While many consider it to be one of the best surfing venues, it has an unfortunate, media driven reputation for the tough 'Bra Boys' that surf the area But if you are visiting the beach just for a dip or a visit, you can swim and sip cappuccino completely unaware of any surfing subculture.
The name "Maroubra" is taken from a local Aboriginal word meaning "like thunder" - describing the sound of the surf pounding against the rocks on Maroubra Beach.
In 1861, the first house was built in the suburb's area by Humphrey McKeon. A number of other settlers arrived on the land in the 1870s to work on the wool scouring works located at the northern end of the bay.
The suburb first made headlines on the 6 May 1898, when the Hereward - a fully-rigged iron ship weighing 1,513 tons - was caught by the gale force winds and shipwrecked at the northern end of Maroubra Beach while heading north toward Newcastle. The shipwreck remained on the beach for a number of years until a failed attempt to refloat it was made by building a coffer dam around the wreck. Hereward Street in Maroubra is named after the event.
Major residential development only began in the 1910s after Herbert Dudley, a real estate developer, subdivided the land into residential blocks. Herbert Dudley also lobbied for the extension of the tramline to Maroubra Junction in 1912, where he had built Dudley's Emporium which has since been redeveloped. More crown land was released for residential use in the 1920s and the tram line was extended to Maroubra Beach in 1921.
Between 1925 and 1934, the Olympia Motor Speedway was located in South Maroubra at the corner of Anzac Parade and Fitzgerald Avenue, however due to the dangerous concrete track, a number of deaths occurred and it was closed after only 9 years of operation.
While it is a popular surfing beach and has a much more longer stretch of beach than the nearby Coogee and Bondi beaches, Maroubra actually is quieter and more downmarket than its neighbouring cousins further north. It has a feel of a peaceful country village but hosts many international surfing events and its coastline is enough to accommodate two surfing clubs.
Along with Bondi, Maroubra is divided into Maroubra Beach, South Maroubra and Maroubra Junction. Maroubra Junction is the commercial hub of the beachside suburb, with the Pacific Square shopping centre (formerly Maroubra Mall) as its main attraction. Maroubra Beach is the quieter beachfront area. South Maroubra, as you can guess, lies south of Maroubra Junction and has three shopping areas: South Maroubra Shopping Village (which serves the nearby Maroubra Beach, known to locals as "The Sands"), Duffy's Corner (which serves the surrounding community) and Lexington Place (which serves the residential area framed by Anzac Parade, Beauchamp Road, Malabar Road and Fitzgerald Avenue). Unfortunately, Lexington Place was known infamously for its high crime rates (2003). Ongoing re-development (2008) of community housing estates into mainstream residential properties is having a positive effect.
Maroubra has a village community feel despite its fair share of crime hot spots and tough gangs. Nevertheless, Maroubra serves as the second-largest suburb in the Randwick City Council area.
Buses run to Maroubra Beach from Bondi Junction and the city. Bus routes 317 and 353 runs from Bondi Junction and stops at Maroubra Beach. Bus route 395 runs from Railway Square near Central Station. All other bus services (376, 377, 396, 397) run from Circular Quay and either stop or terminate at the beach, being less regular services. Anzac Parade is the major public transport corridor with some other buses going to the city, Railway Square, Eastgardens, airport, University of NSW, the suburbs south of Maroubra (e.g. La Perouse) and even the western suburbs.
There are no train stations near Maroubra, but you can catch a train on the Eastern Suburbs Line and get off at Bondi Junction to connect with the 317 bus, or you can get off at Central station to connect with the 376, 395 or 396 buses (for Maroubra Beach). Either way, the train ride will take you 10 minutes.
Maroubra is a 20 minute drive from the city, via Anzac Parade. It must be noted that although Maroubra Beach is less crowded than Bondi or Coogee beaches, it can still be difficult to find a parking space on a hot weekend (parking up to 4 hours is free). There are also car parking at Maroubra Junction and in selected areas of South Maroubra, free of charge.
Two taxi companies service Maroubra. Taxis Combined (call 131 008) has the most extensive taxi service in Sydney while Legion Cabs (call 13 1451) can also take you to Maroubra. The major taxi rank is at Maroubra Junction outside the Commonwealth bank, corner Maroubra Road and Anzac Parade.
- Maroubra Beach
- Malabar Beach. Slightly further south from Maroubra Beach, Malabar beach is a safer beach with less surf.
- Maroubra Fun Run & Oktoberfest. Annual fun run event and German festival, staged at Maroubra Beach. It is held in October every year.
- Walk along the promenade at Maroubra Beach which is the beginning of a coastal walk to Coogee, Bronte, Tamarama and finally, Bondi Beach.
- Show off your skateboarding skills at the Maroubra Skate Park at Maroubra Beach.
- Swim, ☏ . Between the flags at Maroubra Beach or alternatively, there is the Des Renford Aquatic Centre at Heffron Park just south-west of Maroubra and the Mahon ocean pool just north of Maroubra Beach.
- Surfing is a world-renowned at Maroubra Beach for its great beach culture. In fact, Maroubra Beach has a coastline long enough to support two surfing clubs and from Sunday 19 October 2006, Maroubra Beach is Australia's second National Surfing Reserve. Annual surfing carnivals attract large crowds and international competitors to this laid back community.
- Maroubra Underground Surf Shop, ☏ . Sells surf gear, stocking some of Maroubra's own clothing designs. 49 KcKeon St,
- Maroubra Seals Sports & Community Club, 212-220 Marine Parade. Provides reasonably cheap meals, great breakfasts and entertainment and sporting facilities such as a casino and a swimming pool. You must be over 18 years old and provide some form of ID to become a member, as it is a club.
- The Big Blu, McKeon Street, ☏ . Very friendly and relaxed, wide menu.
- Mr Big Stuff, McKeon Street, ☏ . Open plan, very relaxed, Internet access.
- Pavilion Beachfront, Maroubra Promenade, ☏ . Situated on the beach, voted "Best Cafe Restaurant".
- The Pool Cafe, 94 Marine Parade, ☏ , . Overlooking Mahon Pool, perfect for having a brunch.
- Marine Cafe, Corner of McKeon Street and Marine Parade, ☏ .
- Beach View Cafe, McKeon Street, ☏ . Open 1st thing in morning, change from $10 possible.
- Zebra Cafe, McKeon Street, ☏ . Traditionally very popular with the local surfers.
- There are also a number of cafes and restaurants at the new Pacific Square shopping complex at the heart of Maroubra Junction (corner of Anzac Parade and Maroubra Road).
- On Maroubra Road, There are a few restaurants, east and west of Pacific Square along Maroubra road such as Fu Lin Chinese, Chris' Pizza and Joey's Fine Lebanese Cuisine.
- The Sands Hotel, 32-40 Curtin Crescent. Open and friendly with pool, darts, sports coverage and lots of fun, this place also has a garden lounge for a quiet drink and special functions and the best bottle shop in town
- Maroubra Bay Hotel 182 Marine Parade - great place to hang out for live bands and a drink, right on the beachfront
- Maroubra Junction Hotel, 199 Maroubra Road. Another great place for live bands, watching sports and having a drink with your mates.
- Maroubra Seals Sports & Community Club, 212-220 Marine Parade. The dining area contains a bar and bistro which sell relatively cheap drinks. It also features the Breezes Bar, which has great views of the beach.
- The Sands Hotel, 32-40 Curtin Crescent, ☏ , fax: . It's close to the beach and easily accessible by cars and buses, it provides cheap accommodation, the best bottle shop in town, and a nearby shopping village for beach dwellers.