Sydney's Bondi Beach: Beyond Sand and Surf

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Bondi Beach

Summer in Sydney: perfect weather, beautiful beaches, equally as beautiful people and a whole lot of outdoor activity. I’d like to direct your attention to the beach suburb of Bondi, home of the infamous Bondi Beach. Filled with deep-rooted locals and transient tourists alike, this area gives off a chill surfer town vibe yet is only a short 25 minute bus ride to the busy Sydney city. Undoubtedly, my first week or so was spent glued to the sandy shores of Bondi Beach; however, my curiosity soon got the best of me and led me to do some much needed exploring. So without further adieu here are the best ways I’ve found to indulge in Bondi’s culture.

Take A Day (Preferably More) To Enjoy The Café Culture

When I’m in a new city I love popping into interesting looking cafes at random. Sydney has an almost cult-like coffee culture, so the cafes make a great location to people-watch with a good book and journal in tow. My personal suggestions in Bondi include a cafe that turns into a wine bar at sunset called Chapter One, or the half bookstore/half café Gertrude and Alice. Of course, there are a multitude of beach-side cafes located on Campbell Parade — otherwise known as the main strip — such as Trio or Bondi Massive, for those that like to be right in the action.


Lattes. Photo Courtesy of Alpha.

The Coastal Walk

If you find yourself lusting after a beautiful view but want to get up and moving, the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach offers just that. The two-hour trek is more than worth it with its cliff side views and gradient blue ocean scenery (Seriously, coming from Wisconsin you don’t know how many times I had to pinch myself). There are benches and convenient rock areas to take it all in and a handful of smaller beaches such as Tamarama and Bronte along the way in case you just can’t wait to take a dip. Just make sure to bring a hat and sunscreen because that Aussie sun is serious!

Coogee Beach Walk

Coogee Beach Walk. Photo Courtesy of Mariana Ruiz.

Enjoy The Nightlife…Er, Afternoonlife

I’ll be honest, I’m not much for the nightlife scene anymore. Luckily, upon arriving in Bondi I’ve come to find there is a whole culture built upon afternoon social gatherings no matter what day of the week it is. The many cafes and restaurants seem to be jam-packed with locals and tourists alike getting their coffee fix or dining in for a big brekki (Australian slang for breakfast) while the sun is still shining—much more my style.

Just as Bondi is abundant with cafes, there is a seemingly endless amount of restaurants to choose from whether you’re looking for fish and chips, Brazilian, burgers or traditional Indian, to name a few. Of course, if you’d rather go for the farm to table approach, every Saturday during the summer the Bondi Farmer’s Market offers a beautiful assortment of fresh fruits and veggies, herbs, jams, jellies, farmstead cheeses and other artisanal eats.

Bondi Farmer's Market.

Bondi Farmer’s Market. Photo Courtesy of Mariana Ruiz.

And What Would Bondi Be Without Bondi Beach?

Of course, the iconic Bondi Beach is what draws in most who aren’t from Sydney, Australia. Although it’s known for its surfable waves, you don’t actually have to be a surfer to enjoy its beauty. The shore is always full of sunbathers both young and old, travelers trickling in from the many nearby hostels, runners, yogis, and those just looking to have some fun splashing around in the ocean. There’s also the Bondi Pavilion, located right on the beach and home to events like the international short film festival Flickerfest and Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema during the summer. If you’re looking for a quiet beach this isn’t the place I would suggest, but even as someone who prefers the more peaceful, solitary locations, Bondi Beach’s upbeat energy keeps me coming back to its golden sands.

*Featured image courtesy of Hector Garcia. Top photo: Bondi Beach. Photo courtesy of Mariana Ruiz.


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