Coogee: Good Old Fashioned Family Fun near Sydney’s CBD
A Coogee getaway rhymes with breezy seaside living but has a major advantage: you’re only 8km from the heart of Sydney. Coogee is a favoured holiday destination among families, with plenty of attractions tailored specifically to young children. Backpackers are also quite at home in Coogee, as the town harbours beautiful beaches and various bars. All the same, big partiers won’t be satisfied with Coogee’s suburban scene, so parents can be relatively sure of a good night’s sleep. Holiday accommodation options include private homes, stylish penthouses and beachfront apartments.
Swim, Bathe and Snorkel in Coogee
Naturally, the Coogee waterfront is one of the Sydney suburb’s main attractions. Coogee Beach is very family-friendly and patrolled all year long. On the south side, an ocean pool has been set up for little kids. It must be noted, Coogee Beach is not suitable for surfers, due to dangerous shore breaks.
The ocean isn’t the only place to swim in Coogee. Two sea baths overlooking the water are also within easy walking distance of the beach. Wylie’s Baths, the first mixed sex bath in Australia, consists of a rock pool below Grant Reserve. The building was listed by the National Trust and represents an important part of Sydney’s heritage. Nearby McIvers Baths offer a taste of tradition, the only women’s seawater pool remaining in Australia.
In addition to ocean swimming and leisurely bathing, visitors to Coogee can undertake some snorkelling in two spots. Gordon’s Bay is an inlet to the north of the main beach, which offers an underwater snorkel trail. The shore is popular with nude sunbathers, so parents may wish to bring the children to Clovelly Beach for some underwater exploring there instead.
Walks and Workouts in Coogee
Step out of the water and admire it from afar as you get your daily exercise. Coogee boasts several coastal walking trails with something for all fitness levels. An easy trek involves a walk from Bronte to Coogee, north along the cliff tops. Further take in the seascape on the more ambitious 6km journey from Coogee to Bondi Beach. At a good pace, expect to take up to two hours. The walk from Clovelly Beach to Maroubra covers somewhat more varied scenery. Start off at Waverly Cemetrey and head to Coogee Beach, then past it to Maroubra Beach through leafy Grant and Trenerry Reserves.
Holidays with the Kids in Coogee and Beyond
There’s more than just the beach to entertain families in Coogee. Spend some time at Grant Reserve’s large playground, which offers a lot of climbing equipment, including a rope ‘spider’ structure. Sit back with a coffee from one of the nearby joints and take in beach and water views as you watch over the kids. This playground has equipments for toddlers and older children, some BBQ units and shade provided by trees and cloth canopies. If you still have energy to spare, visit the Coogee Bowling and Tennis Club. Hit the bowling alley on a (rare) rainy day or challenge yourself to some social tennis.
Of course, Sydney’s family-friendly attractions are easily accessible by public transport. Take a bus to Darling Harbour, rife with activities for kids of all ages. Here, WILD LIFE Sydney has recreated Aussie fauna’s natural habitats, which visitors can walk through to see koalas, crocodiles and other icons. Next door, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium will introduce you to Australian marine mammals. If you’re fascinated by the glamorous world of celebrities, the Madame Tussauds Museum, also in Darling Harbour, may be more up your alley.
Everything You Need Right in Coogee
These holidays, you don’t have to leave Coogee if you don’t want to. The beachfront suburb has enough attractions to satisfy a family on a quiet break away from it all. Coogee is self-sufficient when it comes to services, with a big Woolworths and an independent grocer, a post office, a medical centre and retail shops. Over 50 restaurants preparing Australian and international dishes are located in Coogee, some of which Sydneysiders travel across the city to dine in. BBQ fans can try Currasco, considered the best BBQ in Sydney, and connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine can judge the popular Sushi Goi’s sushi train for themselves. If you do get bored of Coogee, hop on a bus to Sydney’s CBD or drive to the heart of town in under 15 minutes.