Image credit © Dave Bennell
Coogee Beach break
Snezana Belevska-Bennell explores the family-friendly appeal of Sydney’s cherished Coogee beach.
Coogee Beach is the epitome of quintessential Australian seaside lifestyle. With sweeping stretches of golden sands, picturesque coastal walks, verdant parks and a protected marine reserve for snorkelling and scuba diving, it’s the perfect place to kick back and relax.
Close to Sydney’s CBD and only a 20-minute drive from Sydney Airport, Coogee Beach has long been a favourite of locals and visitors alike. It is one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs, made famous by its elegant historic buildings and ocean bath pools.
The beach has relatively calm waters due to its protected location, and the smaller surf makes it safe and suitable for children to play and swim in. The expansive coastal promenade has lots of lawns and trees perfect for family get-togethers; there are also wonderful trails along the waterfront where the kids can enjoy bike rides.
With superb beaches, a fascinating history, family-friendly restaurants and a host of water-sports activities to enjoy, Coogee Beach is an ideal spot for a family trip.
“The expansive coastal promenade has lots of lawns and trees perfect for family get-togethers; there are also wonderful trails along the waterfront where the kids can enjoy bike rides.”
Where to stay
Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach
Overlooking the beachfront of Coogee, the stylish, 4-star Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel boasts spectacular ocean views, with parks, pools and cafes at your doorstep. It’s an ideal hotel for a family stay.
The hotel houses 209 rooms, which include:
• Pool View Rooms Enjoy the ocean breeze from your private balcony with poolside views.
• Ocean View Rooms A sweeping ocean vista overlooking the landmark Wedding Cake Island and horizon, each room with private balcony.
• Village View Rooms Take in the laidback atmosphere with views of the Coogee Beach village.
• Suites: Presidential Suite and Reef Suite The ultimate beachside accommodation with spacious separate living areas, private balcony, and magnificent panoramic views of the coast from every angle.
The hotel also offers a selection of fabulous dining options including:
• Bluesalt Restaurant Buffet breakfasts overlooking Coogee Beach are sure to be a hit with the kids. The Bluesalt transforms into an à la carte grill restaurant by evening.
• Bluesalt Bar The perfect place to meet friends over a light meal, coffee, glass of wine or cocktail.
• Oceans Dining & Drinks Specialising in generous tasting plates to share, wood-fired pizzas, cocktails, live music on weekends, all with a chic vibe.
• Body & Soul in-room dining Developed by leading nutritionists, these delicious, gourmet and chef-prepared meals are delivered straight to your room.
There’s also a host of amenities for parents and kids to enjoy, including an oceanfront pool, outdoor terraces, tennis courts, a 24-hour gym, on-demand movies and a friendly concierge service.
Things to do in Coogee
There are many things to see and do in Coogee Beach. Whether you want to go stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling, shopping in the village or simply swim and relax by the sea, there’s an activity for every member of the family.
For the best views
Stroll the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach. It’s a breathtaking six-kilometre walk, where you can discover the stunning beaches of the Eastern Suburbs, including the iconic Tamarama and Bronte beaches, rock pools and pretty parks along the way.
Enjoy a picnic or barbecue with family and friends
Grant Reserve in Coogee Beach has lush lawns that are ideal for a picnic, plus there’s a large children’s playground to keep the little ones entertained. There are several public grills dotted along the coastal promenade for you to cook your own barbecue on.
Take a sea bath
Mums and kids can take a dip within the privacy of McIver’s Ladies Baths. This elegant, traditional bathing establishment dates to the late 1800s, and caters only for women and children. Just up from McIver’s Baths are Wylie’s Baths and a visit to Coogee wouldn’t be complete without a swim here. This saltwater tidal pool was established in 1907 and has spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, and out to famous Wedding Cake Island. Enjoy a few laps, soak up the sun on the terrace or participate in a Tai Chi, yoga or Pilates class overlooking the water.
Dining in Coogee
For delicious French treats…
Le Petit Café is tucked away on Dudley Street, and serves everything from mouth-watering croissants to crepes and cheese fondues. It’s a great place for breakfast or lunch, and has a loyal customer base of locals as well as tourists.
For family fun…
Coogee Pavilion is a fabulous spot that offers fuss-free family dining right by the beach. There’s a large kids’ play area with ping pong tables, pétanque, board games and even a movie theatrette.
For fish and chips…
A day well spent at the beach is not complete without a generous helping of fish and chips. Luckily, Coogee contains an abundance of fish and chip shops such as Dolphin Fish Shop, Chish and Fips, and JP McCaffrey’s. There’s also the marvellous A Fish Called Coogee, where you can choose your fish and have it grilled by the chef right before your eyes.
For beachside Brazilian…
Churrasco Coogee serves delicious freshly prepared Brazilian cuisine, and offers special family nights on Mondays. If you like your meat slowly roasted on long skewers over a fire pit, you will adore this place.
Snezana Belevska-Bennell and her husband David run Big Kiss Creative and have been producing videos and destinational content for the travel and media industries for over a decade. Their business enables them to travel for work and leisure with their boys Luka and Saachi.