A beachfront destination that’s more than meets the eye — where scenic coastal walks, local shopping, and delightful dining await.
Arguably Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi holds a special place in Sydney’s pop culture history. From the foamy waves to the sight of bronzed surfers, the kilometer-long stretch of sand and sea exude an easygoing hedonism that’s a magnet for both locals and travelers.
Flanked by rocky headlands, the iconic stretch of fine sand is worth visiting all year round. In fact, the beach and the main stretch of Campbell Parade is just a sliver of what the Sydney suburb has to offer. Venture beyond Bondi Beach and you’ll find a wealth of fun experiences — whether it’s scenic coastal walks or charming local eateries.
What to do
Aside from taking a dip in the glimmering waters (stay between the lifeguards’ flags if you do), consider taking surfing lessons with an accredited surf school, such as Let’s Go Surfing to discover firsthand the thrills of catching a wave or two.
Afterward, dry off by embarking on the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, which spans six kilometers of stunning views encompassing cliffs and rock pools. Set aside about three hours to complete the hiking trail, whose track consists of two sections: the Bondi to Bronte walk and the Bronte to Coogee walk. The former covers iconic pit stops like the 90-year-old Australian winter swimmers club Bondi Icebergs, Tamara Beach, as well as the family-friendly Bronte Beach; while the latter takes one to the heritage-listed Waverley Cemetery and ends at Clovelly, a vibrant beachside suburb with a lawn bowls club.
Alternatively, take on the five-kilometer Watsons Bay walk from Bondi Beach, which covers breathtaking coastal and city views around South Head, including Sydney Harbour and the Hornby Lighthouse. Home to waterfront restaurants and harborside parks, Watsons Bay is also the oldest fishing village in Australia.
Shopaholics will have a field day at Bondi’s Gould Street, a narrow side street home to luxury labels, locally made activewear, and hip boutiques. Some of the best boutique stores include that of playful jewelry brand Playa by Lucy Folk, offering bracelets and earrings in the shape of junk food and snacks; unisex apparel brand Jac+Jack, which is popular for its comfy silhouettes in materials like linen and cashmere; as well as longstanding fashion retailer Tuchuzy, known for its effortlessly chic designer pieces.
Where to eat and drink
For a taste of local flavors, make a beeline for the Bondi Farmers Market, held every Saturday at Bondi Beach Public School. Here, fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables are hawked alongside organically grown meat and poultry, as well as flowers, artisan bread, homemade jams, farmstead cheese, and more.
Café lovers can check out Bondi Hall and Panama House — the former is the beach outpost of city-center venues Reuben Hills and Paramount Coffee Project, serving hearty and healthy brunch items; while the latter is an all-day Italian-American eatery known for corned beef hash brown and huevos rancheros. Alternatively, head to The Corner House to enjoy wood-fired pizza in a pared-back locale.
Before hitting the beach, drop by Bondi Surf Seafoods for a bag or two of their famous fish and chips, shellfish, and prawns. Considered Bondi’s oldest fish shop, they serve freshly battered seafood sets with a huge variety of in-house sauces.
Quench your thirst at the Anchor Bar, a local favorite that serves a mean selection of margaritas. Bask in the nautical theme, enjoy sustainable seafood, and dive into their cocktail list — one that’s filled with specialty margaritas and Sailor Jerry rum concoctions.
Finally, don’t leave Bondi without a meal at the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, a Sydney institution with an enduring charm. The coveted location boasts stunning views of Bondi Baths’ famous ocean pool, with a menu that showcases seasonal produce with an Italian bent. Must-tries include the earthy yet oceanic risotto dish, which comes with morsels of fresh blue swimmer crab.
Where to stay
Located a leisurely 10-minute stroll from Bondi’s buzzy beachfront, the Bondi Garden Haven by L’Abode Accommodation (bookable on HomeAway) is a two-bedroom abode that’s equal parts stylish and comfortable. Inside, exposed brick walls and polished concrete floors contrast beautifully with eye-catching prints depicting beach life. Meanwhile, throw cushions and colorful pillows soften the industrial-chic look.
Perfect for cozy house parties or a quiet get-together after a day out at the beach, the accommodation comes with a sunny court-garden boasting a barbecue grill, a PlayStation gaming console, and plenty of space to hang out in.
If staying connected on your travels is a priority, check out Changi Recommends at Singapore’s Changi Airport — a one-stop-shop for travel services including rental of overseas Wi-Fi router (also what kept us well connected on our Sydney trip!).