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.