Bondi Beach Australia: Surfing, Swimming, Sunshine, Shopping & Sunsets
No trip to Sydney is complete without going to Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most famous beaches. It’s a place that you always hear about and hope to see one day, and in our case, we made it a reality, spending several days exploring Bondi Beach Australia!
Where Is Bondi Beach?
Bondi Beach is located in Bondi, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, about 30 minutes outside the city center. Its white sand stretches along the Pacific Ocean in a crescent shape and is home to some of the country’s greatest waves and surfers, as well as massive crowds.
About Bondi Beach Australia
The beach itself is only about 6/10ths of a mile long (1 kilometer), with areas for both swimming and surfing. The northern end of the beach is by far the best for families and swimming, with a low hazard rating of 4. But head down to the southern end, less than a 15-minute walk and you’ll find a hazard rating of 7. This is due to a hellacious rip current, which isn’t great for swimmers but can yield some great waves for experienced surfers.
The expanse of white sand beach is popular with both tourists and locals, meaning that you will be competing for a spot during summer weekends. But it’s a great place to catch some rays, get your feet wet in the Pacific Ocean, and do some people watching.
The beach is home to a number of events throughout the year, including the Festival of the Winds (a kite flying contest) and the City to Surf Run (much like San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers). You’ll even find the shore popular in the wintertime when temperatures plummet. This is due to a popular event, the Bondi Winter Magic Festival (usually held the whole month of July). There’s plenty to see and do, including having some fun on the temporary ice rink that is set up on the beach.
Weather in Bondi Beach Australia
Given that Australia is Down Under, their seasons are reversed. While we are celebrating Christmas in the states, they are enjoying late Spring/early Summer. January through March are the warmest months of the year, with the temperatures in the mid-to-the-high 70s during the day. Evening temperatures aren’t much lower, only dropping to about 68 degrees. There are actually more days of rain in the summer than any other season, adding to the humidity, but it won’t be enough to make you curtail your activities.
The rest of the year temperatures during the day are usually in the 60s with nighttime rarely getting colder than 50 degrees. So overall, Bondi Beach is pretty moderate in temperature. Rarely will you see a heat wave, nor will you be so cold that you have to wear your down jacket and lined pants. That makes it easy to buy clothes but doesn’t provide much of a variation between seasons.
Our Accommodations at Bondi Beach
During our week in Sydney, more specifically Bondi Beach, we decided to rent a little apartment through Airbnb instead of getting a hotel since we were going for a more relaxed vibe. Our apartment located on Gould street, which is the street lined with boutiques. It was only one block from the beach and we were able to easily walk around and explore Bondi without needing to get an uber or taxi.
On our day trips to Sydney city center, we took about a 10 minute Uber ride to Darling Point Wharf and took the ferry to Circular Quay. This was actually one of my favorite things because you’re able to get a grand view of the Sydney skyline which includes an unobstructed view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I highly recommend taking the Sydney ferry at least once.
Things to Do In Bondi Beach Australia
There’s no lack of activities along the beach and in the suburb of Bondi.
In addition to being able to just hang out, swim, and enjoy a day at the beach, there are several local surfing schools that offer lessons at Bondi Beach, should you be so inclined. If you head up to the sandstone headlands that bookend the beach during the right time of year (mid-June through July)., you can get some whale watching in.
You can also take a wander up Campbell Parade, the main street that fronts the beach. It’s full of boutiques, galleries, cafés, and bars. A little something for everyone!
Icebergs Bondi Beach Pools
This is one of the coolest places we saw in Australia and a definite must-do on any list. Formed by the Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club over 100 years ago, this clubhouse and restaurant, pool, and sauna are open to the public.
