Lonely Planet review
Definitively Sydney, Bondi is one of the world’s great beaches: ocean and land collide, the Pacific arrives in great foaming swells and all people are equal, as democratic as sand. It’s the closest ocean beach to the city centre (8km away), has consistently good (though crowded) waves, and is great for a rough-and-tumble swim (the average water temperature is a considerate 21°C). If the sea’s angry, try the saltwater sea baths at either end of the beach; these are perfect for kids.
The two surf clubs – Bondi and North Bondi – patrol the beach between sets of red-and-yellow flags, positioned to avoid the worst rips and holes. Thousands of unfortunates have to be rescued from the surf each year (enough to make a TV show about it), so don’t become a statistic – swim between the flags. Surfers carve up sandbar breaks at either end of the beach; it’s a good place for learners, too. Prefer wheels to fins? There’s a skate ramp at the beach’s southern end. If posing in your budgie smugglers (Speedos) isn’t having enough impact, there’s an outdoor workout area near the North Bondi Surf Club. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), this is the part of the beach where the gay guys let it all hang out.
Bondi Pavilion has changing rooms, lockers and a gelato shop. Ice-cream vendors also strut the sand in summer. At the beach’s northern end there’s a grassy spot with coin-operated barbecues. Booze is banned on the beach.