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ocated 7 km (4 mi) east of Sydney, Bondi Beach is not only one of Sydney’s most popular beaches but also one of the world’s great beaches. Surfers visit from far and wide in search for the perfect wave, and in line skaters hone their skills on the promenade. The word ‘Bondi’ is an Aboriginal word which means “water breaking over rocks”. Bondi Beach is aptly named as it’s a place where ocean and land collide creating some of the best surfing conditions in the area. It’s also the closest beach to the Sydney city centre which makes it very popular and crowded, especially on hot, summer weekends. Crowded or not, it’s a great place for surfing, enjoying a rough n’ tumble swim or simply lying on the beach.
While the northern end of Bondi Beach has been rated a gentle 4 by Surf Life Saving Australia (with 10 as the most hazardous), the southern side is rated as a 7 due to a famous rip current known as the “Backpackers’ Express” because of its proximity to the bus stop, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming. The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding. Yellow and red flags define safe swimming areas, and visitors are advised to swim between them.
There is an underwater shark net shared, during the summer months, with other beaches along the southern part of the coast. Pods of whales and dolphins have been sighted in the bay during the months of migration. Fairy penguins, while uncommon, are sometimes also seen swimming close to shore or amongst surfers in southern line-up.
Bondi has more to offer than just good beaches. People seek out Bondi for its trendy seafront cafes and cosmopolitan milieu as much as for the world-famous beach. The Bondi Beach markets come alive every Sunday which draw people from far and wide. The Bondi pavilion, built in 1928 as changing rooms, is now a busy venue for festivals, plays, films and arts and crafts displays.
The suburb itself has a unique atmosphere due to its mix of old Jewish and other European communities, dyed-in-the-wool Aussies, New Zealanders who never went home, working travellers and the seriously good-looking.
Most of the pubs, bars and restaurants are set back from the beach along Campbell Parade and Hall Street.
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Some frequently asked questions about Bondi Beach are answered below.
How long is Bondi Beach?
This long crescent of golden sand has long drawn the sun lovers and surfers of the world. While it has some of the best sand and waves in the world, Bondi Beach is not a long beach; it is approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long.
How to get to Bondi Beach?
If you’re considering taking public transport, Bondi Beach doesn’t have a CityRail station. The only way to get to Bondi Beach on public transport is to take a bus.
Bus to Bondi Beach
Catch bus no. 380, 389, L82 from the city or 381 from Bondi Junction to get to Bondi. These buses go to Bondi Beach from Circular Quay; it takes up to an hour.
Train & Bus to Bondi Beach
A quicker alternative is to take a CityRail train to Bondi Junction to connect with the same buses. The new bus no. 333 takes around 40 minutes from Circular Quay to Bondi Beach. It has limited stops, but you can catch it from Elizabeth Street near Martin Place, along Oxford Street, and from the bus terminal at Bondi Junction.
To travel on these buses, you need to buy a ticket at a newsdealer or 7-Eleven store beforehand. A Travelten bus ticket is a good option if you are staying in Bondi.