The pool, also called the Bondi Baths sits on the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean, and it’s not uncommon to have the waves crash into the cliff and send spray up to the pool. For a mere $7, you can don your suit and jump in for a swim, enjoying probably the most incredible view from a lap pool anywhere in Australia.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
This is a coastal walk that runs from Bondi Beach to Coogee. It’s 6 kilometers from start to finish (just under 4 miles) with a few steeper sections and several staircases. The walk takes about 2.5 hours, not including rest and ogling stops. And you’ll be ogling a lot, I guarantee it.
The walk takes you above the beach and along the cliffs, following the coastline and passing by the Waverly Cemetery, smaller beaches, and more than a few cafés (which make for nice rest stops). The views are gorgeous, definitely worthy of more than a few snapshots.
There’s a trail that connects Bondi Beach with Tamarama Beach (part of the Bondi to Coogee Walk). Tamarama Beach is about a 25-minute walk along the trail from the Icebergs (see below). While it is a small beach, it is reportedly where the “beautiful” people hang out, hence its nickname “Glamarama.”
Note: In the Spring (October/November), you’ll find that the section of trail from Bondi to Tamarama plays host to the Sculpture by the Sea Exhibition. So you not only get the magnificent beach and cliff views, but you can witness the magnificence of local artists as well.
If you head 5 minutes up the trail from Tamarama, you’ll hit Bronte Beach, a smaller beach popular for swimming and surfing. There are picnic tables and free electric barbecues on the city side of the beach, as well as a playground for the younger set.
Bronte is also home to the Bogey Hole. The Bogey Hole is a heritage site that consists of a large bathing hole that was constructed in 1820 out of the rock shelf at the base of the cliff. While it fell into disrepair over the years, the government undertook the restoration and it is now accessible and the perfect place to take a safe dip and overlook the ocean.
Surfing in Bondi Beach Australia
Surfing is a popular pastime throughout Australia, given the amount of coastline and giant waves available. If you’re an experienced surfer, you can rent a surfboard from a local shop and catch some waves. But if you’re a novice, you’ll want to take lessons from a local surf school, which knows the ins and outs of Bondi Beach and will keep you out of harm’s way.
Shopping on Gould Street
Anything you want can be found on Gould Street in Bondi: designer purses, local art, organic cosmetics, a cold beer. This shopping district is full of some of Australia’s best boutiques, but you’ll also find vintage shops, pubs, even gift shops for some trinkets to take home. It’s a rather trendy area and often crowded, but a great place to window shop or find some unusual items made in Australia.
Best Restaurants in Bondi Beach Australia
It seems like every third storefront is a restaurant or bar in Bondi Beach, but we managed to find a few places that we really liked and can recommend.
Best Restaurants For the View in Bondi Beach Australia
North Bondi RSL Club: You’ll find this restaurant in the…north end of the beach. The club has a bar and bistro, serving up some great pub food. Try to get an upstairs table on the outer deck for the best view of the beach (and the people!)
Bondi Icebergs Club: As noted above, this is a super cool venue with its pool overlooking the crashing surf. They have casual bistro-style dining in the clubhouse that offers similar views of the ocean and Bondi Beach. Burgers, seafood, salads, and heavier main dishes are available. They’re known for the Seafood Platter for Two, which includes king prawns, oysters, squid, scallops, mussels, and fish and chips.
Yummy Breakfast in Bondi Beach
Trio Café: Talk about yum! This café serves up comfort food with a Mediterranean twist that is plated like it’s being featured in Gourmet magazine. Our Trio Breakfast Burrito was a deconstructed version, with the lightest, fluffiest eggs, chorizo chili, salsa, and tortillas on the side. But there wasn’t anything on the menu I wouldn’t eat. They had corn fritters, shakshouka, chilaquiles, mango and lime buttermilk pancakes, and so much more. Oh, and their coffee drinks are not only delicious but works of art as well.
Café de France: This restaurant is actually in Coogee, at the end of the walking trail and up the hill a bit. It features traditional French fare, like omelets, Croque Madame, and baguettes that taste like they were flown in from Paris. While breakfast was excellent, we hear that lunch and dinner are equally as fantastic.
