If Australia is known for anything amongst the global community it is that this bountiful island proudly boasts some of the world’s best beaches and for many who visit Sydney a trip to Bondi is on top of the “must see” list. Admittedly, as a girl who hails from Sydney’s northern beaches I never understood the appeal of the eastern suburbs … but it’s not Sydney unless there is a rivalry between the North and East: the Australian answer to the houses of Capulet and Montague.
“Two households, both alike dignity … from ancient grudge break to new mutiny”
However, after spending some time in Bondi over the weekend after considerable time spent abroad I find myself with a new appreciation for Bondi Beach and can truly understand it’s appeal for the first time in my life. A trip to Bondi on the weekends is bound to be busy no matter the season but braving the crowds is a necessity to experience the vibrancy of this seaside suburb.
Start your day with a swim at Bondi Icebergs Club, which offers stunning views over the entirety of the beach sprawled before it. This famous icon is open all year round, with the exception of Thursdays and access is available to everyone, including patrons needing wheelchair assistance. Fees are reasonable and include entrance to both pools and sauna. With prices starting at $4.50 for children and $6.50 for adults they are on par with other entry fees across inner Sydney.
Should you be confident enough to swim in the open waters you are in good hands as the beach is patrolled 365 days per year manned by the oldest active surf living saving club in the world. Time your swim with the patrol times listed below for maximum safety and if you are not familiar with how to interpret conditions, hazards, swells and tides the Beachsafe App is a must for all beach goers, particularly tourists who have not grown up with the familiarity of sun and sand.
B E A C H P A T R O L T I M E S
*May to September: 8am- 5pm
*Late September to start of daylight saving October: 6am- 6pm
*Late October to end of daylight saving March: 6am- 7pm
*April: 6am- 6pm
For those feeling more adventurous Bondi Beach is an iconic place to learn how to surf because why not combine a famous Aussie past time with arguably the most famous Aussie beach. Let’s Go Surfing offers lessons with a maximum of five people per group and cater to all surfing abilities. There are a range of classes available to chose from, including private tuition, female only options to six week courses to name a few. For time strapped novices the two hour introductory class at a cost of $79.00 is your best option.
After a refreshing dip head to the Bondi Farmers Markets for “fresh produce and gourmet eats” if in town on a Saturday or the collective Bondi Markets held on Sundays. The markets are easily accessible found directly opposite the beach at Bondi Beach Public School and both commence respectively at 9.00am. With all markets that offer second hand clothes your time spent exploring the markets can be hit or miss however, the quality of vintage and pre-loved clothes on offer are truly in a league of their own making Bondi Markets a must for savvy fashionistas.
As you venture towards the markets allow plenty of time to get there as the boardwalk is decorated with incredible murals to marvel at which will surely slow your pace. In addition, Campbell Parade is brimming with unique boutiques so for the shopaholics amongst us this is a great place to purchase items from up and coming Australian designers and to source one of a kind pieces.
Bondi Beach represents the pinnacle of healthy living and the eateries available reflect this attitude to nourishing the mind, body and soul. You will be hard pressed not to find a café that creates beautiful vegan treats and revitalizing acai bowls with Bondi Wholefoods and The Dandylion deserving honourable mentions due to their cult status and loyal customer base.
Should you be eager to get the blood pumping, the Bondi to Coogee walk is undeniably one of Sydney’s most picturesque walks. This scenic walk on the perimeter of Sydney’s Eastern suburbs can be followed in either direction but given it crosses through five exquisite beaches give yourself plenty of time to take in the scenery. The design of this cliff top coastal walk appeals to a wide demographic as it is littered with rest stops and cafes for walkers to catch their breath or to simply soak in the seaside ambience. Several beaches, parks and play areas along the way appeal to the nature enthusiasts whilst giving children a chance to burn off extra energy. Lastly, fitness junkies will find the 6km not only a scenic form of exercise but numerous staircases and inclines will get those muscles working.
Sydney is ripe with several serene beaches dotted along the New South Wales coastline, but natural beauty is not the only contributing factor to Bondi’s iconic status. It is a seaside village with everything, markets, bars, eateries, activities and an ambience that attracts and openly welcomes everyone. A trip to Sydney is not complete without a trip to Bondi Beach.