Bondi without the glitz and the posers, Coogee (locals pronounce the double o as in the word ‘took’) has a deep sweep of sand, historic ocean baths and plenty of green space for barbecues and frisbee hurling. Between the World Wars, Coogee had an English-style pier, with a 1400-seat theatre and a 600-seat ballroom…until the surf took it.
Offshore, compromising the surf here a little, is craggy Wedding Cake Island, immortalised in a surf-guitar instrumental by Midnight Oil. At Coogee Beach’s northern end, below Dolphin Point, Giles Baths is what’s known as a ‘bogey hole’ – a semiformal rock pool open to the surging surf. At the beach’s southern end, Ross Jones Memorial Pool has sandcastle-like concrete turrets.