Visiting Australia’s Bondi Beach
Mention Sydney to people and two main things will come to mind: the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach.
The latter is one of the most iconic beaches in the world, and one of Australia's most-visited attractions. But why is Bondi Beach so famous? After all, the country has coastlines to spare and more beautiful beaches than anyone could ever visit.
Let us take you through a virtual run-through of the incredible Bondi Beach, so you can see why its fame is absolutely justified.
Is Bondi Beach Worth Visiting?
From the moment it was made public in the early 20th century, Bondi Beach has attracted crowds. Unless you come very early in the morning, you'll be sharing sand space with hundreds of other people.
But this doesn't detract from the beauty of its crescent shape or the respite that its cold water provides during the hot Australian summer.
Easily accessible by public transit, it only takes around 30 to 40 minutes to get here from Sydney. If you have a car, it's even faster. So making time to visit is really a no-brainer. We'd even say that no visit to Sydney would be complete without a day at gorgeous Bondi Beach.
And, trust us, there are plenty of things to do to keep you occupied.
Surfing at Bondi Beach
Surfing is a time-honored tradition at this Sydney beach. The name "Bondi" may have come from the Aboriginal world "boondi," which means the noise made by sea waves. Or, as we would say it in English, the surf.
Bondi doesn't just embody surf as a noun, but also as a verb. You can expect tall, strong waves throughout the year, which is what brings so many surfers here almost every single day.
If you're already into the sport, we don't have to convince you to come to catch waves at Bondi. But if you're new to it, consider going taking lessons with one of the schools that operate right on the beach.
The lessons are fairly affordable. Even if you don't fully succeed at riding the board, the experience will still be incredibly fun. Let's Go Surfing is a beloved local institution you can trust for good instruction and a heck of a good time.
One of the World's Coolest Pools
If you want to enjoy Bondi but don't feel quite ready to head right into the ocean, make your way to the Bondi Icebergs Club. Their amazingly unusual pool is set right by the sea. When the waves are strong enough, they'll crash into the side of the pool and spill into it. How often do you get to experience sea waves from a saltwater pool?
Besides a fun experience, the pool allows people to swim during the winter. This was the original idea behind the Icebergs Club, which started with a group of people who wanted to commit to keeping active even when the weather turned cold.
The Bondi to Congee Walk
After playing in the water, Bondi Beach's best attraction is the scenic Bondi to Congee Walk. The coastal promenade takes you through beaches, cliffs and parks. Without stopping, you can get through it in about 45 minutes. But there's no rush, so take your time to stop and appreciate the beauty of Australia.
You'll catch glimpses of surfers dancing with the waves from the walk. And if you get lucky, you may even see whales breaching near the shore, or a dolphin pod jumping through the surface.
That said, keep in mind that you won't be alone, as dozens of others will have the same idea. If you want the same breathtaking views but fewer crowds, head to the nearby Federation Cliff Walk. This walkway goes north from Bondi Beach to Watson's Bay, passing through tall limestone cliffs along Sydney Bay.
The Bondi Beach Graffiti Wall
Another cool out-of-water activity is walking around (and taking pictures of) the Bondi Beach Graffiti Wall.
For around 40 years, this area of Bondi has been decorated with creative and eye-catching street art. As is the nature of this style, murals only last a couple of months before they are painted over with something new.
Knowing that the wall is never the same, people make it a point to visit regularly and check out new pieces.
Staying Safe at Bondi Beach
The most impressive part of Bondi's resume is that it is credited with having the first lifeguards in the world. As far back as 1907, two surf lifesaving clubs were established right here. Though originally meant for rescuing surfers, the idea eventually morphed into the now ubiquitous safety practice found around the planet.
Both lifesaving clubs are still around and continue to patrol the shores of Bondi, helping swimmers and surfers. So, what are the main risks of swimming here?
Many people's main fear is the great white shark. Notoriously active in Australia, this uncommonly aggressive type of shark is actually not something to worry about as much of the coast has an underwater net that keeps sharks out. While nothing is 100 percent foolproof, the chances of a large shark passing through are minimal.
What you should be worried about, however, are the waves and the deadly rip currents. The north part of the beach is gentle, rated four on a scale of 10 for safety. If you want a peaceful swim in the sea, it's worth walking a bit further to get here.
The southern end of the beach is more dangerous due to its stronger currents. It's usually meant only for surfboard riding. In general, avoid the part of the beach that's closest to the bus stop, as it tends to have rip currents and is rated a seven in danger. And always, always swim between the flags — they're there for a reason!