If you’re always dreaming of a holiday, but a lack of time or money tend to get in the way, a local break could be just the ticket. Staycations have become the easy way for families to get that holiday feeling simply by packing up their things for a quick weekend away within their own city. Try this handy guide and have a DIY holiday…right here at home!
Often, the only antidote to a long working week and a feeling of endless exhaustion is a big dose of sunshine, sand, and a dip in the surf. So if you’re ready to press ‘reset’ on your energy levels, a weekend break at the beach should be on your to-do list. For a beachside break, you can’t go past iconic Coogee beach. It’s just 20 minutes drive from the Sydney CBD or just under an hour from Wahroonga, but it feels like a tropical paradise, complete with sauntering seagulls, colouFrful crowds of camera-toting tourists and kids carrying drippy ice-cream cones.
Where to stay: Crowne Plaza Coogee
If you’re only planning a short break, make the most of every moment by choosing a room with a view- and somewhere that’s super kid-friendly to make sure your stay is stress free!
Our pick is The Crowne Plaza Coogee, which offers affordable rooms featuring balconies with sweeping views of the sea, but even if you opt for a Village View or Pool View room, you’re still staying in a gorgeous hotel that is just a few steps away from the golden sands of Coogee Beach. Rates vary, but a stay in an Ocean View room with two double beds and a balcony will set you back around $AUD370 per night including a lavish buffet breakfast.
As a bonus, there’s off-street, undercover parking, wifi in the rooms, a huge pool for the kids to splash in while you kick back with a cocktail, plus a special ‘kids check in’ area equipped with a lolly jar to keep the tiny ones happy while you sort out your room key at reception.
More info, rates and galleries: Crowne Plaza Coogee
Family-friendly dining around Coogee
A holiday is the perfect time to indulge yourself, and after a bracing dip in the ocean, tucking into a delicious meal is even more deserved! We stayed on-site to avoid the hordes of tourists roaming the streets, plus to keep ourselves cool, and because we couldn’t go past the tempting three-tiered platters of high tea being offered up in the Bluesalt Bar at the hotel for morning tea! For dinner we wanted something more substantial, so we ordered cocktails and burgers at Oceans Dining & Drinks overlooking Coogee Beach – and the staff were fantastic accommodating our one-year-old daughter’s love of banging spoons on the table! The best part is, our room was right upstairs so once we’d eaten our fill we simply rolled to elevator and were in bed within minutes of paying the bill.
Places to try:
- Bluesalt Bar
- Bluesalt Restaurant
- Oceans Dining & Drinks
- Free BBQs at Goldstein Park (our hotel let you pre-order a BBQ pack)
Things to do with kids in Coogee
There’s nothing like being by the beach to make you feel like some fresh air, so exercise was at the forefront of our minds on our weekend away. Besides the utterly gorgeous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, which is gentle in places but tough enough to break a pretty serious sweat in others, there’s of course the tempting ocean for a swim, surf or boogeyboarding session, plus local classes like yoga at The Living Room for a quick salute to the sun, and bike hire all along the promenade. Our hotel also offered tennis racquets if you were keen on a quick set on the court!
Things to see and do:
- The Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk. This jaw-droppingly gorgeous 6-kilometre walk along the coastline, complete with views of crashing surf
- Live a life aquatic! Choose from water-based activities like swimming, surfing and snorkelling or shell collecting!
- Take a dip at Wylie’s Baths. This incredible ocean tidal pool has a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean and it set against a dramatic cliffside. The scenery is so beautiful many famous Australian magazines and TV shows shoot against the breathtaking backdrop of the pools. The affordable entry price is just $5.00 for adults of $13.00 for a family pass.
- Visit The Spot at Randwick, the nearby hub for shopping, dining or take in a quick flick at the Ritz Cinema, housed in an old-school heritage building
- Play up at Centennial Park. The sprawling green lawns and expertly manicured gardens are a giant playground for both adults and kids. Hire a bike, have a go at horseback riding, or bring a picnic and set up amongst the flowers or near an idyllic pond to while the afternoon away.