Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia

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Bondi Beach

Top choice in Sydney

Definitively Sydney, Bondi is one of the world’s great beaches. It’s the closest ocean beach to the city centre (8km away), has consistently good (though crowded) waves, and is great for a rough-and-tumble swim (the average water temperature is a considerate 21°C). 

If the sea’s looking a bit angry, you can always head to the child-friendly saltwater sea baths at either end of the beach, both of which received an upgrade in 2019. Surfers also carve up sandbar breaks at either end of the beach; it’s a good place for learners, too. 

At the beach’s northern end there’s a grassy spot with coin-operated barbecues, but don't bring alcohol to your picnic – it's banned on the beach. Changing rooms and lockers can be found at Bondi Pavilion. Free beach-friendly wheelchairs (for adults and children) can also be booked through the Bondi Pavilion.

If you’re looking for your LGBTQIA+ community, head to near the North Bondi Surf Club where there's an outdoor workout area. This is one of the main hangouts for queer beach-going Sydneysiders.

Two surf clubs – Bondi and North Bondi – patrol the beach between sets of red-and-yellow flags, positioned to avoid the worst rips and holes. Thousands of unfortunates have to be rescued from the surf each year. Don’t become a statistic – swim between the flags.

Bondi’s lifeguards

Bondi Rescue, the hugely popular Australian TV series based at Bondi Beach began in 2006 but the history of Sydney’s Bondi Beach Surf Life Saving club dates back to 1907. The club began when a group of local swimmers met at Bondi’s Royal Hotel to discuss forming a surf life-saving organisation, the first in the world. 

Surf lifesavers, of lifeguards as they’re also known, deal with everything from swimmers getting into trouble in the sea swell to treating jellyfish stings. 

Shark attacks at Bondi? 

Headline grabbing yes, but there has been very few shark attacks at Bondi. The beach is ringed by a shark net protecting it from great white sharks. Although it is not entirely shark-proof, the chance of a large shark entering the area is low, and surfers and lifeguards are on the lookout to keep swimmers safe. 

The last major incident when the shark alarm was raised in 2019 -- the unmissable signal from lifeguards for everyone to evacuate the water -- turned out to be a false alarm. The shark spotted by two surfers was a harmless baby shark. 

Hotels near Bondi Beach

Bondi is blessed with excellent accommodation options in every budget category. 

Bondi Backpackers
Baxley Bondi
Dive Hotel
QT Bondi


Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sydney attractions

1. Bondi Pavilion


Built in a blended Mediterranean/Georgian Revival style in 1929, ‘The Pav’ is more a cultural centre than a changing shed, although it does have changing…

2. Ben Buckler Point

0.38 MILES

Forming the northern tip of the Bondi horseshoe, this point offers wonderful views of the entire beach. The 235-tonne, car-sized rock near the beach’s…

3. Aboriginal Rock Engravings

0.54 MILES

On the clifftop fairways of Bondi Golf & Diggers Club, a short walk north from Bondi Beach, lies a flat patch of rock carved by the Eora Aboriginal people…

4. Tamarama Beach

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Surrounded by high cliffs, Tamarama has a deep tongue of sand with just 80m of shoreline. Diminutive, yes, but ever-present rips make Tamarama the most…

5. Bronte Beach

0.98 MILES

A winning family-oriented beach hemmed in by sandstone cliffs and a grassy park, Bronte lays claims to having the oldest surf-lifesaving club in the world…

6. Bellevue Park


This quiet suburban park has killer views over Bondi and all the heads: North, South and Middle. Early Irish convicts named it Vinegar Hill, after a…

7. Waverley Cemetery

1.36 MILES

Many Sydneysiders would die for these views…and that’s the only way they'll get them. Blanketing the clifftops between Bronte and Clovelly beaches, the…

8. Clovelly Beach

1.66 MILES

It might seem odd, but this concrete-edged ocean channel is a great place to swim, sunbathe and snorkel. It’s safe for the kids, and despite the swell…