Bondi is not merely Australia's most famous and iconic beach. In recent years it has become a cultural and community hub and now presents a number of annual events that draw large crowds to its convenient and colourful seaside location. Summer is its busiest time so read on for the lowdown on events that range from the long and the short of cinema to swimming, with a sprinkling of sport and Australiana in between.
Water Polo by the Sea
If you've never before seen the take-no-prisoners action of a water polo match, then Water Polo By the Sea is the perfect introductory event. You'll get to see local teams in the University Cup and then watch our own Australian team, the Aussie Sharks, in a battle against the International All Stars.
When: Friday 4 January 2013 from 5.30pm Where: Bondi Icebergs, 1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Cost: General Admission adults $35, children $15. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) $99 Tickets: Available online here. More Information: Visit the website here.
Flickerfest Film Festival
Flickerfest was Sydney's very first outdoor beach cinema and in 2013 it's back for its 22nd performance of stellar short films at Bondi Pavilion. This year's program includes international and Australian shorts, documentaries, comedies, Oscar-nominated films, shorts by kids and for kids, as well as eco films and those inspired by Elvis (who obviously is still in the building).
When: Opening Night Screening and party on Friday, 11 January at 9pm. Films from Saturday 11 and the Awards and Closing Night Party on Sunday 20 January from 8pm. Where: Bondi Pavilion. Some film programs will screen indoors and some will be outdoors. Tickets: Available online here or at the door, if available. Cost: A range of ticket packages is available from $17.50 for an individual session to $50 for a 3 Session Pass or $150 for a Season Pass. Opening night tickets are $65 and Closing Night is $50. There are concession discounts too. More Information: Visit the website here or download the full festival program here.
North Bondi Ocean Swims
You can challenge yourself with not one, but two, ocean swims across Bondi Bay this summer. Or if that seems a little beyond your reach you can just go along as a spectator. January is the 21st birthday of the North Bondi Rival Roughwater Ocean Swim and February will be your opportunity to enter the Cold Power North Bondi Classic. There are 1km and 2 km categories for each event.
North Bondi Rival Roughwater Ocean Swim - Sunday 13 January from 9.15 Cold Power North Bondi Classic - Sunday 10 February 2013. Where: North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club Entry Details and Registrations: You can check all the details and enter online here or onsite on the morning of the event from 8am. Online entries close at noon on Saturday 11 January. Cost: Varies from $30 to $80 depending on age, distance and number of events.
Ben and Jerry's Openair Cinema
Sydney's favourite outdoor cinema returns to Bondi, running from 25 January to 3 March 2013. Your movie selections for the season of Ben and Jerry's Openair Cinema include new and classic films spanning the comedy, romance, documentary, thriller, crime and action genres. The opening night feature is Moonrise Kingdom.
When : Tuesdays to Sundays from Friday 25 January to Sunday 3 March 2013 Where: Dolphin Lawn, next to Bondi Pavilion Times: Gates open at 6pm and movies screen at 8.15 pm. Tickets: Available online here or at the event box office from 7pm on movie nights. Cost: Sundae Session Charity Night: $45 plus $3.50 booking fee. Includes free bean bag or deck chair (limited supply). You can also choose to make an extra donation to Mission Australia Other Sessions: General Admission - Adult $17, Student or Child $12. Group bookings 4 for $44. Star Class (reserved VIP seating with bean bag, blanket and free ice cream) - $40. All bookings attract a $2.90 booking fee. Deckchairs and blankets are available for an extra $4 each. More Information: Visit the website here or Facebook page here.
Australia Day Havaianas Thong Challenge
What could be more Australian than a world record attempt at getting the most people in a chain of floating thongs on Australia Day? The Havaianas Thong Challenge was first attempted in 2006 and the record was broken at Cottesloe Beach last year. If you're up for the challenge then head to Bondi on 26 January. You must register to participate. Apart from the world record attempt there will also be beach activities and a barbecue.
When: Saturday 26 January from 8am to 2pm. Where: Corner of Campbell Parade and Ramsgate Avenue, Bondi Beach. Bookings: You can book online here. Cost: $25 (plus booking fee) online or $30 on the day, if tickets are still available.
It may not be immediately obvious from the name but BOWL-A-RAMA is a high-flying, action-packed skateboarding competition. The series, which debuted in 2012, is held in New York City, Wellington and Bondi, and attracts the world's best skateboarders in Pro and Masters categories. Apart from the competition there will be 4 days of art, music and skateboard culture activities.
Image from event Facebook page.
When: Festival from Tuesday 19 February. Competition on Saturday 23 February from 9am to 7pm. Where: Bondi Beach Skatepark for competition, other details will be advised closer to the event. More Information: Check the website here for further announcements.