Major festivals and events
||Flickerfest, Australia's premier international short film festival.
Ben and Jerrys Openair Cinemas Bondi
||Bondi Latin American Festival
||World Environment Day
||City to Surf Fun Run, the largest running event in the world, 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.
|Festival of the Winds kite flying festival
|Sculpture By The Sea,Each year in spring, a section of the Bondi to Coogeecoastal walk is transformed into a seaside art gallery.
- Bondi Beach Markets Open most Sundays in the grounds of the Bondi Beach Public School. A wide selection of stalls offer; hand made jewellery, arts and crafts, vintage clothing, obscure and wonderful objects of questionable utility, twee but cute things for small kids, retro stuff from robots to furniture and lots of clothing from up and coming new designers. Basically it's lots of fun for all the family.
- Bondi Farmers Markets Held most Saturdays in the grounds of the Bondi Beach Public School. Offering fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, organic produce, olive oils, spices, poultry, honeys, jams, teas and breads sold by the people who grow or make it.
- Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk Combining beaches, rock pools, parks and spectacular coastal views, the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk winds its way along 6 km of picturesque coastal paths at the edge of Sydney's eastern suburbs. Starting by the iconic Bondi Icebergs, just above the Bondi Baths, the walk takes between 1-2 hours at a leisurely pace, offering plenty to see and do along the way.
In addition to the many formal cultural activities, Bondi is home to a vibrant cosmopolitan social scene. Bondi Hipsters aside, there is great sense of community, and local activity, from Yoga on the beach, the Aquabumps Gallery, Whale watching, the Bondi to Bronte Swim to the community focused OneWave and the awesome Fluro Friday surf.
Parking can be a nightmare around Bondi. When parking, watch out for the council rangers, they can be without mercy.
On the beach and in the surf
If you've seen Bondi Rescue then you will know that the surf can be dangerous. If you don't know how to swim, take some advice from me and stay out of the water until you can get some lessons organised. For everybody else, be really careful about going in the water, and make sure you swim between the red and yellow flags.
The red and yellow flags show the supervised area of the beach and that a lifesaving service is operating. So make sure to swim between the red and yellow flags. If you are given direction by a lifeguard, or if there is a warning sign up, it's probably a very good idea to follow it. 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 7.
Red and yellow flags
One of the most important things to watch out for is rip currents. When waves break on a beach, they push water towards the shoreline. Once that water reaches the shore, it has to find a way to get back out to sea, and it does this by flowing downwards into deeper channels in the surf zone. Once the water is in these deeper areas, it can flow back out to sea away from the shoreline. These deeper channels are called rip currents.
There are a whole bunch of different types of rips, both permanent, semi-permanent and transient and Bondi Beach has its fair share. These rip currents are often given names such as “Backpackers Express” on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, due to their persistent location. The "Backpackers' Express" gets its name due to its proximity to the bus stop, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming.
If you have a surfboard, and I'd encourage you to give it a go, remember not to surf inside the red and yellow flags, as this area is for swimmers only. Remember to use a strap and be polite to other surfers. There is an etiquette to surfing and while beginners are generally tolerated on city beaches like Bondi you should follow the basics. We cover this and a whole bunch of other useful surf related stuff on our learn to surf page. It's also good to know that the south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding.
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.
There are two volunteer surf life saving clubs on Bondi Beach: the Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club and the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. Waverley council also provides a Lifeguard service i.e. of Bondi Rescue fame. Bondi's volunteer Lifesavers traditionally wear the traditional red and yellow while the Bondi Rescue team wear blue shirts, so if you need any assistance you should be able to locate help pretty quickly.
Remember to use sunscreen, watch your kids like a hawke, keep hydrated, secure your valuables, as pickpockets have been know to visit the beach and don't bring alcohol onto the beach.
Weddings, Parties, Anything
While a lovely picnic, or Christmas lunch, on the sands of Bondi is high on a lot of people's bucket list, there are some pretty tough restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in public on the beach. Having some serious fun in the sun is still pretty awesome, even without an alcoholic beverage, so if you were planning on where you might pop you blanket down check out this map produced by the council. It indicates the alcohol free and alcohol prohibited zones.
Keep in mind that on major holidays, such as Christmas Day, bags are regularly inspected on the beach, or in the park. If you bring alcohol to Bondi Beach it's pretty likely that it will be confiscated, and you can be fined.
The council has recently indicated they are planning a “zero-tolerance” approach to drunken beach parties. Smoking on the beach is also banned, if you were wondering. All is not lost, because if you do feel like a drink, there are plenty of licenced premises around the beach.