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Maroubra aerial shot 1/4
Photograph: Supplied/Randwick City Council
Maroubra Beach2/4
Photograph: Supplied/Randwick City Council
Mahon Pool Maroubra3/4
Photograph: Supplied/Randwick City Council
Maroubra Beach to Malabar Beach running track4/4
Photograph: Katje Ford

A guide to Maroubra

What to see, taste and do in the beachside eastern 'burb

By Alannah Maher and Time Out editors
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Maroubra means "good thunder" or "like thunder" in the language of its First Nations owners, the Muru-ora-dial people. It's an apt descriptor for the sound of waves breaking on the shore at this beachfront Sydney 'burb. Less famous than Bondi and not as touristy as its neighbour Coogee, Maroubra Beach perches on a 1.1km long bay, surrounded by windswept dunes, wild bushland and a rocky headland.

In 2006, Maroubra became the first NSW National Surfing Reserve, an acknowledgment of the beach's world-famous wave culture and its abundant natural gifts. Surfing in Maroubra began in the 1900s, along with the creation of Maroubra Life Saving Club. The surfing network really developed after the Second World War – during which, the beach was taken over by the army and barbed wire was strung from the north to the south end. Since then, Maroubra is a favourite spot for learning to experienced surfers. 

This sleepy suburb is home to many working class families and those who want the surfy Sydney lifestyle without the Bondi flashiness. An ideal day in the 'Bra should involve a swim (a surf if you're keen), a walk, a perch on a lookout, and a feast of yum cha or a pick-me-up from one of the beachside cafés, of which there is no shortage. In lieu of swish inner city bars, the watering holes here are more on the cheap, cheerful and family friendly side, with ocean views to boot. 

RECOMMENDED: A local's guide to Bondi.

Maroubra Beach
Photograph: Anna Kucera/Destination NSW

Maroubra Beach

Things to do Maroubra

Less famous than Bondi and not as touristy as its neighbour Coogee, Maroubra beach perches on a 1.1km long bay, surrounded by windswept dunes, wild bushland and a rocky headland. In 2006 it became the first NSW National Surfing Reserve, an acknowledgment of the beach's world-famous wave culture and its abundant natural gifts.

 

Mahon Pool at the northern end of Maroubra Beach
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Mahon Pool

Sport and fitness Maroubra

Unlike most Sydney rock pools, Mahon Pool isn’t tucked into the corner of a larger beach. It’s its own entity, carved into a rock flat at the base of a steep hill, a few hundred meters north of Maroubra Beach. It’s the perfect spot for sand-haters. You can either bask like a seal on the rocks beside the beach or shelter in the shade on the grassy hill above. Keep an eye on the unpredictable swell which may encroach on a bathing experience.

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Maroubra aerial shot featuring beach and Jack Vanny Memorial Park
Photograph: Supplied/Randwick City Council

Jack Vanny Memorial Park

Things to do Maroubra

Perched on the northern headland of Maroubra Beach, Jack Vanny Memorial Park has full view of Lurline Bay to the north and is part of the elemental Eastern Suburbs coastal walk. Steps lead down to Mahon Pool which has been cut in to the exposed rock.

Aerial view of Wylie's Baths in Coogee
Photograph: Destination NSW

Wylie's Baths

Sport and fitness Coogee

Ocean pool by day, wedding venue by night, the heritage-listed baths that sit below the Maroubra to Bondi coastal walkway have changed little since they were built in 1907. The idyllic spot was born from one man's passion for the ocean: champion long-distance swimmer Henry Wylie obtained a special lease below the high-water mark to build the seawall and raised boardwalk.

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Sydney Safe Surf School

Sport and fitness Maroubra

Holding daily lessons at Maroubra Beach – where the surf is bigger and the crowds are thinner – Sydney Safe Surf School offers “stress free” private and group surf lessons that involve beach awareness to help you feel as comfortable as possible when taking to the waves. The school caters for all ages and there are four-day holiday camps available for kids as well. Sydney Safe also offer packages for birthday parties, corporate team building, school trips and buck’s and hen’s parties.

Golden Unicorn

Restaurants Maroubra

This Chinese restaurant on Maroubra Road draws lines for its yum cha offering. It's well worth the wait, and the queues move quickly anyway. If you land an outer ring table you’ll have the best shot at first dibs on the trolleys. The barbecue pork buns have a good filling-to-bun ratio, and these guys also get two thumbs up for their extremely swift tea service and mango pancakes that have some of the lightest crepe wrappers in town.

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Food at The Grumpy Baker Newtown
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

The Grumpy Baker Maroubra

Restaurants Bakeries Maroubra

Originally based in Darlinghurst and now spread throughout Sydney, the Grumpy Baker is a must-try for lovers of rye. The Maroubra branch is perched on the hill above the north end of Maroubra Beach with sweeping ocean views. This is reliable spot for breakfast, lunch, coffee and something sweet from the cabinet. We dare you to feel grumpy after fuelling up here.

Kokoroya

Restaurants Sydney

It’s Maroubra’s home of quality sashimi, serving up creative Japanese cuisine, sake and cocktails in a chic, contemporary space with bamboo decor. Aside from quality Japanese dining, it’s also got an excellent play area for the kids.

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Close up of market fish packed in ice
Photograph: Audrey Low/Flickr

Fish Market Maroubra

Shopping Markets Maroubra

If the salty air and surfy vibes of Maroubra give you a hankering to chow down on the fruits of the sea, this is the place to head. Family owned and operated since 1979, the Fish Market is where you can grab lunch from a variety of vendors, with options like a classic fish and chips or some grilled skewers and salad if you're feeling a little lighter, and take away a tray of oysters and something hearty to chuck on the barbie at home. 

Mie Kocok Bandung
Photograph: Supplied

Mie Kocok Bandung

Restaurants Indonesian Maroubra

Mie Kocok means “shaken noodles”, and at this Maroubra mainstay it’s such a signature dish that they named their restaurant after it. It is an all-in-one beef noodle soup: chewy ropes of fresh, handmade noodles shaken about in hot water until cooked then plunged into a deep bowl of clear, sweet beef broth.

 

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Glasshouse Hotel

Bars Maroubra

This cheap and cheerful waterfront venue boasts an all-glass facade with uninterrupted ocean views. Venture downstairs to discover a large bar with cold beers just off Anzac Parade. Sink schooners in the sports bar, let nan have a flutter on the pokies after a family dinner at the onsite restaurant, Backyard Italian, and wrap it up with a smoko in the outdoor smoking area.

South Sydney Juniors Rugby League Club
Photograph: Supplied/South Sydney Juniors Rugby League Club

The Juniors Kingsford

Bars Pub dining Kingsford

This is the home of the South Sydney Junior League Club, and offers everything the senior version might provide: a fitness centre, function and entertainment spaces, plus multiple bars and eateries. The large Eastern Suburbs venue also hosts public events, regular games nights and screenings of the footy.

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