There’s something special about staycations – you’re on holidays but you don’t have to travel far, pack much, or worry about all the usual business that comes with long-distance travel.
I have always loved the Coogee vibe, but having only spent a few hours here at any one time, I was keen to get to know the seaside Sydney suburb a little better – with the family tailing along.
Coogee is popular with families and loads of tourists in the summer. In winter the crowds thin out and you get the views and the vibe all to yourself.
Coogee Beach is a great place for summer swims. In winter you can have the beach to yourself and for kids, it's like a giant sandpit. Relaxing and playing on the beach never gets old. Coogee has several ocean baths with calm swimming conditions for little ones. My favourites would be Wylie’s Baths and McIver’s Ladies Baths.
A stroll along the coastal track is a lovely way to spend away an afternoon, and there are also loads of lush green parks nearby – perfect for kids to run amok in. During school holidays, there’s plenty to do. Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach leads the way with their fun family-friendly events.
Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach has 209 rooms directly opposite Coogee Beach. If you're after proximity to the sea, this is the place to stay.
We lucked out with an ocean-view room. Waking up to the sun rising over the waves is such a lovely way to start the day. The hotel also has pool-view rooms, village-view rooms and two lavish suites that come with ocean panoramas … next time.
I can’t sit still for too long, so we start with the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk. We don’t quite make it the whole way, but that’s only because we keep stopping to take photos and soak up the view.
The coastline is dramatic and beautiful. It's only now – while on holidays in my home city – I’m really taking the time to enjoy it. I’ve done the walk before, but when you don’t have to go home and take care of that growing pile of dirty laundry, it’s a different kind of enjoyment. My husband is a lot more relaxed too, taking pics left, right and centre; and my daughter hangs out in a baby sling with her aunt.
It’s a bit chilly to take a dip in Wylie’s Baths – which was part of the initial plan – but it’s nice to just walk and talk and take in all the views. Some mornings tai chi, yoga and Pilates classes are held overlooking Wylie’s Baths and I store this as another activity for our next mini getaway.
Next, we head to Giant Reserve Playground. Our daughter is still a tad too young to enjoy the facilities, but this playground is worth checking out. It’s as impressive as I’ve been told, fit out with a diverse range of play equipment, plenty of tree shade and views out over Coogee Beach.
Hubby and I were thinking of fitting in a tennis game on the hotel’s tennis court, but after exploring we nick back to our room for a quick cuppa before heading out for a drink. Yep, we’re parents and we drink tea.
Oceans Dining & Drinks is an ambient seaside space for drinks and nibbles with a sea view and sea breeze.
We arrive at 6 pm (prime family dining time) and the venue is already buzzing – groups of friends and few young families enjoy wood-fired pizzas and share plates.
It’s nice to find a venue with good views, tunes and atmosphere… and the cocktails are amazing! We hang out until the bub calls it a night, because kids rule the schedule.
She’s up early the next morning so we enjoy an amazing sunrise in bed before heading down to Bluesalt restaurant for our breakfast buffet. With everything from fresh fruit to eggs cooked to order on the menu, it’s the perfect end to our Coogee weekend.
For more information go to crowneplazacoogee.com.au