Don't confuse Bondi Beach with Bondi. Or Bondi Junction. An easy mistake for Sandgropers to make, perhaps, but these are three distinct (albeit adjacent) suburbs about 7km east of Sydney's CBD.
Bondi Beach itself has a population of about 10,000 but this obviously swells in the summer. Apparently last December alone almost 250,000 people paid a visit to this iconic strip of Aussie sand, and not surprisingly lots of activities have sprung up both to keep people amused and relieve them of their spare change. Cafes, restaurants, shops and bars abound, an open-air cinema operates in summer months at the Bondi Pavilion, as well as concerts and art exhibitions.
It's easy to reach Bondi Beach from Sydney's centre by public transport, and if you want to stay at the beach, there are a few options.
At the top of the scale is the Swiss-Grand Resort and Spa, a four-and-a-half-star all-suite resort that spruiks itself as "the only international standard resort" in Bondi Beach. It's on the corner of Beach Road and Campbell Parade.
I stayed a little way down the parade at the Hotel Bondi, which offers accommodation ranging from single rooms from $75 to family suites from $200. Great value.Though the bedroom was nothing special, it was clean and the bathroom had recently undergone a top-class makeover. There are lots of apartments, too, including a new holiday rental in nearby North Bondi (yes, yet another "Bondi"). The upmarket boutique holiday pad is a three-bedroom semi renovated by Robert Plumb design. It's called Bondi 113 and is the first of three planned over the next couple of years under the Robert Plumb brand. Details at robertplumb.com.au/113odonnell.
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