Beautiful Bondi Beach
better to taste the salt water than at trendy Bondi Beach?
as one of the world’s best beaches ... you can feel the pulse of fun-loving
outdoor Sydney on this big stretch of golden sand.
. . . make sure Bondi is in your holiday plan. You'll regret it if you
weather during the summer holidays 50,000 beach-goers can enjoy the Bondi sand and sea during the one day.
Topless bathing is okay at Bondi Beach
... But make sure you use plenty of sunscreen! (Hey ... do that however much flesh you bare. There's no fun in sunburn).
While the main activities are swimming, surfing and sunbathing,
there’s lots more that goes on.
This smoking and alcohol-free zone is a top spot for watching talent as nicely-shaped young bodies are always on display.
Bondi is a mecca for tourists ... especially backpackers ... who just love to soak up the Aussie beach atmosphere.
80,000 run from City to the Bondi Surf
Once a year at Bondi - in mid-winter -
there's a huge event which closes roads and brings tens of thousands of
people to the beach. It's the City2Surf run.
In 2014 I was there to cheer on some of my family at the finish, so here's a snapshot of the end of that event - at Bondi Beach.
Lifeguards in fancy dress! It's all part of the great City2Surf charity event fun.
Runners in Sydney's 2014
City2Surf race are relieved and proud to finish the tough 14km fun run. The event - which finishes at Bondi Beach - drew 80,000
entrants. Pictured (top left) are two of five from my family who ran. That's daughter-in-law Jacki who flew in from
Singapore, and grandson William, 10.
A North Bondi surf club team power their "rubber ducky" through the breakers.
The surf at Bondi can be powerful
So take care!
Do what the lifeguards and surf lifesavers tell
you. Make sure you swim between the flags and if you can always swim with a friend.
The entire beach is patrolled by members of Bondi and North Bondi surf clubs.
up warning flags when needed and will evacuate the beach for a shark sighting or when the sea is huge.
In general, just swim between their red and yellow flags - that should keep you away from
bad rips - and you will be clearly in their sight should you get into trouble.
Usually the flags are up in front of the Bondi Pavilion - which is toward the northern end of the beach.
Don't take the Backpackers' Express!
The southern beach area is hazardous at Bondi and not recommended for swimming because of rip currents.
is a persistent large and often strong rip - referred to as the
"Backpackers' Express". It runs out against the southern headland, taking unwary tourists on an unwelcome ride.
fact, each year an average 274 swimmers are rescued from this south
Bondi Beach area - and that's about twice the rescues of north Bondi
After arriving in Sydney in 1978, I followed so many other Kiwis to the famed Bondi waves. I couldn't stand on a surf board and spent the day body surfing ... and loving it!
Beach swells came through strong and true and although young and fit I’d had
all the sea fun I could handle after two hour-long spells in the waves.
strip at Bondi is 1km long
... And it has this wonderful wide golden sand.
of the super hot black iron sands of my Kiwi homeland (west coast North Island)
and the pain my feet endured on sunny days running over the sandhills to
reach the cold sea.
It was like an Olympic event - a sort of hop, skip and leap
- to the safety of a towel thrown out ahead. A quick recovery and repeat and
the golden sands
Yes the sand can get hot here too, but thankfully not to the
extreme of those iron sands!
The sweep of
the beach at Bondi is from Ben Buckler at the north end of Bondi Bay to
Mackenzies Point to the south.
If you're at Bondi Beach with the family, take the kids along to the public sea baths.
These are at both ends of the beach. The kids can have a great time there
most days without being scared by beach waves.
Through summer the water temperature averages a warm 21 degrees. In September/October it drops to an average of 16 degrees.
