Australia’s Best Beaches: Bondi
Sydney’s (and perhaps Australia’s) most iconic beach sits on the eastern edge of the city, and sees about two and a half million visitors a year. Visually stunning, with a laid-back beach culture, vibrant shopping and eating scene, it’s a top choice for locals and visitors alike.
If you haven’t been, you should definitely go! We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite things to do, see, eat, and buy in sunny Bondi.
Named after the aboriginal word for “water breaking over rocks”, Bondi started in 1855 as a picnic ground and pleasure resort for the sea-hungry public. Access was by horse and cart (or on foot) until buses were made available, and eventually trams in the 1870s.
Evidence suggests that countless generations of Aboriginal toolmakers used the area as a place to hone their craft in the years prior, using the volcanic trench and rocks nearby to make stone and flint tools.
Dressing sheds were constructed in the early 1900s, kiosks, toilets, surf sheds, bandstands and parks were built in the 1920s, and by the end of that decade, Bondi saw 60,000 people daily.
Nowadays it’s multicultural melting pot of residents and tourists, there for everything from a swim to short film festivals.
You can read more about the history of Bondi here. The old-fashioned posters are the best!
Places to eat in Bondi
The local council puts out a brochure of recommended places, but popular places include:
- Trio Cafe
- Lox Stock & Barrel
- Bondi Hardware
- China Diner
- The Stuffed Beaver
- Sefa Kitchen
- Jed’s Food Store
If you still can’t make up your mind, check out the reviews from past diners at TripAdvisor for the best Bondi eateries.
Drinks with a view in Bondi
Ok so they might not always have a view, but these are the coolest places to grab a tipple or a glass of something cold.
Surf in Bondi
Long-time boarders will no doubt know all about the fabulous conditions, but if you’re a newbie and want to get your feet wet, there are plenty of surf schools to show you the ropes. Try Let’s Go Surfing, Waves Surf School, or Surf’s Up Surf School.
Shop in Bondi
If you happen to be in town on the weekend, check out the Bondi Markets inside the Bondi Beach Public School every Sunday from 10am – 4pm. Find antiques, artworks, clothing accessories, and plenty of memory-making items from your trip to the beach.
There are plenty of stores in and around the pubs and cafes on the main drag, Campbell Parade. You can find everything from sunscreen to diamonds, depending on your mood!
For surf and skate stuff, head to Bondi Surf Co.
For that must-have cute summer dress or floaty top, check out this list of options.
For snacks or sunscreen, head to Bondi Mini Supermarket, Fresh at Bondi, Hall St Fruit Market, or Organic Earth Food Store.
Things to do in Bondi
The Bondi to Coogee Walk is super popular – a 6km clifftop walk with the best views of the coast. Along the way you’ll find beaches, cliffs, bays, rock pools and parks. It takes about two hours to go the whole way, and is a medium gradient, so easy for most folk. There’s so much to see and do on the walk, there’s no wonder it’s so popular.
Yoga by the Sea – but of course!
You want whale watching? Fishing? Views? Toilets? A place to walk the dog? Sam Fiszman Park is the place for you.
If it’s a little culture you’re after, check out this list of art galleries and shows.
And of course you can soak up the sun on the beach with a good book, or go for a swim – between the flags!
- The Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot took place here in 2007 (it was eventually beaten by China in 2011).
- In 1907, protests were staged against the proposed plans to introduce a law requiring males to wear a skirt-like covering over their swimsuits to avoid indecency.
- In 1951, American movie star Jean Parker was removed from the beach after her bikini was deemed too skimpy by public decency inspectors.
- Bondi beach is the end point for the famous City to Surf fun run.
- The 2000 Summer Olympics volleyball tournament took place here.
- TV programs filmed at Bondi include: The Block, Bondi Rescue, Bondi Vet, Breakers, Scooby Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Modern Family, and was the “level: Australia” location for the video game Tony Hawk’s Underground 2.
- In 2010, IKEA celebrated the 30th anniversary of its BILLY bookcase by setting up 30 bookcases stocked with books on Bondi Beach. It was a one-day event where beachgoers could take, swap, or donate books.
What’s Bondi doing right now? Check out the weather and water on the real-time Bondi Surfcam.
What’s your favourite thing to do at Australia’s most famous beach?