Yes the master of understatement strikes yet again. lol!
Of course I haven't seen all the beaches of the world. I can only make my comparisons fairly on Hawaii, the island of Oahu & the west coast of the United States. These places are so important to me because as a young surfer, I started riding a surfboard at age 11, the places I read mostly about were Hawaii & southern Californian beaches. the famous big waves of Hawaii's North Shore. The then famous to us Aussies places in SoCal like Malibu, Huntington Beach (surfing through the piers!), Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Baja California & of course farther north in the cold waters of Santa Cruz.
Well my fellow VTers in six trip to the good ole U.S. of A I've seen all of the Californian coastline from San Francisco to San Diego & many parts of it not once, but a number of times & I'm here to tell you that NONE of the urban beaches in the U.S. & that's what we're talking about here, beaches that are a part of a city & its suburbs, are anywhere as good or as pretty as most of Sydney's beaches.
Now when you think of Sydney's beaches what obviously comes to mind are those 2 tourist icons, Manly & Bondi. Well there's nothing wrong with visiting either,or both, of those, but you are doing yourself a real disservice if you are a beach lover & you don't explore both our northern beaches & also some of our southern beaches. Check my Avalon page for one of our better nthn beaches & my new Coogee page for what I believe is the pick of our sthn beaches.
The photo I've attached is of Shelley Beach & Fairy Bower which is a lovely 15 minute walk around the oceanfront from Manly Beach.
When visiting Sydney in the summer the weather can become very hot and if you like the beach then jump on a bus or train/bus and go to the one of many of the fine Eastern suburbs beaches..ie: Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama,Clovelly or Coogee..These are wonderful Sydney beaches that are very well known especially Bondi and Coogee beaches..it certainly is a budget way to spend the day. The majority of Sydneys beaches are patrolled by life guards for your safety...Transport depends on where you are staying in Sydney's eastern or western or southern suburbs..trains and/or connecting busses will get you to the beach of your choice..timetables for busses and trains are available at various train stations and bus info is a quick phone call..yes..ALWAYS REMEMBER...when swimming on Australian beaches...
ALWAYS SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS..THESE ARE THERE FOR YOUR SAFETY..
Bondi Beach is an international icon, from which many people will be seen. The street in front of the beach is lined with international cuisine, the walkway lined with casual walkers, hurried surfers trying to get to the water, and many people cramming in to see the world famous Bondi. One of the most enjoyable things we did on our trip was to walk around this beach, but then also to break out and walk down towards some of the smaller beaches south of Bondi. Take the walkway south from the beach toward the famous Icebergs Swimming Pool, and start your adventure!
Bondi is one of the world famous beach. Very popular spot as you can see on my picture (taken on a sunny Winter day...). There you could take opportunity to try your favourite beach activity as surfing, swimming (a sea swimming pool is available), walking along the coasts, enjoying the beachside lifestyle in the bars and restaurants around Campbell parade.
Bondi is the home to one of the oldest Surf Life Saving Club (founded in 1907). Swim safe between the red and yellow flags. The flags idicate that lifesavers are on duty. They can give you tips on the current conditions, types of waves to avoid and how to bodysurf...
But I just tried surfing once in Australia on sand downhill a dune ! To say the truth I prefer to have snow than sand in my pants in case of fall ;-) Definitively I prefer to surf on a snowy wave on my Alps.
So you think what trip to Sydney would be complete without a trip to Bondi Beach? Well, you are right.
However, just a warning not to expect a little paradise of a beach. Bondi is very developed and built up and has apartments, restaurants, bars & clubs built all around it. Its a constant people parade with flexing muscles and improving tans.
If you're not into that scene (or just a bit scared of the harsh Australian sun) I would recommend going there for an early evening meal, a walk along the promenade & if you behaved, an ice-cream.
If/when you are beaching it at Bondi, make sure you try both North & South ends of
the beach. They seem to have sub-cultures at each end. South is more travellers,
low profile locals & surfers. North is more posers, muscle guys & young
There are plenty of good ones in this area! A favourite is DEFINITELY 'Blue Orange' on Hall Street, Bondi. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner ALL scrumptious.
Liz is a big beach girl and wanted to see Bondi. We hopped on a bus and went to Bondi Beach. The bus ride was easy and quick. We started our day lounging on the beach. The sand is super fine and soft. It was a bit windy in the morning but that didn't hamper the visit. Liz took a dip in the Pacific as I lounged on the beach. It was great to sit and watch the waves crash, the surfers and the people strolling by. The weather was beautiful and we had a fabulous day.
While there on this first visit we had the experience to watch several Japanese businessmen in full suits walking the beach with their pant legs rolled up. Liz didn't seem to notice them as much as she was enjoying the surf, but the whole scene to me was quite entertaining.
On our second visit the beach was much more crowded as it was fully summer. We took the bus here from Bondi Junction train station for our walk down the shore to Coogee.
