One of the most famed annual events in Sydney, ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ transforms the 2km coastal path between Bondi and Tamarama into a scenic display of over a hundred sculptures. Whilst the Bondi to Coogee walk is an attraction in its own right, crowds flock to make their way along the route during the event period – desperate to take in the art it boasts. The event is family friendly and even hosts a Children’s Choice Award for the sculpture voted most deserving. The route is shortened version of the usual coastal path, which additionally makes it more feasible for little legs. A further bonus is that ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ is entirely free, making it ideal for those exploring on a budget. Undoubtedly, any visitor to Sydney will hear whispers and publicity around the renowned event. My advice? Get down to Bondi and decide for yourselves; the beauty of art is its subjectivity.
Starting at Bondi Beach, we headed past the Bondi Icebergs and up to Notts Avenue – shortly reaching the first section of the coastal path.
Ignoring the ordinarily spectacular views, we were keen to catch our first glimpse of the mysterious sculptures. We did not wait long.
Be warned: if you do wish to purchase a guidebook, do not rush past the information tent situated at this point of the walk. Although you can manage without, this is a good way to avoid having to scramble to read tiny plagues at each sculpture…
The halfway point of Mark’s Park is home to the largest proportion of sculptures and an indoor exhibition for anyone wishing to escape the sun. On a more practical note, there are also facilities for toilets and refreshments. It is here that you can additionally vote for your favourite sculpture. Stakes are high for the artists with a lofty cash prize and titled winner every year; vote well! Personally, I found Mark’s Park a good stop to relax and take in the sun (or shade) before tackling the crowds and the tougher next section of the walk.
The final part of the trail leads you down to Tamarama Beach itself. I find Tamarama the prettiest beach in the Eastern Suburbs, despite it lacking the infrastructure of restaurants and bars that Bondi brags. It most definitely retains a degree of serenity and paired with magnificent coastal views – you can’t go wrong! Treat yourself to a spot of sunbathing or surfing before you leave.
Overall, I found ‘Sculpture by The Sea’ an easily recommendable day out and highly enjoyable. I was initially hesitant to visit as I know little about art, however, ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ perfectly brings the artwork to life through its adventurous and social presentation. For this reason, I would suggest a visit to individuals of all ages and interests. Though steps frequenting the path make it unsuitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs, sculpturebythesea.com does offer a map showing an alternative easy access route. This means the event is certainly adaptable for those with limited mobility. An incredible day out, just make sure to beat the crowds and bring a good camera!