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sculptures by the sea, sydney

October 28, 2013

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I always forget how glorious Sydney’s beaches look in the sunshine.

The rugged heads of stone, shaped by the salt, wind and waves. The soft sandy coves, waves flying towards the shore, showering surfers in their frenzied froth.

These scenes are even more stunning during late October and early November, when the annual art exhibition titled “Sculptures by the Sea” takes place on the coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama beaches.

During the weekends, the usually quiet walkways heave with sand lovers and art aficionados alike, and it can be quite a struggle getting through the crowds as the gather around some of the more popular artworks.

To make the trip out, through and back just that little bit easier for you, we’ve put together our tips on getting the most out of Sculptures by the Sea, along with some of our favourite photographs of the Sculptures themselves, below.

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Pick your day

Sculptures by the Sea is a very popular event and can get really packed on weekends. For the best experience, try to head across for the walk on a weekday. A slightly cloudy day will be best for photographs (and for keeping you cool during the 1.2km walk.

We’ve also found that the crowds are less robust early on in the season (which stretches from 24 October to 10 November this year) and that the very last weekend is usually the busiest of them all!

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Pick your time

If, like us, the weekend is your only opportunity to soak in the sun and sea, plan to visit the Sculptures either early in the morning or during lunch hour as the crowds are much thinner during this period than in mid-morning or early afternoon. The early evening is also a beautiful time to see the Sculptures as the sun slowly dims to darkness – but ensure you’re well and truly done before the sun sets as it can be quite dangerous on the rocks if you don’t know your way around.

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Leave the car at home

There are plenty of buses that head to Tamarama, the nearby Bronte Beach and Bondi Beach throughout the day. Rather than brave the beach traffic (and battle it out for a parking spot), we chose to drive to Centennial Park and left the car there for the afternoon. You can catch a bus to Bronte from Oxford Street every 10 minutes on a Saturday or wander up to Bondi Junction to catch one to Tamarama. Buses leave from Bondi Beach to Oxford Street and the city every 5 minutes on Saturday and link up to the trains without much of a wait at all.

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Bring a hat & sunglasses

Tap water, cups and sunscreen are provided at booths at both ends of the walk, as well as at the park about halfway through. Make sure you stay well hydrated and protect your skin from the sun (which reflects right off the water, especially in the heat of the day) and can cause sunburn.

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Keep it small

After years of traipsing along the path in a large, meandering group of 15 to 20 adults and kids, we ended up with a rather subdued group of six this year… and we never travelled more smoothly. It’s easier to keep track of your group if there’s fewer of you and it makes it easier for everyone else to get past you when stopping for a breath or a photograph or a drink of water. If you do have a larger group that you’re heading out with, split into smaller groups so  that no-one gets left behind and stick to the left of the path as much as possible to avoid causing a pedestrian traffic jam!

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Enjoy yourself!

The most important thing to do, in my opinion 🙂

Breathe in that salty air, feel the sun on your (sunscreen protected) face and capture some quick snaps of the interesting artwork on display. (Oh, and grab an ice-cream cone once you get to Bondi to reward yourself for all of that hard walking work)

If you can’t get out there, make sure to take a peek at some of my favourite sculptures, sights and scenes from Saturday in the gallery below.

And in other news…

I’m really excited to announce that I’m one of the new ambassadors for the Broke Fordwich region in the Hunter Valley! Over the next three months, I’ll be bringing you posts on the best food, wine and travel plans for the region and can’t wait to show you around all that this little pocket of NSW has to offer.


  • #1
    Jenny
    October 28th, 2013

    I always try to make sure I see them every time they’re on. The atmosphere is great and it’s a great way to spend a day out with friends.

  • #2
    October 29th, 2013

    I love sculptures by the sea, but sad the boy doesn’t. Great photos shez, looks like that’s as close as i’ll get this year!

  • #3
    November 1st, 2013

    Great tips! I wish I could make it out this year, but sadly, don’t think it’s going to happen.

Shez