Cycle Sydney, Road Ride, Watsons Bay to Central via Bondi and Coogee
As you pass out of Watsons Bay and make your way along the cliff line, you can’t help but notice the Macquarie Lighthouse on your left. This particular structure was built in 1883 and is still in operation. It replaced a previous structure designed by the famous convict architect Francis Greenway, which in turn replaced a wood and coal fired beacon erected in 1793. So in a sense, this is Australia’s oldest lighthouse.
Continuing south, you’re pretty much following the route of the City to Surf fun run held in August each year. As you make the downhill into Bondi you’ll see a large tower on the left. This pretty structure is actually a sewage ventilation tower. Inside the adjacent golf course are several aboriginal rock carvings. Once you’re through Bondi, the climbing begins. First up and around Tamarama isn’t too bad. Bronte is a good place to stop for a quick espresso (or leisurely latte), before tackling the climbs back up to Waverly Cemetery. Many famous people are buried here including the poet Henry Kendall, aviator Lawrence Hargraves and Dorothea Mackellar who penned the famous lines, ‘I love a sunburnt country.’ Riding through Clovelly a decision has to be made. Should you head all the way to Coogee or take a short cut and turn right into Clovelly Road near the top? I decided to take this ride all the way into Coogee to add an extra hill and coffee option, but seriously, climbing back out along Brook Street does take some strength. I’m not sure what the council were thinking when they allocated it as a bike corridor.
Once you’re on the top though, it’s all plain sailing. The bike path along the Busway around Centennial Park is excellent and Surry Hills still has an old world charm that not even the close proximity of the eastern distributor can allay.
There are a lot of hills on this ride and a couple of them, especially in the Coogee area are very steep. But you can avoid the worst of them by taking the early shortcut described in the text below.
Pretty constant. The roads between Watsons Bay and Bondi are quite wide but they narrow a bit after that. Riding back from Coogee is pretty good and Sydney City Council have been at great pains to make bike lanes in Surry Hills.
This ride is designed to be the second half of the Opera House to Camp Cove ). If you haven’t already done this you can get to Watsons Bay by ferry from Circular Quay. Alternatively, you can catch a train to Bondi Junction and ride there along Old South Head Rd.
Food and Drink
Both Bondi and Coogee have an enormous range of things to eat and drink. Bronte does on a smaller scale and is more of a ‘sit down and have a coffee’ type of place.
Instead of heading towards the city when you reach Coogee, you can have a go at the French Affair. This is a relatively easy route and takes in La Perouse and the areas around Botany.
21.822 km / 13.56 mi
394 m / 1,294 ft
375 m / 1,230 ft
87 m / 285 ft