Situated 7km east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverly Council, in the eastern suburbs, Bondi beach or Bondi bay is the name of a famous beach and a suburb, in Sydney, New south wales, Australia. Bondi, North Bondi and Bondi junction are all neighboring suburbs.
A little into history…’Bondi’ or ‘Boondi’, is an indigenous Australian word, meaning ‘noise of water breaking over rocks’. Bondai beach was a private piece of land, which was later on opened to the public. Throughout the 20th century, Bondi was a working class suburb and comprised a majority of immigrants hailing from New Zealand. Post World war two, immigrants from Germany, Russia, Poland, Hungary etc., also came and settled in the Bondi suburb. With this mixing of cultures, Bondi slowly became the domain of the rich upper class people from the poor working class. Bondi beach has a history of being the centre of protest against the strict laws stating that the bikini was an indecent and improper attire to be worn on the beach.
The Bondi beach is about 1 km long and receives a lot of visitors throughout the year. The beach has been given different hazard ratings by the Surf Lifesaving Australia. The southern end has been rated gentle, while the northern end is not so gentle, with its famous rip tides known as ‘Bagpackers Express’. The presence of the rip tides makes the tourists feel vulnerable and unwilling to walk the length, there is a bus depot to help tourists go across. The southern end is reserved for surf board riding and the ‘safe swimming’ areas have been marked with yellow and red flags.
Bondi beach shares an underwater shark net with the other beaches, on the southern parts of the coast during the summer months. During the migration months one can sight pods of whales and Dolphins in the bay. Fairy Penguins, though rarely, are also seen swimming close to the shore or even amongst the surfers in the southern line up.
The Bondi beach also holds the Guinness World Record, for the largest swimsuit photo shoot, which was set up at the Bondi beach, with over a 1000 bikini clad women taking part in it.
The Bondi beach found a place in the list of Australian National Heritage in the year 2008.
Indulge in sports and recreation-
The Bondi beach being the end point of the City to Surf Fun Run held every year in the month of august attracts a lot of visitors. There are over 63,000 entrants participating in this race, which starts from The Central Business district of Sydney and finishes on the Bondi beach. Other yearly activities at the Bondi beach include, the Flickerfest, which is an academy award accredited short film festival. Founded in 1992, at the Balmain High Schthe festival is held every year in the month of January, on the Bondi beach, Sydney.
The people celebrate the World Environment Day with a lot of fervor, the celebrations are held on the beach.
The Sculpture by the Sea, is the largest outdoor exhibition. It was initiated at Bondi Beach and it featured sculptures, made by both Australians as well as overseas artists. Sculpture by the sea is held annually in the month of November.
Also, the Bondi beach market is open every Sunday. Owing to all these various attractions, a number of Irish and British tourists, decide to spend their Christmas day relaxing on the beautiful Bondi beach.
A beach volleyball competition, organized by the 2000 Summer Olympics, was held at the Bondi beach. A 10,000 seat stadium, 2 warm up courts and 3 training courts were set up for the competition.
The Life guard clubs at Bondi beach consist of , The Bondi Surf Bather’s Life Saving Club, which is supposedly the first surf lifesaving club and the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving club, which is a federation club.
Bondi Iceberg Swimming club was set up by a band of Lifesavers, who wished to keep their fitness intact.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the Bondi beach, has a commercial and a residential area, housing en number of cafes, hotels and restaurants, all with a breathtaking view of the beach. The Hotel Bondi is an important landmark of the Bondi beach townscape, and enjoys a State Heritage status.
The Swiss Grand hotel situated opposite the beach, is another landscape of the Bondi beach residential area. The hotel was built on the site of an old service station, which was in a very poor condition, as a result of disuse and neglect.
A community cultural centre by the name of Bondi Pavilion, housing a theatre, rehearsal, gallery, meeting and function rooms, art workshops, studios etc., is located on the Bondi beach itself. The pavilion too enjoys a state heritage status. Throughout the year, there are a number of festivals and performances taking place in the Bondi Pavilion.
Other popular cultural events include numerous festivals such as the annual Bondi Beauty Pageant have attracted a lot of travellers from all around the world.
The Bondi beach has been used as a set in a lot a hollywood films such as the Breakers, Being Lara Bingle, the Bondi vet etc.
The breathtaking Bondi beach is an absolute paradise for those who want a refuge from their monotonous city life…give it a chance, visit Bondi Beach, Sydney !