'Disgusting' scenes as thousands hit famous Aussie beach for Christmas

A Sydney council has slammed Christmas Day celebrations as “extremely disappointing” after “appalling” scenes broke out at one of the city’s most iconic beaches.

As temperatures hit 26 degrees, thousands of people descended on Bronte Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Sunday. But by evening chaos had erupted with mounds of rubbish littering the coastline.

“I just wanted to go for a nice dip yesterday at 6pm and it was like a rave,” a local woman told Yahoo News Australia. “Just crap everywhere on the grass and everyone was off their faces. Some bloke was passed out in the sun. It was a nightmare.”

Thousands of people in a packed out Bronte beach park on Christmas Day.
Thousands of people were pictured in a packed out Bronte beach park on Christmas Day. Source: Facebook

“They danced and sang but some seemed to drink too much,” another resident said. “It was uncontrolled and could have been dangerous for some, especially when they decided to go swimming. Australian beaches are rougher than those in Europe. They could have lost their lives out there.”

“It is the first time I have seen Bronte anything like that, I was surprised at the crowd,” someone else added. “The police presence was mainly at Bondi and Coogee but can't recall seeing any at Bronte.”

In a video shared with Yahoo News Australia, a sea of party goers dressed in red bikinis, boardshorts and Santa hats can be seen in the packed out beach park. But it was a series of photos taken on Monday morning that has left locals seething.

Multiple images reveal the mess that was left behind with piles of litter covering the grass, which is a designated Alcohol Prohibited Area. From beer cartoons to glass bottles, shopping bags and picnic rugs, even clothing was discarded in the Christmas chaos.

“Lots of shoes left at Bronte from yesterday’s Xmas backpacker festival,” the caption on one social post read. “They are still there if you’d like them along with everything else that was left there.”

Locals furious at ‘disrespectful’ behaviour

The post has since gone viral on Facebook, racking up more than 300 comments from disgruntled locals.

“This is absolutely disgusting and utterly poor form,” one person wrote. “What a disgrace, such a beautiful beach to be trashed,” another said.

“Some people don’t have respect, shame, shame, shame on you all who left all your belongings and your rubbish,” someone else commented. “Absolutely revolting,” added another.

Mounds of rubbish left in Bronte beach park following Christmas celebrations.
Photos posted to Facebook reveal mounds of rubbish left in Bronte beach park following Christmas celebrations. Source: Facebook

While others slammed the massive crowds for being “too damn lazy to pick up after themselves.”

“That is why locals hate backpackers who disrespect their playground,” one user wrote. “This is a total disregard for the beautiful space they have enjoyed and an expectation that someone will come and clean it up for them and that it won’t end up in the ocean,” someone else said.

While others argued that it wasn’t just overseas visitors who filled the park.

“It was not a backpackers festival,” one person wrote. “A variety of people gathered, but most of them were Australians.”

“It was full of Ozzies,” another said, “not just backpackers.”

Clean up crews cleaning up Bronte Beach park on Boxing Day morning.
Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said the clean up operation ran until 11pm on Christmas Day and crews started back up again at 5am on Boxing Day. Source: Facebook

Huge clean up operation underway

The Mayor of Waverley has come out to condemn Sunday’s behaviour.

“It is extremely disappointing to see how much rubbish was left behind by people who have no respect for Waverley’s beautiful parks and beaches and for not obeying our alcohol ban,” Paula Masselos told Yahoo News Australia. “The beach is there for all to share and anti-social behaviour such as this is not welcome.”

She added that after party-goers left, a clean up crew worked until almost midnight to remove the rubbish.

“I’d like to thank our outdoor staff, lifeguards, local volunteers and residents who worked until 11pm last night and back again at 5am this morning to clear the mess.”

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.