Sydney: Bondi to Coogee
These eastern beaches are connected by the scenic Cliff Walk. Sweeping ocean views make unforgettable dining experiences, while surfing, swimming, and finely tuned Aussie bodies have their own appeal.
SEE Clifftop Walk from Bondi to Coogee
Enter from Notts Ave., at Bondi
A five-mile trek connects the two crescent-shaped beaches, passing glitzy Tamarama, Bronte, and Clovelly beaches along the way. Million-dollar homes teeter above the sea, and fitness freaks pound the walk on weekends, despite the crowds.
62 Carr St., 011-61-2/9665-5546, barzura.com.au
The promise of sun-filled lunches on the terrace of this busy diner attracts swimmers and family groups to the best eating spot in Coogee. Plunk yourself down and enjoy a burger with beet relish-even if you're in a swimsuit.
EAT Sean's Panaroma
270 Campbell Parade, 011-61-2/9365-4924
Great for lazy weekend lunches and end-of-week (Wed.-Sat.) dinners among moneyed Bondi types and foodies. In the humble setting-12 tables, no-frills decor-chef Sean Moran turns out treats such as guinea fowl stuffed with chestnuts and white-chocolate-and-rosemary nougat.
SPLURGE Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
1 Notts Ave., 011-61-2/9365-9000, idrb.com
A phenomenal dining experience at the southernmost point of Bondi Beach. Sweeping ocean vistas through floor-to-ceiling windows, and an equally impressive Mediterranean menu, with standouts like Livorno fish stew and salt-crusted rib-eye steak. About $115 per person for a three-course dinner with wine.
EAT Beach Road Hotel
71 Beach Rd., Bondi, 011-61-2/9130-7247
A surfer hangout just blocks from the beach. Pool tables, big-screen TVs, and a sports betting agency keep everyone happy.
118 Campbell Parade, 011-61-2/9365-4422, ravesis.com.au
The glass walls of this trendy hotel bar provide a view of the showy promenade, creating an ideal spot to see and be seen.
90 Gould St., 011-61-2/9365-5371, tuchuzy.com
Pronounced "too choosy," the boutique stocks relaxed, beach-babe outfits, from flirty skirts to bikinis (Hallican Boodie's '70s-era versions). Visiting stars such as Claire Danes and Lara Flynn Boyle have shopped here; Vin Diesel dropped by its menswear store next door.
PLAY Clovelly Beach
Take a 339 bus from the city, on Castlereagh St. near Martin Place, or walk south from Bondi, about three miles A snorkeling and diving heaven. In the summer months (Dec.-Mar.) tropical currents meet temperate water, providing an atypical mix of diverse species of marine life. Look for giant blue groper, wobbegong sharks, angelfish, and whales. Deep 6 Diving organizes expeditions with dive gear, snorkels, and fins (351-355 Clovelly Rd., 011-61-2/9665-7427, deep6diving.com.au, $250 for one-day open water training and certification).
PLAY Coogee's Rock Pools
These swimming holes were carved out of sandstone, with a little human help. The women-only McIvers Baths is run by the Randwick-Coogee Ladies Swimming Club (15¢, free swimming lessons on Sat.); Wylie's Baths has lap lanes, $3.
PLAY Let's Go Surfing
Runs beginner classes at Bondi for groups of six or fewer. Learn surf safety and basic skills before being let loose. A two-hour lesson costs $49.
Lost in Translation
In "strine," Australia's colorful slang, words are shortened and phrases smushed together. For more, especially of the naughty sort, try koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html.