Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia – September 2015
We stayed in the Coogee Beach area of Sydney on the last part of our Australia and New Zealand summer vacation, in 2015.
Since our flights from Abu Dhabi flew into and out of Sydney, we decided to bookend our vacation in the city. We spent the first few days in downtown Sydney, and the last few days in Coogee Beach for a different vibe. Of course, Sydney has a ton of cool areas along the coast, so it was a little difficult to choose just where to stay. It really came down to finding the right Airbnb place, honestly. Something with a combination of location, quality, and cost. We spent maybe a little more than we wanted to, but the place we stayed at ended up being awesome, just next to Coogee Beach with a view of the sea.
Hold me, it was so beautiful and such a great finish to our big vacation.
We flew back down to Sydney on a quick flight from Brisbane. We flew Virgin Australia and they did give us a little bit of grief at the boarding gate for bringing the car seat on the plane…even though we checked their policy before booking tickets and had it printed out for reference. And we had a proper FAA label on the travel car seat. And we had it okayed when we checked in to our flight. The people at the actual gate stopped us and wouldn’t let us on the plane until they had it DEFINITELY APPROVED by nearly everyone else at Virgin Australia. Once it was okayed they were super nice, but dang if they weren’t thorough about their job there. Then we were finally allowed to board and it felt like everyone on the plane was staring at us, haha. Americans! Holding everyone up! Traveling with a toddler, OMG and a carseat….sigh. I hate feeling like a burden to others! We settled in quickly and Porter fell asleep immediately for the short flight, but I did have the pleasure of listening to some guy behind me talk about how stupid Americans are. FUN (Sir, I agree with you, but seriously, we’re all human here, just shut up). We made it back to Sydney, grabbed our rental car, and set off for our rad Airbnb apartment for the week.
AND IT WAS RAD. We had a two bedroom, one bathroom place with an incredible view. It looked like it had been recently renovated – very nicely, so well thought out – and the owner left us little treats and some toys for our toddler, which was so thoughtful! We were just up the street from a park, walking trails, and all the cafes and stores at Coogee Beach itself.
Whilst in Coogee Beach, we planned on keeping things really low-key. This was the last few days of a long trip and we wanted to make sure we returned to real life actually feeling refreshed. Downtown Sydney was excitement, New Zealand in a camper van was adventure, Brisbane was wonderful but went by too fast, so Coogee was a final pause. The only major plans were to see our friends when they were available and to do the coastal Bondi to Coogee walk. One of our favorite things to do when traveling is to go to the grocery store, I know some people totally love doing this too and know what I mean. So, our first ventures out were to the nice local grocery store to stock up on staples and whatever Aussie products fascinated us. We visited a couple of the local cafes, and walked around the beach area, and took Porter to the children’s park to play a bit. Each night my middle school BFF, Liz, came over to hang out…which, it should be mentioned, was 100% out of her way to do so but I swear to God seeing her and her husband were the highlight to the trip! One night, Liz even babysat Porter so Matt and I could have a date. OMG. We ate a Brazilian steak house…and by “ate” I mean gorged and questioned our life choices, but it was so lovely! We owe her big time, and I’m looking forward to repaying that in whatever way we can 🙂
Now, the Coogee to Bondi (or Bondi to Coogee) walk I highly recommend if you’re visiting the Sydney area and can swing it. There is nothing like being outside on a sunny day and walking along the coast there. For some people, this is something they can do every day, freakin’ lucky bastards.
HOLY COW, it is STUNNING. The water is calm, then powerful, and so, so beautiful. There are parks, and people, and surfers, and families, and DOGS out enjoying the various places along the coast. SERIOUSLY, WHEN CAN WE MOVE THERE?!
That is a cockatoo!
Once we got to Bondi it was about lunch time, so we moseyed around looking for some food, and ended up grabbing some quick lunch, and then a quick fika, before heading over to the beach.
Here, is where Henry had his first travel photo taken 🙂 At freaking Bondi Beach. What is this life?
We ended up cabbing it back just because Porter was getting a little sleepy/fussy (I forget how young he was!) and there are some stairs and what not along some parts of the coastal walk. Since we had the stroller, it was not ideal to keep taking him in and out – especially if he happened to fall asleep on the way.
On our last day, we cleaned up the apartment, packed up, and headed out for a drive before going to the airport in the evening. We were going to try to hit up one of the museums I suggested in the Sydney post, but we didn’t end up going in one either because Porter fell asleep in the car, or there was no parking, or something? Because life happens, what are you going to do? What we did was just drive around. From the downtown area we just followed the New South Head Rd east, until we ended up in the Vaucluse and Watson’s Bay areas. We just drove around drooling at some gorgeous properties and views towards Sydney Harbor. Wow.
Just before heading over to the airport we stopped at a mall in Bondi…I’m not exactly sure why? But we did, which was cool. Then we headed on toward the airport right as the sun was setting, and I don’t remember much from there, other than we eventually boarded our Etihad A380 straight back to Abu Dhabi!
Australia and New Zealand were incredible, and I’m so glad that we decided to take an extra long vacation to do both in lieu of going home last year. I don’t know how doing the same thing with two (little) kids would be, but I guess…at this point, I’d more than happily jump at another opportunity! In any case, it was a special time and really nice to travel with Porter at his age, and before his brother came along. At times, it was really hard to believe where I was. Like, “Here I am LOOKING AT THE OPERA HOUSE!” or “Here I am in New Zealand, at the southernmost tip, closer to Antartica than ever!” For me, as an American, these things seem out of this world. More than anything, there are no words to describe how good it was to see friends while we were in Australia – that really made the trip. Other than that, I just tried to focus on the experience, and the sights, and some history, and tried to enjoy as much as possible however possible. I’m truly so thankful for the travel we get to do.