See also Bondi
Bondi is Sydney's "City beach",
and one of the best-known places in Australia. Not only is it the
City's nearest beach, it also happens to be its best beach.
In summer it does its duty as a surfing
|Mecca, drawing thousands on weekdays and
tens of thousands at weekends (weather permitting) to its broad curve
of white sand and its curling blue-green waves.
When the cooler weather
comes, it still has its sun-worshipers and
surfers, but then Bondi's other attractions
become the main drawing-card
|and restaurants, the City's doorstep on
which it laps so faithfully.
If anyone has heard of
Sydney, then they have heard about Bondi, and no
visit would be complete without the 15-20 minute
drive or ride from the City to its premier beach
and most famous resort.
|Its unique shape is the result of geological
accident: an ancient volcano that erupted eons ago (but whose fissure
can still be seen on the Ben Buckler headland), canting its mouth
to the south rather than the usual east of Sydney's other 20-or-so
This quirk of nature
granted the Pacific's southerly swell
|special access to the land, piling up
the giant dunes that provide Bondi's sandy foundations and whose storms
and gales continually refresh its beachy atmosphere. (Once, when the
white man first came to Bondi, there was a string
of lagoons that stretched back almost to Sydney Harbour
the black man arrived, there may
||well have been a waterway linking Bondi
to the Harbour, forming a "bombora", like those found at
several other Sydney beaches, such as Long Reef and Palm Beach.)
Bondi - it's an
Aboriginal name meaning "the place of
breaking water" - has
|several different moods.
In the warmer months it
is mostly languid and laid-back, the heat of the
day tempered by the sea-breeze that wafts in from
the ocean when it's in its more Pacific mode,
vying with the gum- scented nor-easterly that is
Sydney's prevailing summer wind.
But Bondi has its darker,
|wilder side, when the wind blows in from
the ocean to remind everyone of the price the beach must pay for its
Then the shops and cafes
along the Strip must fold their umbrellas and
roll up their awnings as the southerly sweeps in,
and the Pacific makes a mockery of its name.
|waves rise up from out to sea, only to
crash down and sweep across the shelving sand almost up to the concrete
promenade that endeavours to keep the land-hungry dunes at bay.
Then only the most
experienced swimmers and board-riders can venture
out, and the brave boys with their wind-surfers
arrive to exploit the
|change of conditions, scooting diagonally
across the white-capped water, their colourful sails set to catch
the wind, leaping and twisting high into the air as they meet the
However, Bondi has
another character, and especially for the locals
perhaps its nicest mood.