Bondi Beach is a popular, and very well-known, beach located in Sydney. It’s about 7km east of the city centre and is an ideal spot to enjoy on a sunny Australian day. The beach is busy all year round with sunbathers, surfers, walkers, watersports participants and holidaymakers enjoying all that this iconic Sydney beach has to offer.
- Learning to Surf – A popular activity in the Bondi Beach area, and for most visitors a rite of passage into the experience of visiting Australia is to take a surfing lesson at one of Bondi’s local surf schools. There are a number of schools in the area making it an ideal spot to come and learn how to surf. If you already know how to surf, but aren’t travelling with a board or any equipment, the surf schools can also provide board rental.
- Bondi Rescue in Action – One of the reasons that Bondi Beach hit the big time, especially as a part of Australia’a international reputation, is that it’s the setting for popular reality show Bondi Rescue. The show follows local lifeguards as they perform around 5000 rescues every year in the summer period alone. Visiting Bondi Beach means that you’ll be able to see the boys in action, although hopefully you won’t need rescuing yourself.
- Bondi Icebergs – The Bondi Icebergs (sometimes called the Bondi Baths) have been a landmark at the beach for over 100 years. They are swimming pools located right on the sea shore, a unique experience to say the least. International visitors are welcome but locals will need to be members, or signed in by a member. Entry is at cost, and facilities include a restaurant and gym as well as the pool.
- Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk – Those looking for exercise and free entertainment will find more than enough of both by taking the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. This walk runs all the way along the coastline and cliffs via a well established pathway. It takes between 40 minutes and one hour to complete, and passes other famous beaches including Tamarama and Bronte.
There is no cost to access Bondi Beach in any way, however if you want to visit the Bondi Icebergs, you will need to pay.
|Seniors (Aus only)||$3.50|
|Family Pass (2 adults, 3 children)||$18|
|Adult 25 visits||$120|
|Child/Senior 25 visits||$70|
Towels are available for an added $3.50
- Safety – Bondi Beach may be popular but is is also a wild, natural attraction, which means there is potential for danger. Make sure you follow all the directions of the lifeguards and swim between the flags. The flags indicate safety, and failing to swim between them lessens your chances of someone seeing you if you’re in distress.
- Eating and Drinking – There are a plethora of restaurants, cafes and other dining options around the Bondi Beach area providing for people of all tastes and budgets. If you’re planning on bringing food, there are also picnic and BBQ facilities and Bondi Beach, and also on some of the other beaches in the area including Tamarama and Bronte. These are free to use by anyone, but on weekends they are often quite busy.
- Shopping – There are lots of places to shop around the Bondi Beach area, especially on the main road that faces the beach: Campbell Parade. There’s even a night market on this street, inside Roscoe Mall at 5pm between Thursdays and Sundays.
- Train and Bus: Take the train from Central to Bondi Junction, trains run every 10 minutes. Once you’re at the station catch the 333 (fastest), 380, 381, 382 or X82 bus.
- Bus: Buses from the city start at Circular Quay on Alfred Street. Catch the 333 or 380. The 389 also leaves from Circular Quay, but goes through the suburbs and stops at North Bondi a few blocks from the beach.
- Car: Getting to Bondi Beach by car is simple, but parking on site is expensive and limited, so it is not recommended.
- Taxi: Taxis from Bondi Junction cost around $15-25, from the city $25-40+ and from the airport $40-45+ depending on traffic.
Bondi Beach has a varied and interesting history, as is to be expected from a beach that has so long been a part of Sydney. Some 200 acres, including the beach area, was originally purchased privately by a man named Francis O’Brien around 1851. When the beach became increasingly popular, he threatened to deny beach access, leading to the government intervening and making it a public reserve. Bondi Beach was then opened to the public in June of 1882.
Bondi Beach was for a significant period at the centre of protests regarding the decency of beach wear. It was the central location for the 1907 Sydney bathing costume protests, which opposed standards of dress in place by the government. It wasn’t until 1961 that the law was replaced. Following a period where bathing suits were measured for decency by the Waverly Council’s beach inspectors, removals of individuals in improper attire was quite common.
- “Bondi” or “Boondi” was thought to be an Aboriginal word that means water breaking over rocks. However, the Australian Museum also records the meaning as: “a place where a fight of nullas took place”.
- On the 6th of February 1938 a number of large waves struck the beach and dragged people into the sea causing the drowning death of five people and the rescue or resuscitation of over 250 others. This day became known as ‘Black Sunday’.
- American movie star Jean Parker was escorted from Bondi Beach in 1951 after beach inspectors determined her bathing costume was too skimpy, an event that caused international headlines.