Bondi Beach is world renowned. Even if you haven’t been, chances are you’ve heard of it and once you see it, you’ll realise why it deserves its reputation. The curved expanse of soft, white sand, the crashing waves and sandstone cliffs all combine to create a spectacular seaside suburb. Bondi epitomises Sydney’s laid-back beach lifestyle and has something for everyone.
By the water
Professional lifesavers patrol the beach all year and even have a reality TV show, Bondi Rescue. With a temperate climate, locals and visitors swim year-round and surfers can be spotted in the waves at dawn. A fun way to experience Bondi is to learn to surf at a surf school, such as Let’s Go Surfing.
Bondi is also home to one of the oldest surf lifesaving clubs in the world and one of Australia’s oldest swimming clubs, iconic Bondi Icebergs at the southern end of the beach. You can swim laps with the Icebergs, the nickname given to those brave enough to go winter swimming, in the Bondi Baths.
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a memorable way to make the most of the area. The picturesque 6km trail is carved into the sandstone cliffs and has uninterrupted views of the ocean. From May to November, it’s the ideal vantage point to spot whales during their annual migration.
Things to do
Sculpture by the Sea is the world’s biggest annual free outdoor sculpture exhibition, showcasing the work of more than 100 Australian and international artists. The sculptures are dotted along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, set amongst the beauty of nature rather than a sterile gallery.
Ancient Aboriginal rock carvings can be found in the area and tour groups can explore this heritage with indigenous-owned Bondi Aboriginal Walking Tours. For more things to do, you’ll find a vibrant events calendar chock full of festivals, markets and activities that are on throughout the year.
Eat and drink
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beachside cafes, hip bars and restaurants to tempt your tastebuds. Speedo’s Café in trendy North Bondi has water views and was recently named the most Instagrammable cafe in the world, so get down there to snap the food and the view for your feed.
For fine dining combined with ocean views, book a table at Sean’s Panaroma, a small, intimate restaurant at the northern end of the beach or Icebergs Dining Room and Bar at the southern end of the beach if you prefer a big, bright, buzzy space. Both acclaimed restaurants feature in the national Good Food Guide.
Hall Street and the other backstreet are dotted with delightful cafes, cool bars and casual restaurants. Drink at Neighbourhood and Bondi Hardware and eat at Brown Sugar or Lox Stock & Barrel. You can also head to beachside Campbell Parade for takeaway fish ‘n’ chips and savour them on the beach.
There are plenty of places to stay in Bondi, from youth hostels to apartments, beach houses and beachside hotels. QT Bondi offers a boutique, high end stay, Hotel Ravesis is right on Campbell Parade above a popular bar or opt for a self-contained stay at Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach Sydney on Hall Street.
Bondi’s proximity to the CBD is one of its main attractions, combining an urban lifestyle with a spectacular beach. It’s only 30 minutes by public transport from Town Hall station in the city centre so it’s easily accessible to everyone, catch the train to Bondi Junction and then hop on a bus or catch a bus that goes from the CBD straight to the beach.