Bondi Beach, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
|Location||7 km (4 mi) east of Sydney CBD|
Bondi Beach or Bondi Bay (// BON-dye) is a popular beach and the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Bondi Beach is located 7 km (4 mi) east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverley Council, in the Eastern Suburbs. Bondi, North Bondi and Bondi Junction are neighbouring suburbs.
"Bondi" or "Boondi" is an Aboriginal word meaning water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks. The Australian Museum records that Bondi means place where a flight of nullas took place.
In 1809, the road builder William Roberts received a grant of land in the area. In 1851, Edward Smith Hall and Francis O'Brien purchased 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the Bondi area that included most of the beach frontage, which was named the "The Bondi Estate." Hall was O'Brien's father-in-law. Between 1855 and 1877 O'Brien purchased his father-in-law's share of the land, renamed the land the "O'Brien Estate," and made the beach and the surrounding land available to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. As the beach became increasingly popular, O'Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, the Municipal Council believed that the Government needed to intervene to make the beach a public reserve. On 9 June 1882, the Bondi Beach became a public beach.
On 6 February 1938, five people drowned and over 250 people were rescued or resuscitated after a series of large waves struck the beach and pulled people back into the sea, a day that became known as "Black Sunday".
Bondi Beach was a working class suburb throughout most of the twentieth century with migrant people from New Zealand comprising the majority of the local population. Following World War II, Bondi Beach and the Eastern Suburbs became home for Jewish migrants from Poland, Russia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany. A stream of Jewish immigration continued into the 21st century and the area has a number of synagogues and a kosher butcher. The area today is very multicultural with a lot of new wealthy Asian families and Samoans. The multicultural migration funded and drove the growth of the suburb throughout the 90's into the turn of the century, moving it steadily from its working class roots towards upper/middle class enclave similar to its neighbors of Rose Bay and Bellevue Hill which was listed as the most expensive postcode in the country in 2003, 2004, 2005.
Bondi Beach was long a centre for efforts to fight indecency in beach attire. The beach was a focal point of the 1907 Sydney bathing costume protests, organized to oppose proposed dress standards for beachgoers. The Local Government Act, Ordinance No. 52 (1935) governed the decency of swimming costumes and was in force between 1935 and 1961, and resulted in public controversy as the two-piece "bikini" became popular after World War II. Waverley Council's beach inspectors, including the legendary Aub Laidlaw, were responsible for enforcing the law and were required to measure the dimensions of swimwear and order offenders against public decency off the beach. While vacationing in Australia during 1951, American movie actress Jean Parker made international headlines when she was escorted off the beach after Laidlaw determined her bikini was too skimpy. The rule became increasingly anachronistic during the 1950s and was replaced in 1961 with one requiring bathers be "clad in a proper and adequate bathing costume", allowing for more subjective judgement of decency. By the 1980s topless bathing had become common at Bondi Beach, especially at the southern end.
Sydney's Water Board maintained an untreated sewage outlet not far from the north end of the beach which was closed in the mid-1990s when a deep water ocean outfall was completed.
Bondi Beach is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) long and receives many visitors throughout the year. Surf Life Saving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach in 2004. 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 southern line-up.
Sport and recreation
Bondi Beach is the end point of the City to Surf Fun Run which is held each year in August. The race attracts over 63,000 entrants who complete the 14 km run from the central business district of Sydney to Bondi Beach. Other annual activities at Bondi Beach include Flickerfest, Australia's premier international short film festival in January, World Environment Day  in June, and Sculpture by the Sea in November. In addition to many activities, the Bondi Beach Markets is open every Sunday. Many Irish and British tourists spend Christmas Day at the beach.
Bondi Beach hosted the beach volleyball competition at the 2000 Summer Olympics. A temporary 10,000-seat stadium, a much smaller stadium, 2 warm-up courts, and 3 training courts were set up to host the tournament.
Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club claims to be the world's first surf lifesaving club, and North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club is a federation club. Both clubs were founded in 1907. Bondi members invented the surf reel and many other icons of lifesaving. Surf lifesavers from both clubs were involved in the largest rescue ever on a single day, known as 'Black Sunday'. Bondi holds the most Australian Surf Lifesaving Championship gold medals in R&R (rescue & resuscitation) and North Bondi holds the most gold medals in March Past.
The Swimming Club's origin dates back to 1929 and owes its origins to the desire of a band of dedicated local lifesavers who wished to maintain their fitness during the winter months. They formed the Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club and drew up a constitution and elected office bearers. Included in the constitution was a rule that to maintain membership it was mandatory that swimmers compete on three Sundays out of four for a period of five years.
The Hotel Bondi is a landmark on Campbell Parade. It was built from 1915-1920s and was designed by E.Lindsay Thompson. It combines Italianate, Federation and Free Classical elements and has been described as an "important landmark building in the Bondi Beach townscape." It has a state heritage listing.
The nearby Swiss Grand Hotel is also a landmark development on Campbell Parade, opposite the beach. It was built on the site of an old service station that had been derelict for many years.
Bondi Pavilion is a community cultural centre, located right on Bondi Beach, which features a theatre, gallery, rehearsal, meeting and function rooms, art workshop, studios. Bondi Pavilion is the centre for major festivals performances throughout the year. It has a state heritage listing.
