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Sydney/Bondi Beach

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Oceania : Australia : New South Wales : Sydney : Bondi Beach
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Bondi Beach is a world famous beachside locality of Sydney.

Understand

The closest ocean beach to the centre of Sydney, Bondi has become synonymous with Sydney's beach lifestyle, and is very popular with tourists, residents, and resident tourists.

Bondi has become a favourite of the "barmy army" of British tourists, who annually gather on its sands for a Southern Hemisphere Christmas in the sun.[1] Bondi is also now home to numerous youth hostels with backpackers who congregate mainly in the summer months. It is not uncommon to hear Norwegian, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish or Spanish while walking across the beach or through the cafes.

Bondi Beach Panorama

Bondi Beach has a vaguely alternative feel, despite the obvious commercialism present, and attracts a large number of "individuals"; watch out, for example, for the guy who will strip off near the shops, to walk stark naked through the traffic on Campbell Parade, before going down to the beach.

Bondi Beach is very tolerant; topless sunbathing is common and gay and lesbian couples displaying affection can be seen.

Get in

Don't confuse Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach. Getting to Bondi Junction may be the closest rail station to the beach but still 3 km from it.

Although there are direct buses from the city centre to the beach, you will save about 30 minutes by taking suburban train and bus as opposed to bus only. Unless you have a MyMulti period ticket (which is recommended to have), there are rail tickets to "Bondi Beach" which include the bus.

From the city centre

From Central station, take a suburban train on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line (stopping on track 24) bound for Bondi Junction and get off at the terminus. The train runs every 10 minutes during off-peak and every 5 minutes during peak; it also stops at Town Hall, among others. At Bondi Junction, get to the A3 stand of the connecting bus terminal and hop on the 333 bus towards North Bondi, which connects with the suburban trains. After 10 minutes get off at Campbell Pde Nr Hall St and the beach will be on your right. The total travel time is 28 minutes from Central and as little as 25 minutes from Town Hall.

For more information see the transport infoline [2] (there is no such stop as Bondi Beach, and Campbell Pde Nr Hall St is your best bet).

From Sydney Airport

In this case your best bet is taking a suburban train on the Airport & East Hills Line bound for either Revesby or Macarthur, and get off at the next stop, Wolli Creek, and change there for an Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line train to Bondi Junction and finally the 333 bus to Campbell Pde Nr Hall St. Travel time from the airport is 47 minutes.

  • Sydney Airport Transfers [3] - Luxury airport transfers.

See

IMG 4925.jpg

See the crowds, the waves, the water, the sand, the sunbathers, the teenagers showing off, the tourists with long socks and shoes straight off the tour coach next to the skimpily clad sunbathers. It is all part of the Bondi Beach Scene.

If you see past the crowds, the beach itself is actually naturally scenic, and there is a esplanade running along the beach front and along to the rocks either side.

There are often displays in the historic Bondi Pavilion. Usually free, it is worth a quick look around.

Do

  • Swim. There are two sets of flags at the centre and at the north of the beach. Bondi Beach is a fantastic place cool off in the summer. There are change rooms and showers in the pavilion, access if free. There are lockers for hire.
  • Walk on the coastal walk (at the bottom of Notts Avenue, off Campbell Parade) to Tamarama , Bronte , Coogee and eventually Maroubra. Surely one of Sydney's most popular, spectacular and accessible walks. No shortage of places to stop off for a coffee or a cool drink along the way.
  • Surf. The southern end of the beach is reserved for surfers. There are surf schools like Let's Go Surfing [4] or you can rent surf boards and body boards, as well as wetsuits.
  • Bondi Icebergs [5] - A popular rock swimming pool with restaurant and bar facilities upstairs that look over the entire beach. It is named for the brave swimmers who compete here in the winter months. Opening hours: M-F: 6AM-7PM, Sa-Su: 6.30AM - 6.30PM. Entry $4 Adults/$2.50 Children/Seniors. Many other Sydney beaches have rock pools with no charge for access.
  • Scuba Dive at North Bondi. Meet the protected Blue Groper and visit the Cathedral Cave. Rent scuba gear from Dive Bondi [6] at 198 Bondi Rd. PADI [7] dive certification is available: Open Water is $425, Advanced Open Water is $375.
  • Beautiful Bondi Beach. Is renowned the world over for its sands and surf. It serves as a modern and trendy coastal resort, which is extremely popular. Bondi has several cafés and restaurants. These overlook the beach and make a wonderful place to stay and visit.

Events

  • The Festival of the Winds [8]- an annual kite-flying Festival in September.
  • North Bondi Surf Classic[9] Held each year a 2k swimming race for people of all ages.
  • Sculpture by the Sea [10]- An annual outdoor display of sculpture (over 100 separate works) distributed along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk (begins at the bottom of Notts Avenue, off Campbell Parade). Free.
  • Christmas. Bondi Beach is the traditional Christmas Day destination for backpackers for a Christmas Day "family" gathering for those whose real family is overseas. Alcohol is not allowed on the beach or in the water. The pubs are closed.

