5 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Bondi Beach This Year

I will say this about Bondi Beach:

Get there. 

I don’t care if you have to swim on the back of a dolphin and bare-knuckle box a giant squid on your way; this is a place that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime.

Even as I sit here writing this, I’m hit with a wave of depression. In the current state of reality I can’t teleport myself back there whenever I want, and that’s just sad.

But rest assured, I’m going to return as soon as possible. Probably while I’m in New Zealand on my working holiday visa.

And I’ve got 5 reasons why you should buy a plane ticket to Australia this very year and explore this beautiful location.

bondi beach
*Sigh*

#1 Lack of Tropical Terrors… For Now…

Look at that little slice of heaven. Blue skies, light cloud cover, waves gently rolling in, warm rays of sun beating down on your face… If this ain’t (a suburban) paradise, then I don’t know what is… 

Despite being in paradise, you’ve got to be on the lookout. There may be dangerous jellyfish and the occasional shark (pay attention to signs and lifeguards). But take heart, for there are no saltwater crocs to be found. That’s a major win for Bondi Beach; those pansy salties can’t hang in the cooler climate of the southern parts of Australia. And good riddance…

However, as climate change continues to affect the globe (PSA: Climate Change is not a hoax), you can expect the ranges of tropical nuisances (like salties and some jellies) to grow as the water warms up.

Here’s a quote from a 2014 Mother Jones article:

That’s because the warmer the water, the less oxygen it can hold. Unlike other sea life, jellyfish are very good at surviving in these low-oxygen environments, giving them a comparative advantage.
“Warmer water species are going to start to have more and more areas where they can expand their range into,” he (Lucas Brotz, a PhD student and jellyfish expert at University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Center) says. Scientists have already observed this phenomenon in Australia’s jellyfish.

This is bad news for Australia, which has its fair share of dangerous jellyfish species. 

And as for the crocs:

University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences professor Craig Franklin said global warming could push saltwater crocs south.

The higher water temperatures impact the crocodilian’s ability to dive and remain submerged. This seemingly small change will affect how they evade predators, hunt, and socialize.

You can read the rest of the Huffington Post article here (or you can Google one of the several articles like a normal person).

So here’s what you need to know:

Australia has plenty of beaches where you should just not swim (like…ever), but Bondi is not one of those beaches. For now.

So hurry and soak up the sun before the salties decide to move in!

Conquer Fear Bondi Beach
This toothy grin is actually quite cheeky…

#2 The Wall of Street Art

This is the part of Bondi that I didn’t fully appreciate while I was there.

I wanted to surf, explore the rock formations, and swim. I mostly missed out on one of the coolest attractions of Bondi Beach because of that. My attention was simply elsewhere. 

For those of you that are unfamiliar – there is a walkway that encircles the beach. The wall alongside it is adorned with the work of many talented street artists. It is quite a visual spectacle, and draws many admirers each day. 

Bondi Beach
My cousin Sarah and I walking the length of the street art wall (taken by our friend Daniel)

The wall contains so many styles – so many messages – so many desires that the artists are trying to convey to the viewers. You’ll observe and admire how skillfully the works are done. I can almost guarantee (could there be a more useless phrase?) you’ll find something that truly speaks to you.

Some pieces are Public Service Announcements. They include one that says “Please don’t litter or pollute our beach.” It’s illustrated with sea creatures having fun on one side and being killed by plastic waste on the other side.

And you thought barracuda-ey Finding Nemo could get dark…

Other pieces are an artist’s take on current world affairs. For example, one artist painted a picture of many skeletons that were waiting for likes on social media, which you can tell by their various logos.

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Sarah took this photo of Daniel hanging out next to one of the pieces he really liked.

The wall is such a unique feature and it showcases a little bit of the personality of the bustling seaside suburb. Despite the fact that it’s street art, don’t go adding your own details to any of the pieces – the street art is sanctioned by the Waverley Council. However, it is open to artists of any calibre, so if you want to you can send in an application to paint a panel here

Because most of the panels only remain for 6 months at a time, the wall is constantly evolving. It’s highly unlikely you’ll see any of the works from the pictures above. However, there are two works that have been endorsed for long term preservation – one a memorial to a local girl (Chloe Byron) who died in the 2002 Bali Bombings, and the other being an Anzac commemorative mural (ANZAC = Australia and New Zealand Army Corps – served in WWI).

