Local’s guide to Bondi

Discover Bondi's secrets beyond its golden shoreline. Local’s guide to Bondi
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The local’s guide to Bondi

Discover Bondi's secrets beyond its golden shoreline.


By Ellie Schneider

There are plenty of reasons to love Australia's most famous beach. Beyond Bondi’s beachfront boulevard, Campbell Parade, lies a village of cafés, restaurants and designer shops found in the suburbs of Sydney, and locals often dedicate their entire weekend to the ‘Bondi Bubble’.

HOW TO GET THERE

Express buses run to Bondi Beach from the centre of Sydney, and take about 30 minutes to reach the beach. Trains operate from the city centre to Bondi Junction, which is a 10-minute bus or taxi ride from the beach.

 

DON'T MISS

  • Dine at trendsetting cafés and restaurants
  • Walk along the clifftops between white sandy beaches
  • Shop along Gould Street

Bondi Beach highlights

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BONDI

Walk to Sydney's Famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk 
Begin at the Bondi Icebergs ocean pool and traverse the six kilometre (3.7 mile) clifftop trail between Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee beaches. The walk will take just over one hour each way. There are plenty of opportunities to swim along the way, whether you prefer the surf at Tamarama or the calm water of Bronte's ocean pool, which is a man-made coastal pool filled with seawater. Wander past Clovelly to the little oasis of Gordons Bay, a well-known scuba diving and snorkelling spot. At the end of your walk you'll find the renowned seaside eatery Coogee Pavilion, which serves delicious fresh seafood.

Or Take the Lesser-known Route to Watsons Bay 

Stretch your legs on the seven kilometre (4.3 mile) Federation Cliff Walk from Bondi to Watsons Bay, which takes around one hour and a half each way. Walk up Military Road at the northern end of Bondi Beach to Raleigh Reserve, a grassy hilltop with spectacular ocean views, in Dover Heights. Follow the timber walkway as it twists above sandstone cliffs, past Australia’s oldest lighthouse, and down toward The Gap, with views across the Pacific Ocean. At the end of your walk, enjoy a laid-back lunch at the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.

Delve into Bondi's Vibrant Dining Scene
Start your day with the green breakfast bowl at Porch and Parlour or Harry’s indulgent ricotta hotcakes. At lunch and dinner, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar delivers regional Italian cuisine with one of the most coveted views in Sydney. While at the other end of the beach, laid-back eatery North Bondi Fish serves a seafood-inspired menu. Bondi's bars get packed at sunset as beachgoers tear themselves away from the sand. Enjoy a tipple at relaxed wine bars such as Neighbourhood or The Corner House, or sample the cocktail jugs at The Bucket List. And if you're looking for a sweet pick-me-up, try a scoop of Italian-style ice cream at Gelato Messina.

Splurge on Designer Threads Along Gould Street
Just back from the beach lies the boutique shopping hub of Gould Street, home to Australian designers including Jac + JackAnnex and MuseumTuchuzy is a local favourite where you’ll find acclaimed international labels such as Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone, alongside the cream of Australian fashion. Across the road you can browse sunglasses at Bailey Nelson.

Tuck Into Stree Food at Bondi Farmers Market
Each Saturday, Bondi locals make the weekly farmers market their first port of call. Head down early to nab a spot on the grass and get your hands on popular dishes such as Mr Bao's steamed buns loaded with karaage chicken, a Japanese dish, or delicious Vietnamese street food from Bar Pho.

Swim, Surf, or Chill Out
At Bondi, seasoned surfers stick to the southern end and, if you're a first-time surfer, Let's Go Surfing offers a range of private and group lessons run by professionals. Take a dip in Sydney’s most famous pool, Bondi Icebergs, which has been a Bondi landmark for more than 100 years. This seawater pool is open to the public everyday apart from Thursday when it’s closed for cleaning. Tickets cost AUD$6.50 for adults (£3.80).

Come for the Festivals 
Sculpture by the Sea takes place each October and November, transforming the coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama into an open-air gallery of more than 100 sculptures. In September the beach comes alive with the kite-flying extravaganza that is the Festival of the Winds, and from January to February, Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinemas show the best new releases and cult classics on its outdoor movie screen.

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