Australia sees millions of people making their way down under each year, with backpackers making up a decent percentage of this total. Known as backpackers paradise, Australia is home to breathtaking natural landscapes, consistently beautiful weather and most importantly, a laid-back lifestyle with tons of friendly faces. Many backpackers would regret to miss one of Australia’s most iconic cities, Sydney, on their journeys. However, within Sydney lies backpacker hotspots, and one not-so-secret hotspot is the Eastern Sydney suburb of Coogee.
Said to be drawn by the Aboriginal word “koojah” which means “smelly place, Coogee is a much-loved spot for backpackers from all over the world. However, don’t let this deter you from visiting, as the only smells that emanate from Coogee nowadays are the smell of saltwater drifting through the wind and scents of delicious food coming from the busy strip of local cafes and restaurants.
So if you’re backpacker reading this, you’re probably asking “Why Coogee?”. Well, to begin with, Coogee is home to the famous Coogee Beach, which holds much of the reason why backpacking travellers love this place. At Coogee Beach you will find both locals and visitors from afar spending their days sunbaking beach, playing sports on the grass or. grabbing a tasty bite to eat onshore. Visitors also have a world of choice when it comes to swimming, with the options of floating in the gentle waves of the main beach, or taking a dip at rockpools such as Giles Baths on the North end, or the heritage-listed Wylie’s Bath on the south end.
Without having to head into the city, backpackers can also enjoy Coogee nightlife by having a beer at Coogee Bay Hotel, or if you’re after something fancier, a cocktail over at Coogee Pavillion. The area is also rife with many other options for eating and drinking, with people still heading down to sit by the beach to listen to the waves and people-watch, even well into the hours of the night. In terms of accessibility, Coogee is right in the heart of Sydney, and only a short bus ride away from the CBD and other popular spots across the city. There also is plenty of great backpacker accommodation in Coogee, from hostels to shared accommodation and even Airbnbs that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Plus, while Coogee is busiest during the Summer, it’s still a lively area even in the Winter time and year-round still draws fewer crowds than Bondi Beach nearby. If you’d still like to visit Bondi or any other of Sydney’s popular beaches along the Eastern coastline such as Tamarama or Bronte, then you still can, with Coogee being the starting point to the famously beautiful Coogee to Bondi coastal walk.
Overall, the best part about Coogee (and Australia altogether) is the people! With individuals from all walks of life making up the population, Coogee is the place to be because of who’s in it. There’s always a kind stranger willing to give you a hand, and new friends to be made both on the beach and during a night out. So if you’re a backpacker looking for your next best trip, grab your essentials and come to Coogee!