Honestly speaking, I’m no fan of crowded beaches. It maybe because I’m weak in taking nice photos with people on the background. Or maybe taking people’s pictures aren’t my thing in the first place; except people who matter of course (my wife). Back in the Philippines, as much as I love the beaches of Boracay and Puerto Galera, I usually give a no going to the beach once I found out the people would flock it. But upon spending a day at Bondi Beach during our Sydney, Australia trip, I suddenly told myself: “Maybe crowded beaches aren’t bad at all… here in Sydney at least (LOL!).”
About BONDI BEACH
I’ve heard mixed-views about whether we should visit Bondi Beach or not. Some people who already came to Sydney or is living here told us that we cannot say we visited Sydney, Australia if we didn’t let our skin feel the waters of Bondi Beach. But others also told that it’s just a hype. Well, as someone who fed his own curiosity and did visit the place, I can say that Bondi beach are one of those “must-visit or else you’ll regret” type of places; although there’s a lot of a must-visit places in Sydney; in my own opinion at least. Wanna know if what I’m saying is true? Be curious and visit the place.
Bondi Beach is a 1-kilometre long beach and is considered to be one of the most visited sites in the state of New South Wales; might as well the whole Australia. It is located at a Sydney-suburb of the same name 7-km east of the Central Business District. Huge crowd are expected at all parts of the beach doing various things everyday. It was by chance, spring break and long weekend when we visited the area so the crowd were twice as many.
How to go there?
We lived at a flat in Pyrmont Bay near the Darling Harbor during our Sydney trip so in order for us to go to Bondi Beach, we rode bus no. 389 and traveled for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If coming from Sydney Central Business District (CBD) or Circular Quay, riding bus no. 333 or 380 would be more applicable.
NOTE: There’s a fixed rate of AUD 5.60 (approximately PHP 220.00) from Pyrmont Bay Bus Stop in Harris Street to Bondi Beach Bus Stop and vice versa. But usage of OPAL Card lowers the fare. Not to mention that further discount is given for much more frequent use. OPAL Card is a stored-value card usable for all types of public transportation throughout the New South Wales.
Interesting things to do
Bondi Beach didn’t became one of the most visited tourist spots in Australia for nothing. There are lots of interesting things everyone can do in this place. Within the budget? Worry not since most of these things can be done free. As what I’ve found out, here are some of them:
1. Have a tattoo at Bondi Ink Tattoo
Bondi Ink Tattoo is a tattoo studio located in front of Bondi Beach. The shop was famous due to an Australian reality show with the same name. If you like watching Netflix series, maybe you can consider looking for this show. Ah! I can still remember the first time I got inked. Seeing the shop makes me want to have another set of tattoo. But honestly, I found it somehow pricey. “I would rather have it back home.” I thought to myself.
But on the second thought, they won’t be that famous nor have their own reality show in Australia if they weren’t great artists. Still, I’ll be letting your curiosity take you here. Here are some of their designs recommended for those who loved the life of wanderlust.
2. Go swimming and surfing
Well, it’s a beach so it would be useless if we’re not going to swim. Honestly, we didn’t. But we did gave our feet some dipping. Aside from the cold weather and the cold water, my wife and I really didn’t anticipated that we’ll be visiting a beach in Sydney so we’re not able to prepare swimming attire. Also, I find my body not-so-instagrammable (LOL!).
Something made me wonder how can people swim on a cold water and on cold weather. When I say cold, it felt like being stuck on a fridge. It could be a matter of “getting used to it.”
Bondi beach is also famous for its huge waves. So yes, it’s a right place for those huge surfboards.
3. Visit Bondi Pavilion
Bondi Pavilion is the iconic landmark of Bondi Beach. It’s one of Australia’s heritage sites along with the beach. It was built around the 1920s and serves as a community centre until now. There’s a theater, art gallery, rehearsal room, meeting, and function rooms, shops, public toilet, and changing rooms. This place is a venue for various cultural and film festivals around the country.
4. See some artworks
As Quennie and I started walking around the beach, a long wall of various artworks caught my eye. Well, it just proves how Bondi community highly values art. Also, what a nice additions for that instagram feed eh?
I don’t have an idea if people change the artworks from time to time. But I know that art lovers would be fascinated seeing these wall paintings.
5. Have some ice cream
Despite the temperature being at 18 degrees celsius (it’s already cold for us living in a tropical country), the scorching heat from the sun made us want to eat ice cream (LOL!). It’s a perfect timing that we saw an ice cream truck while walking around the beach.
The price ranges from AUD 4.50 to AUD 6.00 (around PHP 170.00 to PHP 230.00) depending on the flavor and size. Knowing ourselves, upon finding out the conversion of the prices in pesos, we decided to share vanilla ice cream in a cone with toppings at AUD 4.50 (LOL!).
6. Experience greenery
I’m fully aware that there are other beaches in the world that had green parks in it. But Bondi Beach is one of them. I got fascinated by the fact that everyone can enjoy the trees and the beach only at one place. We just have to take a few pace to go from one place to another. Well, I love nature parks and beaches equally. Once given another chance, we’ll be experiencing the greens or the beach again in the near future.
7. Lay around and take some photos
Just like the people on the beach that day did, my wife and I spent most of our time in the beach laying down. We set up my wife’s shoal for us to laid down on. I even fell asleep for a few minutes to an hour on the shore. Of course, my wife is with me so our things weren’t unattended.
Aside from that, we also did photo shoots along the beach. I don’t want to waste our opportunity to document our important memories here. I can’t take my shirt off though. My body wasn’t that instagram-worthy (LOL!).
Other things to do or places to visit
There are other things that can honestly be done when visiting Bondi Beach aside from what I stated above but I honestly didn’t gave much of an attention during our trip. Well, missing things out gives us reasons to return… ugh!
Anyway, here are those “other” things that can be done:
We saw a lot of restaurants as we walk around the sidewalks across Bondi Park so finding a place to eat wouldn’t become much of a problem. I couldn’t recommend any great restaurants to try on given that we only ate at McDonalds nearby for a meal. Well, I think there could be at least one restaurant there that can satiate our hunger deliciously; and I’m letting you, my dear reader, find out what could it be.
2. Try the pool at Bondi Icebergs
Bondi Icebergs is located at the Southern end of Bondi Beach and is home to a pool famous for visitors. I used to think that the pool is exclusive for those who availed their accommodation. It’s a month too late when I discovered that their pool is open for public. I only saw it thru their website. Well, another reason to return to Sydney as usual.
Some final notes to ponder on
Wrapping everything, let me give these pieces of advice when planning a trip to Sydney and Bondi Beach:
- BRING SWIMWEAR. Well, it’s a beach so it’s a must to assume that you’re going to swim. I always tell people to not be like us.
- Check the weather. As I always say, I don’t want to ruin everyone’s trips by not giving this very important advice. October I think, is just the start of spring season. The other season of the year? Try figuring that out.
- Go to beach as early as possible. I cannot guarantee that there’s lesser people in the early morning. But going to beach that early may reduce excessive sun exposure. As usual, we’re not able to do it. But eventually, we will.
- Travel responsibly. Well, I should say that we should be responsible for keeping the place as clean as possible. Being crowded, there may be possibility of rubbish scattered everywhere. But I know that starting the little change in ourselves will go a long way. So always follow the general rule when travelling: “Leave nothing but footprints.”
Thank you for reading and for reaching the bottom of this post. I hope I’ll be able to inspire you to visit Bondi Beach in Sydney. Feel free to share your experiences with me. Also, I’ll be asking you to please share this post to everyone you know. Have a nice day!
– Dex B.