Be a tourist at home – Location – Bronte

Sunrise at the Bronte Beach rock pool.

Bronte Beach sits on Nelson Bay, surrounded by Bronte Park. Bronte offers scenic cliff-top walking paths south to Coogee via the Waverley Cemetery and north to Tamarama and Bondi Beach. The cliff-top path offers views which extend from Ben Buckler in the north to Malabar in the south. Bronte is located about 2.5 km south of Bondi Beach.

The suburb has been declared the best of 641 Sydney suburbs by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Suburbs Guide.

This is the home of Kerri Ainsworth of Art Travel Adventures, so I asked Kerri to suggest a few things she loves about her suburb. This is what she mentioned: the coastal walks, north to Bondi and south to Coogee. The pool, and the culture around the pool and early morning ocean swimmers. I felt the culture was very 1950’s aussie beach scene when I was shooting, which I loved, very friendly and long lived not your Bondi hipster scene.

Kerri also mentioned the Waverly cemetery, best at dawn or dusk .. for a bit of added drama, do stop and read the tombstones.


Bronte Park adds a whole other dimension to the beach and suburb. On any given day the place fills with smells of multi cultural barbecues. Head up the gully to a small waterfall and grand trees. You’ll pass the fabulous Bronte house, restored by Leo Scofield – keep an eye open for the open days – then back down the hill for a coffee at Bogey Hole Cafe or head up the hill to the original Three Blue Ducks …. you know them … if you don’t read on….

“Hailing from a humble beginning in Bronte 8 years ago, we have since embarked on ambitious and rewarding ventures in Byron Bay in 2015, Rosebery in 2016 and more recently Brisbane in 2018. Although each of our locations differ greatly in aesthetic their philosophy and ethos remains very much the same.

Our no-fuss way of dining and commitment to buying local and ethically farmed produce makes us proud to be seen as frontrunners in conscious consumption and a hit with visitors recognising our love of real food.”



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Comments 11

  1. What a great snapshot of Bronte and the photos are divine. I really enjoyed wandering down to meet you at the beach at dawn when the light is magical and the mist is rising off the ocean. The cemetery is a great place to relax and draw. I had to smile that you photographed the same marble angel, which seems to be keeping watch, as I drew at dawn a few months ago.

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  2. When I was a little kid I usually lived with my grandparents in Rockdale. They had good friends in Bondi Junction. Every summer Sunday “Uncle” Tony would go down to Bronte at 8am and “bags” one of the picnic shelters. His family came down during the morning and later we arrived, travelling by train and then tram – so exciting when the tram came down the Bronte cutting and I got the first glimpse of the ocean! Swimming in the Bogey Hole, learning to body surf. The little toy train (still there?) and a minister conducting Sunday School in the park with a butchers’ paper flip chart to illustrate bible stories. “Build on the rock and not upon the sand” – apposite. Picnic lunch – cold baked sausages! – then the agonising hour’s wait before we were allowed back in the water. Oddly, no parking problems.

    1. Sandra, that is such a wonderful memory to share. I can also remember picnics at Bronte in those little shelters, and at some stage after lunch some father from a fellow picnic family would break out a cricket bat and an instantaneous game would start involving multiple families who did not even know each other.

      The game finished immediately the 60 minutes was up and back into the water we all went.

      In so many ways we were lucky to be kids at the time we were. Such simple and wonderful family activities and rituals that sadly in many families appear to have disappeared behind iPads and smart phones.

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  3. Bronte has always been a bit of a favourite. Shared a large house there in my late teens early twenties with many memories of youthful bad behaviour, Bronte to Bondi runs, night time skinny dipping ……

    Apart from the few somewhat upmarket cafes it does not feel like anything much has changed in all those years. Perhaps it is the lack of shops or retail or take-aways or franchises that keeps Bronte as a destination location for those looking for sun and surf and relaxation.

    There is an early morning swim culture at Bronte that is inspirational. Elderly men and women diving into the swirling surf from a rock ledge jutting out from the rock pool. Strong and confident. Looks like they have been doing it all their lives, so what’s the fuss ?

    Can’t recommend a visit highly enough. Daytime parking (as in all Sydney beaches now) is a nightmare so perhaps one of the regular buses is the way to go …

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      no the toy train seems to have left the station, but I think a lot of the feel and what you describe is still there …. certainly some of the swimmers of that era are still there. Great memories. Thank you x

      1. The toy train is still going and is housed in that little green, train-shaped shed next to it’s elliptical track. On weekends, out it comes, much to the delight of visiting toddlers.

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