Culture and events
Numerous festivals and events such as the annual Miss Bondi beauty pageant have made Bondi Beach a popular destination among travellers. The beach has long captured the attention of poets including Joanne Burns, Les Murray and Brook Emery. The Vans Bowl-A-Rama skateboarding competition is held at the skate bowl in February every year.
In popular culture
Bondi Beach has been used as a location for various films, television series, music videos, and a video game:
- The Block is an Australian home renovation television series; its first season was filmed at Bondi Beach.
- Being Lara Bingle is an reality television series, that follows model and socialite Lara Bingle.
- Bondi Rescue is a factual television series about the team of lifeguards who patrol the beach.
- Bondi Vet is a factual television series about two vets in Bondi Junction.
- Breakers was a television drama series filmed around Bondi Beach.
- Tony Hawks Underground 2's Level Australia is a video game based on Bondi Beach.
- Les Norton, a popular Aussie fictional character who stars in the Robert G. Barrett series of books, "lives" at Bondi in the stories.
- People Under The Stairs, an American hip hop duo, filmed part of the video for their song "The Wiz" on Bondi Beach.
- Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire, an American animated movie, includes scenes filmed at Bondi Beach.
- The 1959 film version of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll featured the characters drinking beer at the Bondi Iceberg's Club.
- The 1966 film They're a Weird Mob features a scene in which the star is rescued on Bondi Beach.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 6 December 1997 noted the increasing gentrification of the area. Nonetheless it remains a diverse community.
According to the 2011 census of Population, there were 10,748 residents in Bondi Beach. In Bondi Beach, 47.3% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were England 9.0%, New Zealand 4.3%, Ireland 2.5%, South Africa 2.2% and United States of America 1.5%. 68.7% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Russian 2.2%, Spanish 2.0%, French 1.8%, German 1.5% and Italian 1.4%. The most common responses for religion in Bondi Beach were No Religion 31.1%, Catholic 22.0%, Anglican 11.0%, Judaism 8.0% and Eastern Orthodox 2.4%. 
- James Packer, businessman
- Michael Clarke, Australian cricketer
- Larry Emdur, TV presenter
- Lara Bingle, Model, television personality & socialite
- Steven Kilbey, bass guitarist of rock band the Church.
- In March 2007, Waverley Council started proceedings to evict a hermit who was living in squalor on a cliff overlooking the beach. Peter James Paul Millhouse, calling himself Jhyimy "Two Hats" Mhiyles, came to the beach during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and became a local celebrity for his lifestyle and poetry recitals to visitors. Residents and tourists put together a "save the caveman" petition to allow him to continue residing but under certain rules. In 2009, he was arrested and charged for the rape of a tourist. While he was in custody, Waverley Council under then-mayor Liberal Sally Betts removed his belongings from the cliff. In September 2011, charges against Jhyimy were dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions over concerns of the reliability of the witness. Waverley Council has not offered recompense for his eviction from his home or loss of belongings.
- "Bondi Beach" is the name of a wave pool at Carowinds Theme Park in Fort Mill, South Carolina, United States.
- Bondi blue is a blue-green colour, first named when used as the exterior colour of the original iMac personal computer introduced in 1998 and named after the colour of the water at Bondi Beach.
- The "Bondi Burger", served at Oporto restaurants, is named after Bondi Beach.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Bondi Beach (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollon (Angus and Robertson) 1990
- "Aboriginal Bondi". Cyber Bondi. 2000. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Book of Sydney Suburbs
- PDF (113 KB). , Waverley Library Local History. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Wentworth Courier 20 July 2004
- Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October 2004
- Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 2006
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual incomes, Average home price Zip 2021 NSW
- NSW Local Government Act, Ordinance No. 52 (1935)
- Marks, Kathy (31 December 2008). "Topless wars reignited on Australia's beaches". The Independent (London). Retrieved 14 September 2009.
- PDF (206 KB). , Waverley Library Local History. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Sowerby, Neil (18 July 2007). "Riptides and spice in Oz". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Beach babes shore up bikini record". Melbourne: Herald Sun. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2007.
- Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January 2009, p.18
- "World Environment Day". Unep.org. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 138.
- Bondi Bathers Surf Lifesaving Club
- "Bondi". Sydney.com. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Bondi Beach, New South Wales". Tourism Australia. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Heritage branch". NSW Government. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "BOWL-A-RAMA". Vans. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Caveman allowed to stay". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 May 2007.
- " 'Save the Caveman' Petition". www.savethecaveman.com.au
- "Bondi cliff dweller 'Two Hats' charged with rape". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 November 2009.
- Robinson, Georgina (18 November 2009). "Bondi caveman's cliff-top home demolished". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Kennedy, Les (19 June 2011). "No home, no rape, but still locked up". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Bondi Beach". Carowinds. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Huntsman, Leone. Sand in Our Souls: The Beach in Australian History. Melbourne University Publishing. ISBN 0522849458.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bondi Beach, New South Wales.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bondi Beach.|
- The lost art of 'Beachobatics' at Bondi Beach from The Sydney Morning Herald
- Sculptures By The Sea
- Bondi Icebergs Club
- Virtual tour of Bondi Beach