Coogee happened by accident. Mardi Gras weekend in Sydney hit too soon, Base (our home) was overpriced and soon full, the city was over run with people, the overpriced beds were all taken and unless we wanted to pay for a night in a hotel, hostel world told us we were homeless. So we booked beds at Surfside Coogee beach, hopped on a bus with all of our stuff and were there in half an hour. The first noticeable factor of our hostel, after the initial pleasure of seeing it was on the beach, was that it was upstairs from McDonalds, hilarious. The second factor was the harsh smell of weed and loud music emanating from up the stairs. At first it was exciting, the adventure I’d always anticipated from hostel living, but after we realised there were no safe’s in our room and that the room actually didn’t lock at all, we realised we probably shouldn’t risk staying there.
In the morning Coogee was a different world entirely. The stretch of beach was clean and illuminated in the sunshine, the ocean a blue wistful haze. Walking along I pass a guy and his guitar, singing more to himself then to the passers by. So I grab myself a latte (soy of course!) and a vegan treat (a fig and nut vegan brownie) and sit outside, watching the steadily busying beach and the waves rolling in. With the soulful humming floating around, the scattered, muted voices of the few early beach goers and the warm zing of caffeine in my veins I’m blissed, completely bewildered by how I got there but also extremely grateful.
Later in the day we grab lunch at a place called The Courtyard on Coogee road. It’s a pretty spot with wooden picnic benches, plant pots and awesome acai bowls. It’s serene and takes you off the otherwise characterless street. The watermelon juice was heaven, the best thing on a hot beach day and the acai bowl yummy, fruity and fresh. I’ve since developed a wee acai addiction, opting for one whenever they’re on the menu.
Taking ourselves to the beach we choose the grass over the sand and head to a hilly patch with great beach views. Coogee is a lot smaller than Bondi and Manly beach but just as bustling, if not a little more welcoming in that its easier to walk around and find a good tanning spot. There aren’t great surfing waves so we missed out on that (not actually surfing ourselves, but rather watching the pros). Though watching the locals drinking and partying on the grassland before the beach was entertaining. Coogee is the only beach in Sydney where alcohol is semi legal, though only on the lawn, not actually on the sand. Seeing as it was a Saturday and Mardi Gras too, there was a lively vibe about, people drinking and dancing, smiling and laughing.
Overall it was an odd little segment of our adventure but also a pleasant one. I guess when people think of Sydney they often associate it with Bondi and that’s great. But there are so many beaches here and I think this day at Coogee made me realise what I was missing out on. I need a different beach every day!