The most popular beach in Sydney has to be Bondi. It is also one of the most beautiful. Doesn't it look stunning on the picture. Yes when I took the shot it was very very busy since it was Christmas, but it is just as busy on a sunny and hot weekend day, so come early for a good spot. Bondi has big waves usually, so hours of fun guarenteed if you want to surf or swim!! Sometimes there are rips though, so make sure you stay between the flags where the life guards can see you! Also don't go in too far or too long without taking a rest. I had to take someone to less deep water since he was exhausted.
Beside being a wonderful beach for lots of activities, Bondi is also the start or finish of the Bondi to Coogee scenic walk. This is a walk of a couple of hours that will take you to some other beaches like Bronte and Tamarama. These beaches aren't as busy and well worth checking out.
Yes, here's something you may not know Bondi Beach for - a sculpture symposium!
Held towards the end of the year, invitees can display their work and sell it off afterwards. This way you get to see fresh stuff every year and the artisitically inclined get to make some money. Well, some of them do.
Of course, one of the great things about this type of art is - it's free!
Bondi Beach is definitely one of Australia's most famous beaches. The beach is roughly a kilometre long and is patrolled by lifesavers who make swimmers stay between the yellow and red flags.
It has fine sand and the waters beautifully blue with plenty of surfers dude and gals having a go at the waves. This place is packed tight on the weekends with plenty of beautiful blonzed (and baked) bodies.
How to get there:
Bus numbers 380, 381, 382 and 389 serves Bondi Beach from Sydney. Bus fares are calculated according to the number of sections you travel. It's all a bit complex for tourists but briefly it's A$1.60 from Bondi Junction, A$2.70 from Paddington and Darlinghurst and A$3.60 from Circular Quay.
There is a train service from the city (via Town Hall) to Bondi Junction. The Sydney train system finishes around midnight. There are a couple of later trains on Friday and Saturday nights at 12:09 and 12:39. At weekends, the trains run every 15 minutes on 10, 25, 40 and 55 from Bondi Junction to the city.
Most likely when you come to Sydney, the weather will be warm enough for swimming. Because one has so many options of where to go swimming, it can be quite confusing!
If you don't mind a bit of people-watching and crowded beach, I recommend Manly, Bondi, Palm Beach or Tamarama.
If you prefer something a bit more down-to-earth but still want a surf beach, then perhaps Coogee or one of my favourite surf beaches, Freshwater.
However, if you are after no surf but still a beautiful view then I have to recommend my absolute favourite... Camp Cove.
It's a harbour beach located just by Watsons Bay. It has a beautiful outlook, clear water, not too big, not too small, great swimming, good angle because you get the very last sunshine of the day and best of all, not too many people know about it. Uh oh, I could be in trouble for letting the secret out!!
There is also good rock-climbing & diving around Camp Cove, but more details on that in Sports tips.
Parking can be tricky on hot, Summer days because of the local harbour-side pub, but you'll find something, somehow.
One of the most famous beaches in the world - Bondi. Its known as the 'K-Mart' of beaches in Sydney as it is one of the most built up and popular. Be as it may, its still a beautiful sight - wide sands, blue waters, breakers and surfers. The rip can be very dodgy but even so....Not the most beautiful, but certainly a lotta fun! And of course the epynonymous surfers... :)
Off the beach it has one of the highest concentration of budget accommodation outside Victoria St in The Cross and Hall Street is packed with cafes/bars/restaurants.
You can also walk and follow the coast both north and south (see Tamarama tip for heading south). Head north to North Bondi to get great views back over the beach and, take life and limb in hand and walk across the Golf Course to get great views along the coast.
I haven't been to all the beaches - that would be tough since there are heaps of them - but I can tell you about a few good ones.
Bondi Beach (pronounced bone-dye): This is one of the most famous beaches. It is amazingly popular with both Aussies and tourists. It's really big, clean, and has lots of services (bathrooms, showers, first aid stations). There is also a huge boardwalk area, so you can spend a whole day in the area. There are restaurants, shops, arcades, etc. If you get off the immediate beach area (go inland even 2-3 blocks), you will find more great restaurants and shops that are much less touristy and less expensive. It's a wonderful suburb to wander in. There's also Bondi, a separate suburb. In Bondi Beach, someplace close to the beach itself, is a place called Death By Chocolate - if you like chocolate, it's worth finding! I don't remember exactly where it is, but I'm sure people can stear you in the right direction.
Bronte (pronounced like the authors): So pretty! Smaller than Bondi, and a better picnicy sort of area. Clean beach, lots of grassy areas. Not touristy like Bondi.
Manly: Very similar to Bondi in that it's touristy and there is a lot to do. Great place for a half-full day if you want to combine swimming/tanning with other things without wasting travel time. The big differences: there is a nice (but expensive) aquarium there, and there are also a few amusement park rides where the ferry comes in. You can also combine a ferry ride over to Manly -- do a lot of tourist things at once!