Hanging out in Bondi Beach

Brad PetersonApr 26, 2013 | edited Apr 26, 2013 - by @BradPeterson

Just a short bus ride or car trip from the SW capital of Sydney, Bondi Beach is a must on your Australian to-do list. Pronounced with a long “i” as in Bonzai, Bondi is the place for beach days of sun and fun.

Founded in the 1850s as part of Sydney's expansion to the suburbs, Bondi Beach takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning “waves crashing over rocks.”

To get out of the exciting but populous Sydney, escape to the white sand paradise waiting at Bondi's beautiful coastline. You may be able to watch the migration of whales and dolphins or might sneak a peak at the elusive fairy penguin.

As a starting point, there is no better place than the Bondi Pavilion. Stop by the Community Center for some visitors information, get ready for your beach day in the showers and changing rooms, or see the outdoor amphitheater.

Hitting the beach, stroll along the sandy coast and sunbathe with the bronzed locals, or take a swim in the clear blue waters on the northern side of Bondi Beach. For more challenging waves, surfers can head south, where the water can be perilous for a swim but heaven for a surf session. In the summer months, lifeguard patrols are all over the beach and shark nets are laid out for further protection.

Take in a bit of Bondi Beach's history and beauty with one of the scenic walks. Start at Bondi's old Pavilion, begun in 1928, on the way to the cliffs of Bronte. See the Hawkesbury sandstone belt which dates back to over 200 million years B.C. Or visit the old Bronte Baths en route to Waverley Cemetery.

For a look at Bondi's bikini culture, don't miss the vibes on the southern beaches, where topless sunbathers thumb their noses to convention on a daily basis. Bondi hold the title in the Guinness Book of World Records: Largest Swimsuit Issue Photo Shoot in history.

Get into the groove of the wild City to Surf Fun Run which takes place every August. Participants make their way to Bondi Beach from Sydney's center. Or go fly a kite in the annual Festival of the Winds in September.

Along the waterfront is a wide variety of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit any budget. Have a pint in one of the pubs and see why the locals are known for their friendliness.

Bondi Beach has been a popular location for film and television, such as the lifeguard show Bondi Rescue or the fictional Breakers.

The eyes of the world were on Bondi Beach during the 2000 Summer Olympics, when it served as the setting for the beach volleyball games.

Visitors looking to spend a night or weeks in Bondi Beach will find accommodations in any price range. Backpacker hostels, small upscale hotels and charming bed-and-breakfasts are all options.

Just thirty minutes away from Sydney by car, Bondi Beach can be accessed by taking Oxford Street out of the capital until it becomes Enfield Drive and then Bondi Road. Due to the traffic and parking crunch on popular weekends, locals recommend going to Bondi Beach via public transportation. Buses to Bondi usually leave Sydney on an hourly basis.

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edited Jul 28, 2011 - by @campervanhireincairns28198
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