Eat

Bondi is a food lover's delight. There are countless cafes and restaurants on the streets around the beach, many with great views. If you're looking for something quick and easy, there are kiosks on the beach, and a cafe in the pavilion with plenty of tables on the wide promenade. Unless you are planning a Saturday or Friday night out, there is usually no need to book in advance. Just walk around and find somewhere you like, or grab fish and chips and eat on the beach.

  • Bondi Trattoria Café Restaurant, 34b Campbell Parade, ph 02 9365 4303. A fusion of Australian and Italian cuisine, in a relaxed and ambient setting.
  • Pompei's, 126 Roscoe Street, ph 02 9365 1233. A bit pricey, but the gelato is rich, creamy, and absolutely die for. They also serve authentic Italian pizza. Go during the day to avoid the crowds, which are a nightmare at night.
  • Harry's Espresso Bar, 136 Wairoa Avenue, ph 02 9310 2180. This tiny combined espresso bar, cafe and general store is a little out of the way, but is always busy, and for good reason. This is the place to go for a gourmet coffee experience. Harry's offers toast and sandwiches, and a selection of pastries and cakes. Located off Campbell Pde at the northern end of the beach, past the school.
  • Bondi Surf Seafoods, 128 Campbell Parade, ph 02 9130 4554. The Bondi Beach Fish Shop is the place to go for that dubious local speciality, the deep fried Mars Bar. Fans of the bar counsel caution: no matter how strong you think you are, restrict yourself to one deep fried Mars Bar daily. Bondi Surf Seafoods [11]
  • Gelato Bar Café Restaurant, 140 Campbell Parade, ph 02 9130 4033. Gelato Bar is one of the oldest places in Bondi and has built up a reputation over 40 years. They specialise in strudels, tortes, slices, crepes, and of course, gelato. For dinner, the food is European fare including Schnitzel, Beef Stroganoff, Goulash and Roast Duck ... and of course, you can get your fish and chip fix. The restaurant overlooks the beachfront.

Buy

Markets

  • Bondi Beach Markets, every Sunday 9AM-3PM in the grounds of Bondi Beach Public School, (Campbell Parade, one block north of the main shopping centre).

Drink

It is quite possible to go to Bondi Beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and not bother with any of that sand or water. The two biggest bars in Bondi are the Beach Road Hotel and Bondi Hotel. Both are excellent places to catch the finals in a cricket match or have a few drinks with your mates. Another great bar is at the previously mentioned Bondi Icebergs, it has a great view of the beach and relatively cheap drinks. Make sure to take some form of ID that proves you live outside a 5km radius as this is a club and the rule require that you be a member if you are inside 5km.

Of course, if you want to be "seen" then go for Ravesis on the corner of Hall St and Campbell parade. It attracts the beautiful people.. or at least those who think they are beautiful.

Bondi locals will tend to go for BB's Bar Bondi [12]. Established in 1959 BB's is a blues n roots, rock n roll live music venue. Recently relocated from its cramped spot on Curlewis St this funky little place is hidden in an atrium between the Bondi surf co shop and Bondi Ink on 78 Campbell Parade. Now offers food at affordable prices. There's always a happy hour from 5-7pm.

  • Tama Beach House, 22 Dellview Street Tamarama, [13]. Tama Beach House is located in a tranquil beachside setting overlooking Tamarama’s Mackenzie Bay. The residence is divided into 4 separate apartments which offer a private self contained holiday experience. Apartments enjoy swimming pool & BBQ facilities over looking the Ocean. from $98.

Sleep

  • Bondi Beach Holiday Homes, 128 Ramsgate Ave, 0430 561 657, [14]. A selection of 10 beautifully furnished holiday homes with modern comforts & spacious living areas. All homes are located in prime locations near Bondi Beach with public transport nearby. These private self contained apartments range from studio's to 3 bedrooms. Wifi Internet, linen, bath and beach towels all included. A smart accommodation option for short and long term stays. (33° 53' S,151° 16' E)

Budget

  • Bondi Sands [15], 252 Campbell Parade, tel 04 1456 8930, - A clean, friendly hostel 60 metres from the beach.
  • Indy's Backpackers [16], 35a Hall Street and Campbell Parade, tel 02 9365 4900, fax 02 9365 4994 - With two different locations, right in the heart of Bondi's cafe scene, Indy's Backpackers offers clean and comfortable rooms for the budget conscious.
  • Bondi Beachhouse YHA [17], Cnr Fletcher and Dellview Sts, tel (02) 9365 2088 - Awesome beach views from the rooftop. Free snorkelling gear, surf and body boards. Weekly backpacker entertainment nights.
  • Tama Beach House [18], 22 Dellview Street - Tama Beach House is located in a tranquil beachside setting overlooking Tamarama’s Mackenzie Bay. The residence is divided into 4 separate apartments which offer a private self contained holiday experience. Apartments enjoy swimming pool & BBQ facilities over looking the Ocean.

Contact

Get out

Congratulations on making it to the world famous Bondi Beach. Time now to discover some of Sydney's other fantastic but lesser known beaches up and down the Sydney coast. Each has its own character. Try the other Eastern Suburbs beaches, some within walking distance. Cronulla Beach is just over the Georges River further south. Sydney's Northern Beaches stretching north from Manly to Palm Beach.


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