Only a short distance from the New South Wales capital of Sydney, Australia lies the thriving seaside town of Bondi Beach. Pronounced “ban-dai” with long “i” sound, this beach is the place for summer days filled with sun and surf

Founded back in the midst of the 19th century, as Sydney’s urban center began expanding, the unique name of Bondi Beach derives from an Aboriginal word meaning “waves crashing upon rocks.”

As a getaway from the urban center of Sydney, Bondi’s white sand beaches and alluring coastline are a beautiful option. If you are around during the migratory seasons, you could spot dolphins or even whales off the coast. The rarely seen fairy penguin may even catch your eye.

Start at Bondi’s Community Center located at the Pavilion, the town’s focal point and home to outdoor theaters, shower and changing rooms, food stands, and tourist information.

Hitting the beach, stroll along the sandy coast and sunbathe with the bronzed locals, or take a look at the northern side of Bondi Beach. For more challenging waves, surfers can head south, where the water can be perilous for a swim but heaven for a surf session. In the summer months, lifeguard patrols are all on the beach, and shark nets are laid out for further protection.

fitnessTake in a bit of Bondi Beach’s history and beauty with one of the scenic walks. Start at Bondi’s old Pavilion, begun in 1928, on the way to the cliffs of Bronte. See the Hawkesbury sandstone belt which dates back to over 200 million years B.C. Or visits the old Bronte Baths en route to Waverley Cemetery.
Get into the rich bikini culture on Bondi Beach’s southern end, where sunbathers have been known to flout the city ordinances and go topless. In fact, the beach holds the Guinness World Record for largest swimsuit photo shoot ever.

Get into the groove of the Wild City to Surf Fun Run which takes place every August. Participants make their way to Bondi Beach from Sydney’s center. Or fly a kite in the annual Festival of the Winds in September.

Bondi Beach has many options when you get hungry, from four-star restaurants to tiny cafes in sight of the water’s edge. Mix with the locals and share a toast in one of the many pubs.

Bondi Beach has been featured as the backdrop for some television series, including Breakers and Bondi Rescue, which follows the efforts of the lifeguard patrols.

At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Bondi hosted the beach volleyball tournament for all the world to see.

Fitness has been a huge part of Bondi identity so it was very fitting that the Olympics were showcased in this famous beach town.

When staying overnight (or for weeks at a time), Bondi Beach has every type of accommodation, from boutique hotels to down-to-earth hostels for backpackers and mid-range hotels; all bases are covered.

Only a thirty-minute drive from downtown Sydney, take Oxford street from the capital and follow it as it turns into Enfield Drive and finally Bondi Road. Because parking can be so difficult, locals suggest arriving using public transportation to avoid the hassle. Numerous buses come from Sydney every day.