Congwong Beach leads you onto the end of Anzac Parade in La Perouse. Incase you hadn’t realised La Perouse is French, you’ll certainly realise when you see the French flag by the bus stop! The area was named after the French explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup Com de La Perouse who landed here in 1788. There is a sign by the bus stop explaining more.
La Perouse is located on the northern part of Botany Bay, and you can see across to the white sandy beaches of Brighton Le Sands and Lady Robinsons Beach on the other side of the bay. You can also see across to Kurnell – where Captain Cook landed. You’ll also see the rather un-aesthetically pleasing cranes at Port Botany.
There is a great atmosphere in La Perouse and despite it being quite small you can easily spend a few hours here once you’ve finished the walk. That’s if you still have the energy! There are many things to do here, for example visiting Bare Island or La Perouse Museum, seeing the Snake Man, going diving or relaxing on Frenchmans Beach. There are also some pretty good places here for food (my favourite being The Boatshed)! Read this guide for more information on things to do in La Perouse. It also details the walk from La Perouse to Malabar incase you decide to walk that way round instead!
Where to get food on the Maroubra to La Perouse Coastal Walk
- There are plenty food options at Maroubra Beach
- Beach Cafe by Little Bay Beach
- The Club House at The Coast Golf Club
- Several restaurants at La Perouse
Toilets on the Maroubra to La Perouse Coastal Walk
- Maroubra Beach
- Junction of Franklin & Dacre Street (if walking the Western Section Track shortcut)
- Malabar Beach
- Little Bay Beach
- Next to the entrance to the track to Congwong Beach on Anzac Parade
- Behind La Perouse Beach (Frenchmans Beach)
What to bring on the Maroubra to La Perouse Coastal Walk
- sunhat and suncream as there isn’t much shade along the trail
- trainers or walking shoes ESPECIALLY if it has rained lately
- binoculars if you are here in June or July so you can spot humpback whales
- water bottle
- jacket incase it gets windy on the headland or by Cape Banks.
If you are looking for other walks to do along Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, why not follow the coastline up and try:
Coogee to Maroubra walk,
Bondi to Coogee Walk
Bondi to Watsons Bay walk
Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walk.