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Coogee to La Perouse

Coogee to La Perouse
Home > Diaries > 2022 > 1025


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RETURNING to the coastal trail after a day off, I started off from Coogee Beach, hardly recognisable this morning under thick fog. The sky had been clear and sunny when I had reached here two days ago. The city centre had been enveloped in the thick fog covering the entire distance I had just travelled along the bus route.

Setting off along the path above the beach, I headed towards the almost completely hidden headland. By the time I reached it, the headland on the other side of the bay was almost completely hidden in the fog. A wide trail followed the rugged headlands, though not as rugged as those I had passed further north. The fog was starting to lift providing a clear view southward along the lower twenty metres but the tops of the low ridges were still covered in fog.

After rounding several small headlands, I reached Maroubra Beach. The far headland was now free of fog though thick cloud still covered the sky. I followed the path above the beach. The path changed to sand track at the far end of the beach before returning to pathway rising onto Malabar Headland National Park. I passed through a gate into a fenced off protected area. An elevated boardwalk followed the top of the low cliffs above the breaking waves. A few crumbling concrete military buildings peeked above the heathland scrub.

Rounding the end of the head, I reached Malabar Beach crossing behind it before the rough track followed around a large golf course near the edge of the cliff. The cloud was quickly breaking up into a clear sky. A few golfers were playing on this large ground, but otherwise it was very quiet here with few people hiking the track. After heading around the headland, I reached the crowded Little Bay Beach, from where I followed the track up to the road as there was no track beyond here continuing around the golf club.

Here I followed a footpath along the road and through a residential apartment area to Jennifer Street, which I followed beside the road to the Jennifer Street Boardwalk cutting across to Cape Banks Road. I followed this road for about a kilometre to its end at the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Base. From here a short track headed through the scrub to the Cape Banks Firetrail which I followed to the bridge at Cape Banks where I rested for lunch, now at the entrance to Botany Bay.

From here I followed a new path continuing around the golf course to the next headland where I stopped to photograph the Sydney to Hobart race yachts heading down the coast almost at record speed having started in Sydney Harbour only an hour or two earlier. The yachts passed offshore disappearing into the distance on their journeys down the coast.

From the headland I continued following the track passing the Henry Head Lighthouse before continuing along the narrow track through forest diverting briefly to Browns Rock before continuing to Congwong Beach to join the La Perouse Walk path and descending to the bridge crossing to Bare Island. A gate prevented access to the island itself but the bridge afforded great views. Returning to the La Perouse Walk, I continued following the path heading around Frenchman's Beach from where a ferry service once crossed over the relatively calm waters of Botany Bay to Kurnell Beach on the other side. This would have been a natural progression of the hike, but the ferry service closed some years ago but there is some talk of it reopening.

I ended today's walk here at Frenchman's Beach having tracked a constant path from Barrenjoey Lighthouse now 165 kilometres behind me. There is no track around Botany Bay (there are a few short tracks, but none link up due to the port, the airport and several motorways making such a hike impossible), so tomorrow I will need to start over at Kurnell Beach on the other side of the bay.

From La Perouse, I caught a bus to Bondi Junction, then a train into the city centre.


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