Best Spot for Lunch in Bondi Beach Australia
Beach Burrito Company: Well, I’m from California and am always hesitant to try Mexican food in countries outside of the Americas, but we were not disappointed at this restaurant in Coogee. It’s become so popular in fact, that they’ve opened up a dozen other outposts around the country! Here you can get good Mexican food (and margaritas!) at a reasonable price, and the menu looks very similar to something we’d see in Cali (except for the Halloumi tacos). While burritos are their staple item, they also offer tacos, nachos, and some standard apps.
Thainabox: For 20 years, this restaurant in Bondi has been serving up noodles your own way. Yep, they have a DYO (Design Your Own) noodle dish, where you pick out your base (5 noodles, 5 rice or spinach), your flavor, your spice, and meat/veg/seafood option. They cook it up and serve it to you in a box. They also have curries, regular noodle dishes, soups, salads, and more. All tasty and reminiscent of Bangkok street food.
Best Dinner Restaurant in Bondi Beach Australia
Drake Eatery: This is considered a modern restaurant offering a rotating menu based on the availability of produce and the season. While it serves breakfast lunch and dinner, we took advantage of it at night because the dishes on that menu are meant to be shared and we can taste a lot more that way! It’s an interesting menu, with chicken liver parfait, thyme gnocchi, duck croquettes, pork belly and other equally delicious items. Well worth your time.
Pompei’s Bondi: A little bit of Italy in Bondi here, with eco-friendly pasta, artisanal pizza, and homemade gelato. Everything is made in-house, from the bread to the pasta, on down to the decadent gelato. The pizzas, while seemingly simple, are works of art and utterly delicious (although much pricier than you would find in Italy) and the pasta is fresh and cooked to order so they are utterly perfect. Just make sure you save room for dessert. The gelato is made daily and comes in about twenty flavors, all of which look heavenly.
Bondi Hardware: This quirky place, which was originally a hardware store, serves some interesting cocktail and has a menu that’s meant to be shared. There are small shares like crab cakes, coconut chicken sliders, and kingfish ceviche taco, as well as larger shares like beef cheeks, dug leg confit, and grilled marlin.
Try their margarita three ways or one of their specialty drinks like Vin d’Hardware or Pepo.
Drinks in Bondi Beach Australia
The Bucket List: Overlooking Bondi Beach, this bar has a room called the Fishbowl that is a half-moon of windows and there’s nary a bad seat in the house. This is where you want to be, sipping a cocktail and watching the sunset. They’ve got cocktails by the glass and by the pitcher, as well as some unusual selections designed by their mixologist. Food is also served if you must….
Hotel Ravesis: Also situated on Bondi Beach on a wide corner, this large, open-air beachside bar is great for people-watching any time of day. Try to get a seat on the upper floor terrace, since you’ll be paying for the view anyway. Cocktails are pricey at $19 AU, but they’ve got some unusual concoctions, like the Cuban Missile, Rising Sun (with wasabi-infused vodka), and the Beach Blossom. Take a chance and try something fun.
Best Supermarket in Bondi Beach Australia
Harris Farm Markets: Okay, this really isn’t a restaurant, but it’s the perfect place to go and pick up some fresh produce and goodies for an impromptu picnic – all locally grown. We stumbled upon it accidentally and couldn’t resist picking up goodies for our hike and to nosh on during our road trip. If you’re a foodie, this is a great place to check out.
Bondi Beach – Sensational Summer
As the title suggests, Bondi Beach Australia really has all your S’s covered: Surfing, Swimming, Sunshine, Shopping & Sunsets. We loved our time exploring this coastal town and hope to return and enjoy its beauty again in the future.
P.S. If you’re planning on going to Melbourne make sure to plan a few days and do the Great Ocean Road! This amazing coastal drive takes you along beautiful beaches, amazing coastlines, and even some forests!