I hate running with my iPhone. Some people find it easy to pop it in a pocket or slap it to their arms and use a variety of apps to track their speed and pace and distance while cranking some tunes. I prefer to clip a tiny iPod Shuffle to my shirt and wear a Garmin Forerunner on my wrist to manage those tasks.
But sometimes I have to run with my iPhone .. because it’s a camera. When I travel and get up early to watch the city come alive, I run with my iPhone in my hand. I don’t run as well, it’s bulky and uncomfortable, but I do it.
Because look at the views.
At least, that’s what the views are supposed to look like. That picture is of Bondi Beach in the summer. I made my visit at the end of June, the depths of winter with much less sunshine and fewer bikinis.
The path from Bondi to Bronte to Coogee is called ‘the Coastal Walk,’ but I ran it. As did many others that cool winter morning we visited Sydney.
I started in Coogee, ran to the edge of Bondi, turned around and came back for a 13 kilometre run (a little longer than it usually is because I got lost on a detour through Waverley Cemetery that had a path knocked out in a heavy storm).
Even though it’s along the coast, it’s not a flat run. You climb and descend into a variety of bays along the rough eastern coast of Sydney, and it’s gorgeous.
Here’s a photo essay of the northerly run from Coogee to Bondi with some of the sights you’ll see along the way.
I started just as the sun crested the Pacific Ocean and I wasn’t the first on the boardwalk in Coogee. Boot camps, runners, and beach volleyball players were already out and getting going. Yes, beach volleyball. The temperature couldn’t have been more than 7 degrees Celsius, but there they were digging in a game before work.
Finding your way along the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk is easy. There are signs everywhere showing you which way to go, and where you are along the path.
After running up your first hill of the course to Dolphin Point, you immediately descend into the very quaint Gordons Bay. The path here is densely forested and popular with boats more than surfers or swimmers.
The stairs at the north end of Gordons Bay are your first warning that this coastal run won’t be flat. What goes up must go down, and once you go down, you’ll have to go back up on the way back.
Make a mental note as you run the Coastal Walk from Coogee to Bondi to come back to Gordons Bay with your snorkel gear. There’s an underwater trail here where you can explore the local ecology. What an absolutely wonderful way to preserve and protect an environment and educate people about it. I loved this, alas it was too cold on our stay for us to take a dip.
Clovelly Bay is long and lovely. The narrow bay has been blocked by a reef at the ocean end breaking the waves from entering the bay. A long lap pool runs along the side and the sides of the bay have been built up to allow for easy entrance into the bay.
Toss in a long, soft, sandy beach and Clovelly would be great to explore on a warm summers day. Alas, I was running in the winter, and just kept going.
Coming out of Clovelly I was greeted with this sign at Waverley Cemetery. I turned inland and ran too far past the cemetery. A strong winter storm in June 2016 had washed out part of the path.
Usually a raised pathway takes you along the water’s end of Waverley Cemetery to continue on to Bronte.
Bondi may be the big name on this run, but the beach at Bronte was gorgeous. Even on an early winter morning the bay was peppered with surfers looking for a perfect bay just alongside the reef next to the Bronte Baths.
If the Coastal Walk isn’t much to your liking, maybe you’d like to try a coastal swim? Each summer this bay is home to the 2.4k Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim.
Squeezed between Bronte and Bondi is Tamarama Beach, small but dangerous beach. The water here is deep and the current swift. If you’re going in, listen to the Tamarama Life Saving Club’s directions, there are more rescues here per capita than any other beach in Sydney.
I’ll have to admit, the turn around point of my run wasn’t as spectacular as I had anticipated. With strains of Bondi Junction whistling through my brain.
I took a quick view of the beach, reminded myself that I needed to come back in the summertime, and then turned to head back to Coogee, already dreading the Gordons Bay stairs in the way that runners hate and look forward to a challenge at the same time.