Sydney is a seaside city with many world famous beaches located right around the metropolitan area. Bondi Beach (pronounced: bond-eye) is one of the busiest and most popular beaches in the city, only about 30 minutes from the city center. It is well known for it’s soft white sand as well as prime surfing location. The beach is only 1 km long and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.
By car: You can get to Bondi beach by car, but it’s a big hassle. Parking close to the beach can be hard to find, and the street meter limits you to only 2 hour intervals. It might be easier to take public transportation from Sydney Central.
By bus: The buses from the city leave from Circular Quay and go all the way to Bondi Beach. You’ll want to get on the 380 or 333 bus that starts out from Alfred Street, close to ferry wharf #2. The ride takes about 45 minutes and goes along the scenic waterfront route.
By train: Take the train from Central station to Bondi Junction and then get off and take the bus the rest of the way. There are buses (380, 381, 382, or 333) to the beach leaving every 10 minutes from the Junction. The bus from the train station is crammed full of beach-goers. Hold on tight as the bus jolts around each turn, trying to knock you off your feet. The total travel time is about 30 minutes for both the train and the bus.
We got there around noon, and the beach was already filled with people. Getting off of the bus, we got our first glimpse of the idyllic seashore, from the white sand to the crystal blue water. Unfortunately, the prime sunbathing area was claimed by the early birds. After walking around for a little bit, we found space to spread out our towels and settled in for a day at the beach. After about 10 minutes, however, I got bored of laying around, so I grabbed my camera and headed out to take pictures of the surfers.
The beach is divided up into swimming areas and surfing areas. There are some places where it’s too dangerous to swim because the current is too strong. After warming up from the walk, I decided to head into the water. Dipping my toes in, I realized that this was not going to be the warm waters of the Caribbean – it was ice cold in fact. Jumping in, my skin felt tingly like the prickling of a thousand pins and needles. It took a good 5 minutes submerged in the frigid water before my body got acclimated. The waves here are big and strong. It’s extremely easy to lose your footing and get knocked off your feet. Since I can’t swim very well, I decided to stay closer to the shore. I jumped and wrestled with each wave as it came crashing in and still ended up unceremoniously washed up on the beach. Even though I inhaled a ton of water and got sand in some unmentionable places, it was so much fun. I loved the exhilaration and the cold refreshing water.
As the afternoon wore on, it got windier and more overcast. We decided to pack up and start on our coastal walk. There is a winding trail that takes you along the shores from Bondi to Coogee beach. The path is about 6 km long and meandered along the cliff tops down to the sandy beaches. The top of the cliffs offer stunning views of the ocean below. The walk takes about 2 hours at a leisurely pace, with plenty to see and do along the way.
Initially we were planning on walking all the way to Coogee, but half an hour in, the wind started picking up and the dark clouds started rolling in. We were still in our shorts and wet bathing suits, making it feel even colder. We only made it slightly past Tamarama before completely abandoning the idea of walking further. Instead we turned around and headed back to Bondi to grab a late lunch before returning to the city.