The 3 best Winter/ Spring Beaches in Sydney, today we are featuring Bondi Beach.
Enjoy the Beach Life Australia just as much in winter!
We apologise for this late post about winter in the middle of spring, we have been busy preparing for our launch and packing orders! It's been a great journey so far and we would like to take this opportunity also to thank all of our awesome customers for making an order and the great feedback we have received!
Given the rather bad weather lately though, this post is just as relevant on a slightly cooler, overcast day during any season.
What makes a good Winter or early Spring Beach?
That is, if you are like us, and not brave enough to step into 18 degree water with only 16 degrees outside, but absolutely love the Beach Life Australia nevertheless.
We know how awesome these beaches are for swimming but this time our criteria is as follows:
- Scenic Walk to enjoy the environment, a bit of history and the sunshine
- Playground/ space for kids to run around and make some friends
- Brilliant Cafe to relax in afterwards or great picnic/ BBQ area
We will be showcasing the best Beaches Sydney has to offer despite the cold weather.
Everyone knows how important it is to get some sunshine to produce Vitamin D, a vital tool that helps with calcium absorption and building strong bones, not to even mention the increase in endorphins.
Generally natural environments like beaches and waterfront parks offer more restorative benefits to people than gyms, entertainment venues and the built urban environment.
Therefore get out and enjoy, the beach and the sun make us certainly happy and relaxed!
Despite the cold temperatures never forget to add some good quality sunscreen or on warm winter days spend some time in the shade.
In our last blogs we covered #1 Palm Beach and #2 Nielsen Bay (not in order of preference ;-):
An incredible city beach, absolutely stunning ocean shore walk and plenty of options for coffee, food and that sneaky glass of wine
Last but most definitely not least - Bondi Beach!
Beach Life Australia is based at Bondi Beach and we can highly recommend Bondi Beach also on a day where swimming is not an option.
How to get to Bondi Beach
Address: Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Parking. Well, the summary is that parking in Bondi Beach on a nice weekend day is not easy. The carpark at Bondi Beach on Queen Elizabeth Dr is large with 293 bays, however it does get incredibly busy despite the hefty hourly charge:
Parking meters operate 7am to 10pm
Summer (September– May)
Winter (June – August)
You have the option of finding street parking in the streets surrounding the beach but please beware that some of if is metered as well and under 10 mins walk from the beach there will be a 2 hour parking limit. The parking rangers in Bondi are very active to say the least , so take restrictions serious if you don’t want to be fined. You can find non-restricted parking generally in streets which are more than 10 mins walk from the beach and again on a nice day, those spots are usually taken.
Our recommendation is to either use public transport or arrive early (i.e. before 9 am).
Make your way to Bondi Junction by train and then take the fast 333 to Bondi Beach. Please note no tickets can be bought on the bus and either need to be pre-purchased at a News Agency or you have to use your Opal Card (https://www.opal.com.au).
Other options are the 380 and 381 which operate on the same route however have more stops.
The 389 will take you to the back of Bondi Beach (Glenayr Avene) which on a busy day might be a good option. In that case get off at the Corner of Glenayr Avenue and Hall Street and walk down Hall Street to the Beach or take the 333 down to the beach, spend some time at the beach, have lunch in Hall Street and take the 389 back to Bondi Junction.
Use the Sydney Transport Trip Planner
The options are endless ;-)
We will cover in this blog the Bondi to Bronte section of the Bondi to Coogee Coastal walk. You can even continue the walk to Maroubra if you were super keen.
We promise this will be one of the best walks you have ever done in a city as it is combining beaches, rockpools, parks and spectacular coastal views.
The walk has a few quite steep flights of old-fashioned stone steps however generally it is classified as easy.
It is not suitable for prams and wheelchairs though due to the steps, however if you were happy to carry your pram over the steps it is doable.
You can start the walk from the beach promenade or on 1 Notts Avenue after Iceberg’s .
From the promenade head south towards Bondi Icebergs Pool. Take the steps up to Notts Avenue and walk towards Bondi Icebergs Club and Pool.
Iceberg’s is one of the most recognized Australian Landmarks in the world. Especially if you are a keen Instagram follower of Bondi or even Sydney based Businesses (Beach Life Australia, Bondi Bather, Allerton Swimwear, Topheads Eyewear …) you would have seen the Pool featured many times as it is such an incredible view.
If you get to Bondi Icebergs on a Sunday morning about 9.30 am in Winter you will get the chance to see some action. While you are rugged up in your winter coat some brave souls will be competing against each other in the traditional Winter Swimming Club, the oldest Winter Swimming Club in Australia dating back to 1929. The purpose is to foster winter swimming and encourage participation in sport for all. Sound good? To be an Icebergs you must complete 75 swims over 5 years and compete on three Sundays out of four.
It’s definitely worth watching and the atmosphere is amazing.
The Bondi Icebergs became licensed in 1960 and the members moved from a tin shed into comfortable premises with Bar & Poker Machines. A further update took place in the 1970's enabling the Club to operate on two floors. In 1995 female members were admitted and in 2002 the Club opened their new premises you still see today.
Continue your walk on Notts Avenue to almost the end of the cul de sac and on the left, seemingly plunging straight over the cliff edge, are steps leading down to the water’s edge.
Walk down the steps and keep right walking south. You will notice a unusual little cove eroded into the cliffs face, with a spectacular conical rock formation.
This spot is also very popular for the annual Sculpture by the Sea event in October. A section of this dramatic coastal walk is transformed into a seaside art gallery known as Sculpture by the Sea (http://www.sculpturebythesea.com).
