Weekend in Coogee Beach

I’m dismayed to report that we are back from our three-week Australia trip, but I’m going to try to hang on to the Aussie spirit for as long as possible with several upcoming blog posts starting with this one about our weekend in Coogee Beach.

The gorgeous Coogee coastline

The gorgeous Coogee coastline

Coogee holds an especially important place in my heart because it’s where I lived when I studied abroad at UNSW several many years ago. Historically a quiet beach suburb in Eastern Sydney, Coogee has transformed into a lively neighborhood full of locals and travelers alike.

In front of my old house

In front of my old house

The main strip, Coogee Bay Road, is full of cafes and shops, and the local beach is fantastic. Below are my top Coogee recommendations:

Where to stay: accommodations in Coogee aren’t terribly cheap, but we felt like our money was very well spent at Dive Hotel. The location next to the CBH and across the street from the beach can’t be beat, the owners and other guests were incredibly nice, and they have really cute dogs – Lucas and Ruby! If you get doggie withdrawal when you go on vacation, this place will be perfect for you.

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Outside of Dive Hotel

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Bonding with Lucas

What to do: go to the beach, of course! Coogee is not a surfing beach, but it’s good for swimming and sunning. You should also do the beach walk north all the way to Bondi (approx 1 1/2 hours), or south to Maroubra. Either way you’ll love the gorgeous scenery. *Pro tip: the beach walk toward Maroubra is much easier for runners.*

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Panoramic view of Coogee Beach

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Beach walk toward Maroubra

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Love the concept of this beach library!

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Crowded day in Coogee

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Coogee pools

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Gordon’s Bay (north of Coogee)

Where to eat: we enjoyed meals at the following restaurants:

  • Sushigoi: popular and affordable sushi train restaurant
  • Tropicana Cafe: one of the very few wifi cafes in the area, great for brunch and people-watching
  • Chilli Box: good Thai restaurant, mostly for nostalgic reasons
  • Farinha: if you have a huge appetite, go carb-crazy at this rodizio pasta and pizza restaurant for only $35 AUS. This was sadly a trip highlight for Aaron, but I must admit that the food was indeed totally delicious.
  • Melonhead: easy takeaway spot with healthier options

Where to drink: do yourself a favor and check out both the lively Coogee Bay Hotel (CBH) and the super adorable Coogee Pavilion.

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Cheers from the CBH beer garden!

Inside Coogee Pavilion

Inside Coogee Pavilion

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Outside Coogee Pavilion

Where to caffeinate: we enjoyed several flat whites from Courtyard Cafe, Will & Co Coffee, and Gusto Espresso Bar.

Seriously, how cute is this?

Seriously, how cute is this?

There are so many cute beach neighborhoods in Sydney, but Coogee is a great stop if you want something a bit smaller than Bondi and still close to the airport.

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