#3 The Coastal Walk

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a world-class marvel that has the potential to drop your jaw with every twist and turn. It winds its way 6 km over intricately colored cliffs and around beautiful beaches. Some people making the walk like to take their time, and it can be about 1-2 hours to complete. Others like to jog or run the distance, and you’ll notice that there are several mini-workout stations along the way.

The walk starts just above the Bondi Icebergs, the swimming club on the south side of the beach which first opened to the public in 1929.

bondi beach
The Bondi Icebergs: My only regret is that I was unable to photograph the splash of a much larger wave…

Personally I recommend exploring the rocks and cliffs around the walk as much as possible (safely of course).

There are so many hidden beauties throughout the area that are barely off the beaten path.

Plus, there is a bus route along the way, so you’re easily able to just complete parts of the walk if you aren’t interested in going the whole way. 

bondi beach
Daniel took this photograph of me enjoying the view at Tamarama Beach just off the Coastal Walk

Make sure you see this Coastal Walk before parts of it make like the ‘Azure Window‘ and fall into the sea. Erosion people! It’ll get the job done someday!

 #4 The Melting Pot

One of the things I really appreciated about Bondi Beach was the vast diversity of people from all walks of life. People from countries all over the world, from different backgrounds, with varied perspectives on life all come together to visit the world-renowned beach. Admittedly, this isn’t really a time-sensitive point. But the world in 2017 is trending towards isolationism and heavy nationalism. Both of these things can work negatively against diversity. 

However, my personal experiences at Bondi Beach were nothing short of extraordinary.

I like seeing all the different cultures – it gives a greater opportunity to learn and to shift my worldview by adding new perspectives.

One of the places where Bondi’s diversity was showcased was at the beach volleyball nets that locals set up across the beach (volleyball is the only ball sport allowed on the beach – thanks to the efforts of one of the friends I made in Bondi).

bondi beach
My cousin Sarah captured this picture of me (kneeling) playing here…ITALY + ITALY vs USA + TAIWAN

The group that I played with on multiple occasions used regulation beach volleyball rules. I was very much at a disadvantage, having never played beach volleyball before, but everyone was kind enough to teach me and be patient while I tried my best to improve. Oftentimes, the four players on the court would hail from four separate countries. I shared the court with players from Australia (obviously), Italy, Brazil, Germany, Yemen, and Taiwan – just to name a few. There were many languages spoken on the court!

Embrace the life experiences of people who live and have grown up in areas vastly different from where you call home – each person you speak with will broaden the definition of what life on earth is like for people around the world! 

#5 Beautiful, Beautiful Sydney

Alright I got you again, it’s not like Sydney is going anywhere in the next year…

However, it’s a place consistently ranked as one of the best in the world to live and to visit! USNews Travel ranked it 13th of the World’s Best Places to Visit. Business Insider ranked it #10 on Best Cities in the World to Live. Independent ranked it #8. The Telegraph ranked it #4 of the World’s 50 Best Cities.

I think you get my point. It’s widely considered one of the most interesting and most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s a bus trip away from Bondi Beach. Honestly, most people probably stay in Sydney and visit Bondi than vice versa. What I’m saying is, get it while it’s at its best!

bondi beach
Just a short bus ride or train + bus ride away.

With a city like Sydney so close by, you’ll find everything you need and more for your Bondi Beach vacation. The local public transport is fantastic and you’ll be able to get around even if you choose not to rent a car (in case you’re worried about driving on the opposite side of the road!).

So whatever you do, make it a priority to get to Bondi Beach this year and spend a week in paradise.

bondi beach
A breathtaking late-summer afternoon.

And once you get there, don’t forget to sit down, relax, and savor the view.

Originally Posted May 23, 2017

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