A travel junkie who loves to write, Caity Pfohl comes from central New York state and recently finished making her way around Australia on a one-year Work and Holiday visa. Read more about her travels here: caitypfohl.com
Published July 15th 2014
More than just a pretty beach
It would be a shame to visit the deservedly iconic Bondi Beach area, snap a few quick photos and be off again. Home to some of the most beautiful sights in Sydney, it's a place that takes some time to properly explore. Planning a trip anytime soon? This top ten list will point you in the right direction so that you can make the most of your time.
Take a dip (or just a sip) at Bondi Icebergs: This beachside institution opened in 1929 when a group of lifeguards decided they needed a place to keep up on their fitness during wintertime, and the club's 50-metre Olympic pool has since become a true landmark of Bondi Beach. Located on the south side of the beach, one of the best vantage points over the area can be found from its decks. Take a swim (see entry prices here), grab a lounger to soak up the sun or fuel up at one of the various eateries inside.
Stretch your legs on the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach coastal walk: One of the most popular coastal walks in Sydney, this trek starts just past Bondi Icebergs and will take you by Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly Beaches, ending at Coogee Beach. Several bus lines stop right by Coogee Beach if you're ready to give your feet a rest post-walk. Feeling especially motivated? You could always walk the 6km back to Bondi for double the views.
Take a moment to appreciate those who keep Australia's beaches safe: On February 6, 1938, Bondi Beach was the scene of the largest surf rescue in Australian history. An estimated 35,000 people were at the beach - the usual amount for an average summer day - when larger-than-life waves stranded roughly 250 swimmers in the water. Thanks to a group of Bondi Surf Life Saving Club members, on site for a weekly surf event, all but five swimmers were miraculously rescued. The event has since become known as Black Sunday and the monument pictured below can be found just before Bondi Icebergs.
Browse the Bondi Pavilion: Smack dab in the center of the beach, the pavilion used to house Turkish baths and a bustling ballroom. These days, it's a popular site for events and workshops and also has a gallery, theatre and music studio.
An especially picturesque beach view seen from the Pavilion's upstairs balcony
Play in the surf at Bondi's ocean pools: A free alternative to Bondi Icebergs, the North Bondi Childrens Pool and the Wally Weeks Tidal Pool offer the reassurance of a more sheltered swimming environment and are ideal for those less inclined to battle with the beach's impressive waves.
The ocean pools found on the northern side of Bondi Beach
Enjoy Bondi from a different perspective at the Ben Buckler Headland: At the northernmost point of the beach you'll find the Ben Buckler Headland, also known as the Ray O'Keefe Reserve. This scenic spot offers sweeping views over the water and beach. If you're feeling especially energetic and decide to tackle the coastal walk that will take you north all the way to Watsons Bay – an 8km trip – this is where you'll start.
At the Sam Fiszman Park, part of the Ben Buckler Headland
Get some retail therapy at the Bondi Markets: If you visit on a Saturday, don't miss the food market that takes place every week from 9am-1pm. On Sundays, make Mackelmore proud and get your thrift on from 10am-4pm at the clothing and craft market. Both markets are held at the Bondi Beach Public School grounds on Campbell Parade.
Load up on local greens at the Bondi Farmers Market, held every Saturday
Experience the local café culture: Bondi is known for its trendy café scene, and there's something for everyone searching for the perfect place to get their caffeine or brunch fix. Popular Hall St. is home to numerous great establishments (The Atlas Kiosk, Glicks on Hall and Bondi Picnic to name a few), but don't forget about the lesser known side streets. Glenayr Ave. boasts several worthwhile spots, such as Lox Stock and Barrel, the Sun Café and neighborhood newbie Crate Louise. For a local favorite, head to Porch and Parlour at 110 Ramsgate Ave.