Bondi Beach Australia
"Bondi Beach Australia - Probably the most iconic beach in Australia"
You've no doubt heard of Bondi, perhaps you've seen it on the TV programme, "Bondi Rescue" where good looking surfers rescue tourists from the waves, or perhaps you've heard other travellers talk about it?
Well, you simply have to visit Bondi Beach Australia. Known by some as the "playground of the pacific," this really is a fun place to visit.
But there is an element of "tackiness" to Bondi. This page is designed to tell you how to avoid the tourist traps and pick out the best parts of Bondi Beach Australia
Why Visit Bondi Beach Australia?
There are plenty of reasons to visit this great beach but here are my top 10 reasons
1) The beach itself - is a large horseshoe shape and so even on a busy summer's day you can find a spot
2) Admire the good looking surfers - true rugged Aussie men out in the surf. The people watching is a must!
3) Learn to surf - The waves and Bondi range from hard to fairly easy which means you can learn to surf here. It's pretty cool to tell your mates that you've surfed on Bondi Beach Australia.
4) Enjoy the views - there are some great places to eat and drink in Bondi that offer beautiful views over all of Bondi (see later section)
5) The Bondi to Bronte walk. This is an awesome coastal walk that hugs the cliffs and offers amazing views. In late October there is also the "Sculptures by the Sea" exhibition which makes this walk even more amazing.
6) Admire the beautiful people! - Bondi is full of the beautiful crowd - tanned perfect bodies either on the beach or meeting up with friends in one of the many cafes. It can make you feel a little inadequate but never fear, there are lots of interesting characters around which will make you feel much better about yourself!
7)Bondi Markets - On every Sunday morning at Bondi Beach public School (north Bondi), offering a wide variety of items including cool fashions, jewelry and furniture.
8)Great Cafes and Restaurants - There are some great places to eat and drink in Bondi Beach Australia (see below for more details)
9)The place to come on Christmas Day - It's become the place to go on Christmas day for travellers who are without their families on Christmas Day. Sadly alcohol has now been banned on the beach after a few near drownings!
10) The Bondi Short Film Festival runs during the summer months at the main Bondi Beach Pavillion (building behind the centre of the beach) and shows up and coming as well as old school movies. Perfect on a warm summers evening.
How To Avoid The Tourist Traps
Unfortunately Bondi does attract a large crowd of back packers so in peak summer, it can feel very touristy. The main strip behind the beach is called Campbell Parade and it's full of souvenir shops, Hungry Jacks (think McDonalds) and over priced restuarants.
But go just one street back from Campbell Parade and you'll discover a whole new side to Bondi that you will fall in love with.
Hall Street is one of my favourites (Ravesis is on the corner of Campbell Parade and Hall street) Take a stroll up this street and you'll discover some boutique shops, nice cafes and a bar called Bungabar.
Curlewis street is also worth a wander down and visit the art gallery called Aquabumps for some awesome pictures of famous Bondi Beach Australia.
So, my recommendation is don't eat on Campbell Parade, get off the strip and dive down the side streets to find some more authentic places. See list below of my favourites.
My Favourite Places to Eat and Drink in Bondi Beach Australia
There really is so many great places to choose from but take it from a local, these are the best:
Bungabar Hall street. Small and always has a holiday feel to it.
Icebergs bar - you can just pop here for a drink rather than eat. Personally, I'd go next door to the Icebergs RSL and get the same view for half the price!
Beach Road Hotel, 71 Beach Road. Whilst this hotel is not on the front so no ocean views, it's a firm favourite with the locals - bars, restaurants and regular live music, make it a hot spot.
Cream Tangerine The bar to be seen at. This is on the balcony of the Swiss Grand Hotel. (there is a side door on Campbell Parade rather than having to go through the hotel) Think cocktails and loud music with awesome views of the beach.
Ravesis corner of Campbell Parade and Hall Street. Plenty going on here with bars, restaurants and cocktails. It goes barmy here on a hot day!
Hurricane's bar and grill Roscoe Street - for the best steak and ribs in town, head here. You'll need to book though as this place is always busy, particularly when a cruise ship is in Sydney - it must be in a popular guide book as everyone seems to flock here. It's pretty noisy though so not one for a romantic meal for two!
Pompeis Roscoe Street. Two doors down from Hurricanes is this delightful italian. Both the pizza and pasta are great and you can bring your own wine. Or why not just pop in for one of their awesome ice creams
Sean's Panorama Whilst this looks like a mediocre cafe on Campbell parade (north bondi nearly at the end of the beach), this is one of Sydney's best restaurants with amazing Australian food prepared by chef Sean Moran. Book well in advance and expect to pay $30+ for a main course. Worth it though.
Flying Squirrel - a bit of a walk up Bondi road (or get off the bus before you reach Bondi Beach) - a great modern Spanish tapas place with a good wine list. You can't book but expect to wait an hour for a table if you get here between 7 and 8.30pm.
Nick's Seafood Restaurant Bondi Pavillion. An institution and part of Bondi. Great fish and great views. Expensive though but the seafood platters are amazing.
For cheap eats with amazing views try either North Bondi RSL or Icebergs RSL. You will need a form of photo ID with you to get in. Once in you have amazing views of the beach. Each one of these RSL's is at either end of the beach. Just ask and someone will get you there. There's nothing funky about these places - functional, cheap but with the added benefit of AMAZING views. Definitely worth a visit.
For something really special then try either Icebergs or the North Bondi Italian. Both are owned by the same people. Both are pricey.
Icebergs you can book but for North Bondi Italian, you have to get there either early (6.30pm) or late (after 9:30pm) to stand a chance of getting a table.
Both have amazing views over the beach and both offer excellent food. My preference is Icebergs as it feels more special, where as North Bondi Italian is understated but still very pricey.
Nothing beats brunch down at Bondi Beach Australia. Maybe go for a quick swim or surf and then head to one of these great cafes for breakfast or afternoon cake.
The Blue Orange - Hall Street. Good atmosphere and good food
Gertrude and Alice - a book shop with a small cafe. This one is perfect for an afternoon cake and coffee where you can browse the second hand books at the same time.
Speedos, Ramsgate Street - A place where all the celebs and beautiful people hang out. Wear your dark glasses and blend in with the crowd.
Gusto Bondi, Hall Street - the vibe here is awesome as is the coffee.
Jo and Willys depot A popular place with the locals for their large and tasty salads. It's on Campbell parade but away from the main strip of tacky shops.
Where to Stay
Staying in Bondi Beach Australia is a good option. It feels like you are really on holiday. You would need to get a bus into the city to visit the other key sites though which can take 45 minutes. It really depends where you think you will spend most of your time - beach or city.
Another option is to stay in the city for some of your time and then in Bondi for a few days.
Options are to try and rent an apartment or holiday home through www.stayz.com.au. Just search under Bondi Beach Sydney and you will find something in your price range
Or for affordable (but probably quite party) accommodation go for Ravesi's Hotel
For the Backpackers amongst you, try Noahs Bondi Beach Hostel To be honest, most of the backpackers places in Bondi Beach Australia, have really gone down hill and are now pretty awful. This one has a great location but that is about it! I hear the kitchens are pretty awful but there are plenty of places to eat in Bondi!
I'd opt for finding a roomshare if you intend to stay for longer than a couple of weeks. Try the notice boards in local cafes or post an ad on sydney.gumtree.com.au under the "short term house rents" section.
Or, stay in town at the Sydney Central Hostel
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