As well as being Sydney’s best beach, ‘Bondi’ is actually an Aborigine word meaning ‘the sound of water crashing over the rocks’ – which is very apt here!
After getting off the bus at Bondi Beach, one of the my first ports of call after marvelling at the views of the mighty ocean, was to head into the renowned seafront bar Bondi Icebergs. The name may sound like a seedy nightclub, but in fact Bondi Icebergs is known among all travellers to Sydney to be one the highlights of the coastline in these parts. It is not just a bar, but also seemingly a sports club of some kind, and it comes complete with a freshwater swimming pool which you can pay to swim in instead of the ocean (if you’re scared of sharks and jellyfish).
I could see it was another very busy day here at Bondi. There were locals and tourists alike all equally enjoying the southern hemisphere sun. Many of these so-called ‘tourists’ were in fact backpackers who I had met over the road at a great hostel called Noah’s Backpackers. I knew that one of the things backpackers in Sydney like to do when they wake up is just to head down the beach and either sunbathe or surf – and I joined in for a while! Being a keen hiker, I also decided to walk what is known as the ‘Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk’, which took me along the seafront viewing amazing rock formations and witnessing cool riptides along the way.
Bondi Beach is around 1km in length, and while the southern end is usually reserved for hardcore surfing, the rest of the beach is available for all uses, although it is worth noting that the northern aspects of the beach have by far the calmer – and safer – waters. There is a shark net in the summer months that protects the waters in front of Bondi Beach. Sightings of Great White Sharks are not uncommon by lifeguards further away from the coast and if necessary, they will close Bondi and the surrounding beaches as a safety precaution until the shark can be lured back out to deeper waters.
For whatever reason you come to Bondi Beach, make sure you stay safe and obey the rules and regulations that are there for a reason. For information on swell and riptides, check out this up-to-date site from Beachsafe.org, which also translations in a multitude of other languages if English is not your Mother Tongue!