The path hugs the Coast Line, is well constructed so keep following the track. After climbing some steps and a slightly steeper section you will notice steps going off to your right. If you have taken your dog with you and would like to enjoy an off leash area, take those steps to the top.
You will reach Marks Park, a flat grassy area with good views north over Bondi Bay, south towards Coogee and east. Seating and shaded areas are also available there if you need a rest already. There is also a Children's playground on site, so dog owners must ensure dogs avoid this area. Dogs off leash allowed between 4:30pm and 8:30am daily. Dog off-leash arrangements suspended during Sculptures by the Sea period (approx. mid October - mid November annually).
If you decided to not walk to Marks Park, just keep following the path winding itself around Mackenzie’s Point till you get to another set of step steps.
Make sure to take a quick break at the top of the stairs on the stunning round viewing platform offering you the best views of Bondi, up and down the Coast, the Coastal Cliffs to the South and the spectacular Waverley Cemetery on top of them.
What a view!
Once you have caught your breath again, follow the track winding down the South Side of Mackenzie’s Point and along Mackenzie’s Bay. Once you have hit the whitewashed walls of Tamarama Surf Lifesaving Club you will see the Cliff sheltered Tamarama Beach to your left. Tamarama Beach is a very small beach and swimming conditions are dangerous most of the time due to the strong rips.
Take the steps down to the beach. If you need to take a break, the new Tamarama Café / Kiosk is located on the North side of the beach and catches great sun most of the day on their wooden deck with seating area overlooking the beach. BBQ and public Seating areas are located towards the west of Tamarama park and there is a small Children’s Playground too.
Walk past the modern amenity block and take the steps up to Street level. The footpath has been specially widened to cater for all the keen walkers and is bordered with the typical white fencing you find along the Eastern Beaches, which is almost famous.
After a few hundred metres Bronte Bay and Beach will stretch out to your left.
Notice the incredible rock pool and it’s construction on the South End of the Beach.
Take the steps down to the promenade, sit down on one of the benches and enjoy!
There are a set of great café’s on the South end of the beach on Street level. You can also bring your own Picnic and public BBQ areas are provided in Bronte Park, west of the Beach, see the Café/ Picnic Section.
If you want to really please your kids, once on the promenade, pass Bronte Surf Club to your right and turn right past Bronte Kiosk and the Amenity Block. Keep walking for another 300 metres, keep right and you will get to the most amazing Children’s Playground at the back of Bronte Park.
There is so much choice in this area, that the options are almost endless!
A few tips from us:
For Bondi Beach, Hall Street has tons of Café’s and restaurants and is generally less touristy than Campbell Parade.
It really is a matter of personal preference but we frequent the following places:
On Bondi Beach you really can’t go past Bucket List for lunch and/ or a drink. Only Queen Elizabeth Drive separates you from the beach and their terrace is amazing on a sunny day. Even if the weather is not that good or cold, their inside seating is spectacular because of their floor to ceiling glass windows so you don’t miss out on the good beach view.
If you like a healthy snack when on the beach or walking the promenade, also try Sejuiced for their great selection of juices and smoothies, directly outside the Pavillion.
There are plenty of choices in Bondi Beach and on the walk to Bronte:
North Bondi Grassy Knoll BBQ and Picnic Area
On the North Side of the Beach, there is a BBQ area and undercover seating. This area gets extremely busy in summer, it’s a first come first serve
Bondi Beach North West Side
Between the North Bondi and Bondi Beach Surfclubs you will also find a few Picnic Huts, or just have your Picnic in the Grass Areas there
Bondi Beach South West Side
On the Southern Side of the Pavillion are also a few Picnic Huts, or the other option is to have your Picnic on the Grass on the hill and enjoy the best views across the beach
Tamarama West Side
Behind the beach in Tamarama the council has just renovated the Picnic Huts, Playground, BBQ area and toilets and really did a great job. Tamarama is usually good for winter because it’s more protected from the cold winds.
Our favorite when it comes to organizing a Picnic or BBQ!
Lots of Picnic Huts, two large BBQ areas, a great park and the most amazing playground in case you have kids. All this on the West Side of the beach in Bronte Park.
There are so many playgrounds in and around Bondi Beach that it would actually be an article in itself to just write about them!
For this purpose I will present the 4 Playgrounds, which are close to, or on the Bronte to Bondi Walk.
Bondi Beach Playground
Situated on the North Side of the Bondi Beach Surflifesaving club/ Pavilion, on Queen Elizabeth Drive.
Amazing! You can sit on the bench watching your kids and see the beach and ocean. Nice! Queen Elizabeth Drive and a few carspots are in your way however it won’t defer from this spectacular Playground. Lots of Playground equipment on offer, our favorite would be the ship at the sandbox.
Marks Park Playground
If you read the walk guide from Bronte to Bondi you would already know about Marks Park. Walk up the mentioned stairs after starting the Coastal Walk and turn right after the stairs. This Playground is smaller however nevertheless spectacular! The view to North Bondi and the laid back feel due to less people is stunning.
At the back of Tamrama Beach in a relatively secluded spot you will find the Tamarama Playground. This playground is suitable for a windy day as it is protected from the wind more than the other playgrounds. BBQ Area with seating and Kiosk is close by so you can make a day off it!
(Image: Waverley Council)
This playground is such amazing that we wished to be kids again. It is situated at the back of Bronte Beach in Bronte Park about 100 m behind the Amenities block/ Beach Kiosk. Nothing more to say about this except, if you want to raise up the popularity meter with your kids, pay this playground a visit!
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