"Breaking the ice"
seawater pool (pictured) at the southern end of the beach is where Bondi
Icebergs Club members famously "break the ice" by swimming on even the coldest days of the year.
course there are days when it's best to just watch nature's power. Here
(below) huge seas pound the seabaths as spectators look on from the
When conditions are good surfers play
beach breaks at the ends of the beach (especially the south). There's
always a few working the waves and you'll love watching their skill.
famous Beach Pavilion at Bondi (towards the northern end) includes
changing rooms and equipment hire (like sun shades and chairs) -
and there's also a cafe.
you want to picnic - but not in the sand - grab a spot in the grassy
reserve between Campbell Parade and Queen Elizabeth Drive. It's a
popular area in front of the beach.
Working out at the beach
remember the Charles Atlas ads in comic books showing a weakling youth having
sand kicked in his face by a big bully? That puny guy was Mac who lost his girl and then used the Charles Atlas techniques to muscle up. Later, now big and strong, he decks the bully and becomes Hero of the Beach - admired by all the sheilas.
Bondi Beach you can build up a fine physique pumping iron.
The place to
do so and to show-off those muscles is at the popular out-door workout area near the North
Bondi Surf Club. And looking on admiringly can be your girlfriend ... or maybe your boyfriend.
southern end of the beach there’s the Bondi Beach Skate Park which always has plenty of
action. (Pictured are onlookers at the Skate Park's big event - Vans Bowl-A-Rama).
Use the lovely green parkland
It surrounds the beach and is great
for picnics. Why not join the kids kicking a football? Or maybe you love
playing cricket or throwing
frisbees. They’re all fun activities here.
Want to do much better than me and learn how to ride the
waves on a surfboard?
You can take surfing lessons – small group sessions lasting two hours,
or private ones - lasting 60 or 90 minutes at a time. Where better than Bondi
to learn these skills?
Get up on that surf board ...
Lets Go Surfing's
Bondi Surf Experience is a great way for beginners to start. Check out
their website for a range of packages - which include special winter
deals (hey, you'll be wearing a wetsuit and the waves are less crowded
Beach has a wealth of activity - open air restaurants, urban-style
shops, beach-vibe bars, hip Sunday markets, and wide open parks.
is pretty much a sport here - with Bondi's reputation for celebrity.
The "beautiful people"
You're quite likely to see a model or
a film, television or pop star - maybe in one of the trendy cafes or restaurants of Campbell
Parade, the beach's promenade.
Pde has many boutiques, hair and beauty salons, cafes, restaurants
and hotels. The cuisine can be top quality with huge variety - Japanese, French, Mexican, Thai, Indian, you name it ...
But if the kids just want takeaways, then no worries ... you can easily get tasty burgers or fish 'n chips.
Take the scenic Coastal Walk
Do so at your own pace. You'll be passed by power walkers and runners striving for fitness.
Just relax and take in the scenic beauty. You don't need to be super fit. Hopefully you've still a little energy after sun and surf.
Make sure you fuel up with a sandwich or some fruit (and a bottle of
water) before setting off big sunhat on head and camera at the ready...
The coastal walk between Bondi Beach and Bronte Beach is Sydney's most popular walk. People "do it" by the busload. The rewards are just wonderful.
Views to inspire and delight
Waves from the South Pacific
Ocean roll in with their endless show of nature's power.
first part of the walk takes you to pretty little Tamarama Beach -
another very desirable and trendy Sydney location. It is postage stamp
size compared with Bondi Beach, but the walk to it over Mackenzies Point
gives great views.
of the pathway to Bronte Beach is sealed and can be mastered with a very leisurely
stroll. You need care with a few rocky patches - and a steep set of
Sculpture by the Sea
by the Sea is a unique event which brings 500,000 visitors to Bondi, Tamarama
and Bronte each year to see innovative installations by high-profile artists.
landscape is transformed into a seaside art gallery as sculptures are spread
across the 2km coastal walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.
Take in this
free celebration of modern art from around the world if you’re visiting Sydney between mid-October and early November.
chance to see remarkable sculptures displayed on the rocky coastline against
the natural setting of Australia’s sun, sand and surf.
The event is
now the biggest outdoor sculpture exhibition in the world. For photos of the 2015 event see our Sculpture by the Sea page.
above is The Drogue - a sculpture by Kate Stehr of NSW).