Bondi is arguably Australia’s most famous beach, an iconic spot worshipped the world over for its pristine sands, curling surf, vibrant community and outdoors lifestyle. Located just seven kms from the heart of the city, Bondi Beach is the epitome of good living. Open-air restaurants and al-fresco cafes line the curve of the bay, and food is ubiquitous, from exclusive fine dining to juice bars and sushi shops, Italian, Indian, Middle-eastern, Thai, modern Australian, fusion cuisine, Continental, seafood, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and more. Markets gather crowds at the weekends and at night, and the bars and hotels pulse with energy. With edgy urban fashion and a competitive sporting streak, Bondi leads the pack as Sydney’s closest and most spectacular city beach. The kilometre long beach is bookended on both sides by beautiful headlands that form its protected cove and which, to the south, offer a cliff walk with sweeping views to nearby Tamarama, Bronte and Coogee beaches. In summer Bondi is a surfing sunbathing mecca, drawing thousands of visitors during the week and tens of thousands at the weekends. In winter, it is the attraction of exceptional cuisine, and Bondi’s justifiable reputation as an entertainment hot spot.
Bondi Beach is home to a number of surfing clubs, the Bondi Longboard Club, the Bondi Surfing Club and the Bondi Girls Surfriders club, as well as the infamous Surf Life Saving Club, said to be one of the world’s oldest, if not the oldest, which is now splashed across the screen in Channel 9’s Bondi Rescue. The beach is a mecca for surfers, not only because of its broad expanse, but also because of the southerly swells that bring monster waves and curling tunnels of surf. Saltwater swimming pools open to the public are located at both ends of the beach, the newly refurbished Bondi Icebergs pool to the south and the North Bondi kids pool to the north.
The famous Bondi Pavilion, perched on the sand in the foreground of the bay, has a colourful history. In 1928, the Pavilion was known as the Playground of the Pacific, complete with Turkish baths, a ballroom, and a gymnasium and it was here that people would meet to see and be seen. As the popularity of ballroom dancing declined, a new scope had to be found for the pavilion; as a community centre in the late 70s, people flocked to the building to take part in classes and workshops, and to experience exhibitions, concerts and theatre productions. Today the Pavilion hosts music festivals, art exhibitions, yoga sessions, capoeira, theatre productions, African dance classes and more.