Bondi beach, the world’s uber beach, is only a bus ride from the commercial hearth of Sydney. It is a national symbol for a largely arid country where the bulk of the population lives on the coast and where the abiding self-image is one of cheer and relaxation.
Bondi Beach is where the most easy-going of nationalities foes to relax after a day’s work in Australia’s largest city. Ten minute’s dive work in town is a 1-km/1000 – yd long are of pale and and blue sea. Behind this ideal sweep is a wide promenade, spacious green parkland and any number of cafes and restaurants. A beer is always close to hand, but it is the sea and the surf that is the real draw.
Bondi is an Aboriginal word describing the noise of water breaking over rocks. The water beaks strong and loud all along Bondi Beach and there is something in this playground for everybody. On a hazard scale of ten, the northern end of the beach has been rated a modest four while the southern end is a more challenging seven due to a rip current running straight out to sea. The lifeguards call it the Backpacker’s Express because it’s closest to the bus stop, where new arrivals keen to shake off the city immediately take a plunge.
Primeval life forms crawled up beached on to dry land, and it is to the beach that their highly evolved modern descendants have returned. Nature is benign on the archetypal beach – a place of sun, sand, sea, surf and not so many clothes as usual. Bondi Beach is the closest thing to many people’s idea of paradise.