A Day at Bondi Beach
I recently traveled to Sydney, Australia, for a month and wrote a series of travel blogs on different aspects of the area. Australia was a beautiful (and very far) country- If you ever find yourself up for the adventure or travel anywhere else, don’t for get about the services we offer through My Concierge. Enjoy!
It’s safe to say that everyone (if not almost everyone) has heard of Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, the crescent-shaped surfer’s paradise that lies just southeast of downtown. Before you go, forget everything you’ve heard about Bondi being one of the most “touristy” spots in Sydney! Yes, it’s visited by millions of tourists every year, but it’s popular for a reason. With 300 acres of shoreline surrounded by a health-conscious, quaint seaside town, you could spend all day exploring Bondi Beach and marveling at its beauty from every angle, and, quite frankly, that’s what you should do!
I dedicated one whole day to exploring everything that Bondi Beach had to offer, from must-try food stops to trying activities that went beyond laying out in the sun.
See what makes Bondi so special by reading how it earned its spot on the map and how I spent my perfect day at Bondi.
A Brief History of Bondi Beach
The popular, bustling beach we see today wasn’t always as busy as it is now. In the early 1800s, the waters of Bondi Beach were plagued with sharks and stingrays, which actually prohibited swimming in the area during some seasons! Though the threat of these ocean creatures still exist, sharks and stingrays don’t come near the shores of Bondi Beach as often as they once did.
Around half a century later, a group of wealthy people saw the potential in Bondi Beach’s beauty and bought the land surrounding it, thus beginning its legacy as the most popular beach in Australia in 1882 when it was officially named a public beach.
Today, Bondi Beach is gaining more popularity as the years go by, partly due to institutions like the Icebergs Club and popular shows like Bondi Rescue. In 2018, 1.8 million international visitors came to Bondi, boosting the Australian economy’s tourism revenue tremendously.
How to Spend the Perfect Day at Bondi
9:00 A.M: Breakfast at Bills
Just two blocks from the beautiful coastline sits Bills, a trendy yet quaint restaurant that serves food all day, but is most famous for their fresh and flavorful breakfasts.
From the street, anyone passing Bills can see inside through the windows that are open wide all day long. Dark green and pastel pink mixed with wooden elements define the color palette of this restaurant. The decor is minimalistic, with the main eyecatchers being a wall of photographs, a glowing bar area, and plants that are sprinkled throughout the dining room.
Being a breakfast lover, I always have a hard time choosing between sweet and savory (sometimes I end up ordering both), but this time I decided on sweet for a good reason: Bills is home to famous banana ricotta hotcakes. Served with warm syrup and powdered sugar, these hotcakes were smaller in size than the larger American pancakes I’m used to, but with none of the indulgence or flavor sacrificed. The ricotta made the cakes so bouncy and fluffy it almost felt like a light breakfast, and with only mild sweetness, the bananas and the syrup were perfect additions.
Pair your hotcake breakfast with a cappuccino, and relax before the rest of the Bondi day ahead of you.
10:15 A.M: Head to the Beach
While visiting Bondi Beach during the fall and winter months means that you won’t experience the crazy summer season crowds, it also means that mornings can start off a little chilly. Lucky for you, you spent those windy morning hours indulging in a sweet breakfast, and now it’s the late morning; the sun has warmed up the area, and it’s the perfect time to head to the beach.
Whether you’ll be tanning, swimming, surfing or just people watching, you’ll immediately feel the cool white sand on the beach as you search for the perfect spot to lay your towels for a few hours. There’s no humidity or clouds in the sky, the sun beams directly at the beach in 72 degree weather, and the ocean is as clear and blue as can be- it truly is the most ideal beach day.
Days like this one bring out the locals, too, like Georgia Archer and Georgia Turpin, two nurses (and friends with the same name!) who work nearby.
“We have the day off today!” Georgia Archer says excitedly. “We’re taking advantage of this weekday off because the beach is way less busy than on the weekends. There are so many places to eat and grab a drink around here...it’s just beautiful on a day like today.”
12:00 P.M: Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
Work off that breakfast and see some amazing views by starting the Bondi to Bronte Beach coastal walk next. Starting directly adjacent to the Bondi Icebergs Club, the coastal walk lasts for just one mile, taking you through the Bondi cliffs, Tamarama Beach, and finally to Bronte Beach.
Personally, I didn’t make it all the way to Bronte: There are enough beautiful views and cool rock formations to look at by the time you reach Tamarama Beach, and you’ll be getting hungry from all the uphill walking!
1:30 P.M: Lunch Break at the Icebergs
Not only is it an iconic landmark, but it marks the beginning and end of the coastal walk, so you can’t miss this one.
The Bondi Icebergs Club was established in 1929 as a place where the local lifesavers at Bondi Beach could maintain their fitness during the off-season. Today, you probably know it from that iconic shot of the famous pool that sits at the base of the ocean.
At the Icebergs, you can stop in to take a picture and even swim in the pool, but why stop there? Stay for a fresh lunch of seafood and wine (their specialty) as you refuel yourself with an amazing view of the ocean. As fancy as it seems, the restaurant is actually set up like an order counter, with each customer receiving a buzzer that notifies them when their food is ready. Whatever fish you get, it’s guaranteed to be fresh and flavorful, and a white wine is a perfect pairing to go along with it.
3:30 P.M: Shopping
Head back over to the town of Bondi to browse around all the storefronts they have to offer. Bondi has so many great shops, including a multitude of boho beachwear shops, sustainable thrift stores, jewelry shops, touristy marts, natural soap stores, bulk health food stops and much more. Whether you’re buying for yourself or others, you’ll never run out of options. If you’re just a window-shopper, stop in to stores that catch your eye, or simply walk into a health food store, thrift shop or any other store you don’t see everyday back home just for the experience.
5:30 P.M: Art by the Beach
Stop by the main beach one last time before you end your day at Bondi, and this time, stay on the boardwalk to walk along and see the street art that local artists have painted on every empty wall space in sight. This isn’t your typical graffiti art, though- these mini murals are colorful and grand works of art, with some that are popular photo-op attractions and others that contain 3D elements.
That’s exactly what tourists Susan and Pablo are doing to end their Bondi Beach day before they and their two daughters head back to Vancouver, Canada, in the next few days.
“We’ve been vacationing in Australia for 10 days,” Pablo shares. “We were in Melbourne and Brisbane before coming to Sydney. Our daughters wanted to come to Bondi to watch the surfers, so we originally came because of them, but we’re so glad we did. We love sitting by the art and relaxing with some ice cream!”
Enjoy some ice cream like Susan and Pablo while you admire the art and get a last look at Bondi Beach just as the sun goes down.
6:30 P.M: Dinner Time!
End your spectacular Bondi Beach day with a spectacular dinner. Situated just north of Bills, Namaste Bondi is where I decided to have dinner that night, and I’m so glad I did. Indian food is widely popular in Australia thanks to the large number of Indian immigrants the country gets, which means delicious, authentic establishments are everywhere.
At Namaste Bondi, I ordered samosas and chicken tikka masala over steamed rice with naan. The samosas were perfectly crispy and full of spices, and the tikka masala was creamy and tender. This meal was the perfect way to close out the perfect day at Bondi.
Whether or not your Bondi Beach day looks like mine, you can’t go wrong with spending a full day (or more!) in this spectacular place.