Bondi to Bronte Coastwalk
The Coast Walk
Its combination of beaches, parks and spectacular views make the Walk unique. Begun as a state project during the 1930s, it now extends from Ben Buckler Point to the southern end of Waverley Cemetery (and on to Coogee; for information call Randwick Council). It includes Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte Beaches and a medium gradient cliff-top path from Bondi to Tamarama , with occasional seating and several staircases. The beachside parks offer picnic shelters, coin-operated barbecues, play areas, kiosks, toilets and change-rooms.
Photos of the Walk
Buses 333, 380, 381 (to Bondi), 361 (to Tamarama) and 378 (to Bronte) stop near the Walk.
Bondi provides metered parking in Park Drive and paid ticket parking in Queen Elizabeth Drive, while Bronte offers some paid parking in Bronte Cutting.
Distances and Times
The total length of the Walk (Ben Buckler to Waverley Cemetery) is about 4.0 km; allow 1.5 hours walking time.
Ben Buckler to Bondi Beach: about 0.5 km; allow 10 minutes.
Bondi Promenade: 1.0 km; allow 15 minutes.
South Bondi to North Bronte: about 1.5 km; allow 45 minutes.
South Bronte to Waverley Cemetery: about 1.0 km; allow 20 minutes.
The promenades, parks and beaches at Bondi and Bronte are fully accessible. A lookout in Calga Reserve (north of Waverley Cemetery) is also accessible from the Bronte Cutting. Please note the stair locations marked on the map.
Although the parks along the way offer shade and shelter, the Walk itself is exposed to the elements. In summer, don’t forget your hat, sunscreen and some water.
Council lifeguards are on duty all year at Bondi and from September through April at Tamarama and Bronte. To check beach conditions or lifeguard duty times call 8362 3450. Always swim between the red-and-yellow flags!
The Coast Walk and Tamarama Park are the venues for Sculpture by the Sea, and Bondi Park hosts the City To Surf fun run (for information call 8362 3406), the Festival Of The Winds kite day and the South American Festival (for information call 8362 3403).
Some of the few remaining local areas of native bush are found here. Regeneration is being done by volunteers under Waverley Council guidance. For information call (02) 9386 7915, email us or visit our Bushcare pages.
Dogs may enter the Coast Walk on a lead only. They may not enter the parks, beaches or cemetery, and may use the beach promenades only after 6pm in winter and 8pm in summer. Bags are available at points along the Walk; please use them! Other dog walking areas are available.
The area once consisted of ‘long sweeps of beach and nothing behind but gums and stunted brush, with a stream meandering through fern gullies and palm groves to a blue lagoon just behind the sand.’ Land subdivision in 1852 attracted few buyers. The beach itself became highly popular, however, and a public reserve was created in 1882. ‘Sea bathing’ remained illegal until 1902, and in the 1960s Council officers armed with tape measures were still ordering women to leave the beach if their bikini sides measured under 4 inches.
Surf Life Saving Clubs
Surf Life Saving Clubs were established at at Bondi (officially the oldest in Australia), Bronte, North Bondi and Tamarama in the first decade of the 20th century. The Bondi club first used the ‘reel’, and the ‘torpedo’ float was invented at Bronte. On ‘Black Sunday’ in February 1938, 200 people were rescued at Bondi alone.
The original 1911 bathing pavilion was replaced by the existing structure in 1928, complete with Turkish baths. As demand for such facilities declined Waverley Council converted some of the space to a Community Centre providing cultural activities such as plays, concerts and workshops. For information call 8362 3400 or visit the Pavilion website.
The baths were built by Waverley Council in the late 1880s and became home to the Icebergs Club, which now manages them, in 1929. The Club’s season begins in early winter, when a tonne of ice is deposited in the pool. Non-members are welcome on a paid-entry basis. For information visit the Bondi Icebergs website.
In 1887 the valley of Fletcher’s Glen became home to the Royal Aquarium and Pleasure Grounds, with exhibits including sharks, seals and one penguin, as well as roller coasters, sword contests, tightrope walkers and roller skating rinks ‘illuminated by the electric light’. In 1906 this became Wonderland City, featuring a miniature railway along the clifftops and an ‘airship’ suspended above the beach. Wonderland closed in 1911 and in 1920 the land became Tamarama Park.
With its freshwater creek, wooded gully and abundant sealife this must once have been a little paradise, and some of that feeling survives. The area was subdivided into building lots in 1884, and the Park created in 1887. It is named not for the famous writers, but, like the adjacent bay, for Admiral Lord Nelson, who was also the Duke of Bronte.
The Baths were built by Waverley Council in 1887 to cater to the new ‘sea bathing’ fad, with Sundays and public holidays reserved for men. The rules have changed but the original structure remains largely intact.
Evidence of coastal occupation by Aboriginals includes rock carvings like the shark or whale next to the path south of Mackenzies Point (whales migrate regularly along this coast). Other carvings can be found at Ray O’Keefe Reserve and Williams Park (Bondi Beach Golf Course) at North Bondi.
The Intertidal Protected Area and the Aquatic Reserve
The Intertidal Protected Area extends between mean high water level and 10 metres beyond mean low water level , from South Bondi to North Tamarama. The Aquatic Reserve extends 100 metres beyond mean low water level, from South Bronte to North Coogee. In both areas NSW Fisheries has banned the collection of invertebrates (crabs, snails, cockles, octopus, etc). Line fishing remains permissible in both areas. Call NSW Fisheries to report illegal collecting or for more information.
One of the world’s more scenic operational cemeteries. The first interment took place in 1877, and graves of famous Australians such as Henry Lawson can be found here. For information on tours or gravesites call (02) 9665 4938, email us or visit Waverley Cemetery online.
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