Image by Robert Harding Getty Images
Definitively Sydney, Bondi is one of the world’s great beaches. 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 child-friendly saltwater sea baths at either end of the beach.
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. Changing rooms and lockers (small/large $4/6) can be found at Bondi Pavilion.
Gay guys tend to hang out near the North Bondi Surf Club, which is also where there's an outdoor workout area. At the beach’s northern end there’s a grassy spot with coin-operated barbecues, but don't bring booze to your picnic – it's banned on the beach.