A Guide to Photographing the Bondi to Coogee Walk

25 August 2019

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve strolled the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk: It never gets old. The iconic trail starts at Bondi Beach, the most famous stretch of sand in the country, and weaves its way through stunning coves, bays, lookouts, rock pools and parks before ending up at Coogee Beach. Next time you go, bring your digital camera and follow our guide to capturing the coastal walk.

Tips to know before you go

1. Wear proper shoes

The path is mostly paved, but it can get rugged in some places and there are a few sets of stairs - so you’ll want to wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. Although the walk is suitable for most ages and fitness levels, make sure you stick to your limits. At 6km long, the coastal walk can take up to 3 hours at a leisurely pace. If that’s a little too much for you, the shorter version covering Bondi to Bronte is 2.5km and is just as scenic. 

2. Stay hydrated!  

While there’s usually a lovely breeze coming off the water, it can get hot - especially if you’re walking in the middle of the day. Bring a water bottle with you, and refill it at the drinking fountains you’ll find at every beach along the track.

3. Dress for the weather

Sneakers aside, it’s a good idea to wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. In winter, rug up with a windbreaker and layers that you can peel off if you get too warm.

Historical sites on the Bondi to Coogee walk

The Bondi to Coogee walk isn’t just a great way to get fit while practicing your photography skills - the coastal paths are dotted with some fascinating points of cultural interest, too. You might be curious about these sites - both from a photographic and sentimental standpoint:

Shine to the Virgin Mary

Back in 2002, a Coogee local claimed she saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary on the fence near Dolphin’s Point. It happened again the next day at the same time, so she snapped a photo and sent it to a newspaper. That newspaper piece is still pinned to the site, which is incredibly picturesque and overlooks the ocean.

Bali Bombings Memorial 

Also located in Coogee, this memorial pays tribute to the tragic Bali Bombings of 2002. It’s marked by a beautiful bronze statue, which weighs nearly a tonne and symbolises family, friends and community. 

Waverley Cemetery

Perched on the clifftop between Clovelly and Bronte Beach, this heritage-listed ceremony is the final resting place of many interesting and famous people, including the famous poet Henry Lawson, and Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton.

The most photogenic spots on the Bondi to Coogee walk

While the entire Bondi to Coogee walk is breathtakingly scenic, there are a few key spots you won’t want to miss photographing. From beautiful ocean pools to secret beaches, here are some of the places bound to give you a stunning shot:

Bondi Icebergs

One of the most iconic - and most Instagrammable - spots in Sydney, the smooth, clear waters of the Icebergs pool provide the perfect contrast to the shifting, crashing ocean waves below. The challenge is finding a fresh way to capture it!

Tamarama Beach

Known affectionately as ‘Glamarama,’ this beach is small but very beautiful. The colourful Surf Life Saving Club looks over the beach in a very photogenic way, and you’ll definitely want to spend a few minutes framing the area where the ocean meets the shore. 

Mackenzie’s Bay

Most of the time, the small bay between Bondi and Tamarama Beach is nothing but rocks. But every few years, the bay magically becomes a beach overnight. It’s a true mystery why, but if you’re lucky enough to be there when it happens, make sure you photograph it!

Clovelly Beach

Clovelly is a pretty, narrow beach that’s popular with sunbakers and snorkelers alike. The area is also home to the picturesque Clovelly Lawn Bowls Club, and the contrast between the landscaped green lawns of the club, and the swirling blue of the Pacific Ocean below, is perfect for filming drone footage.

Gordon’s Bay

Since it has no sand, Gordon’s Bay is a little less crowded than some of the other beaches you’ll encounter on your walk - but no less photogenic. This is a great spot to hone your skills and take some clear, crisp coastal shots. The bay is also a snorkelling hotspot - so keep an eye out for reefs, snapper and starfish.

Coogee Beach

You made it! The walk wraps up at Coogee, a big, bustling beach with a wide shoreline - and plenty of grassy knolls to flop down on after your photographic adventure. Coogee is a lively place, making it perfect for capturing the sunny, vibrant atmosphere that Australian beaches are known for.

Sculpture by the Sea (24 October-10 November 2019)

If you’re planning to do the walk between these dates (and we highly recommend that you do!), you’ll get to see the country’s largest outdoor art exhibition: Sculpture by the Sea. Held annually, the event turns the path between Bondi and Tamarama into a scenic art gallery, with over 100 sculptures by local and international artists - just remember that it’ll be busy, so visiting earlier in the morning is better!

Our top photography tips for the Bondi to Coogee walk

Now that you know how to prepare and the best spots to look for, here are some other tips that may come in handy on your coastal walk:

Always keep your eyes open

We’ve listed some of the most popular spots along the walk, but there is so much more to see. If possible, do the walk on a weekday morning so you can avoid the throngs of tourists and have the chance to survey the coast while it’s quiet. You may be privy to birds-eye views and vivid landscapes you might not otherwise have noticed.

Pack spare batteries and cards

As a photographer, you may spend hours on the path - and we wouldn’t blame you! You don’t want to run out of juice or memory space halfway through the walk, so pack a few spares.

Store your gear in a protective bag

Sand can damage your camera gear, something that’s typically not covered by a warranty. If you’re not using a rugged, waterproof camera, store it safely in a weather-sealed bag between shots. 

Use a circular polariser

This handy polarising filter will stop too much light flooding your camera and ruining your photos - plus it’ll help get rid of unwanted reflections. The result? Bluer skies, greener leaves, and a lot less glare coming off the water. You can adjust your circular polariser to produce the desired effect, so we recommend playing around with it before you set off on the walk.

Snap your favourite moments on the coastal walk

It’s hard to take a bad photo between Bondi and Coogee - Mother Nature has made your job easier by doing her best work on this amazing coastal walk. But to ensure your pictures stand out from the crowd, think about investing in high-quality camera gear. Pop into your local Ted’s Cameras store and our team will be happy to help you out!

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