May 14, 2011

Where I would rather be today: Bondi Beach, Australia

Click on pix to enlarge

Bondi Beach is in a suburb of Sydney and is among the world's most famous beaches. It had been on my short list of places that I wanted to see when we spent a few days in Sydney prior to a 2003 cruise that originated in that city.

Vivian and I took a bus tour that included a stop at Bondi and as soon as we pulled into a parking lot, it started to pour. Our Bondi visit lasted only a few minutes, so it remained on my short list. In 2009, we vacationed for a week in Sydney and took public transportation on a perfect day to Bondi. I was not disappointed.

According to Wikipedia, "Bondi Beach is about one kilometer long (6 miles) and receives many visitors throughout the year. Surf Life Saving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach. While the northern end has been rated a gentle 4 (with 10 as the most hazardous), the southern side is rated as a 7 due to a famous rip current known as the "Backpackers' Express" because of its proximity to the bus stop, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming. The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding. Yellow and red flags define safe swimming areas, and visitors are advised to swim between them.
There is an underwater shark net shared, during the summer months, with other beaches along the southern part of the coast. Pods of whales and dolphins have been sighted in the bay during the months of migration. Fairy penguins, while uncommon, are sometimes also seen swimming close to shore or amongst surfers. In 2007, the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot was set at Bondi Beach, with 1,010 women wearing bikinis taking part.

"Bondi Beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008."

Vivian and I have visited Sydney three times and it remains one of our favorite places in the entire world. I will save photos of that city for another blog post, but today you are having a look at Bondi Beach. These Bondi Beach pictures make us ache to return.

Photos by Frank Barning

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