I’m no stranger to Sydney, usually visiting family there each year. However, I’m ashamed to say I have never been to Bondi. Until recently, that is.
An avid watcher of Bondi Rescue, and passionate instagram user, I’ve seen the iconic beach numerous times on a screen, usually accompanied by shots of the Icebergs pool or the Bondi-to-Bronte walk. But there’s only so much that armchair travelling can reveal before you realise you’ve just got to get off the couch and on the plane.
Bondi is high on many people’s bucket lists and as Australians we’re lucky enough to have it in our own backyard. So what makes it bucket-list-worthy?
Firstly, the iconic beach deserves its reputation. Not only is it every bit as pristine and beautiful in person, the water is warmer than you would expect – a pleasant surprise when you’re from Melbourne!
Happily, visiting Bondi doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Only 30 minutes from the city, Sydney has an extremely efficient airport train to the CBD, from which you can catch a train and bus to the beachside suburb. Once you arrive, you won’t need to travel far for food or fun, with an abundance of cafes and restaurants on your doorstep and South and North Bondi both within walking distance.
The famous Bondi to Bronte (and back) walk takes in spectacular views of some of Sydney’s finest beaches and coastlines. Make like a local and walk or run the coastal path along the cliffs in the morning to earn your breakfast or coffee. If you plan your trip for a weekend you can also enjoy the farmers market each Saturday and clothing market on Sundays at Bondi Beach Public School.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Bondi break is soaking up the culture and laid-back attitude of the locals. A surfing town at heart, this is one suburb where shoes are definitely optional. And, unlike most big cities, the shopkeepers are keen for a chat and happy to help with directions or suggestions for dinner and drinks.
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With so many great eateries, the hardest part is choosing between them. Hall Street has many great cafes and restaurants, with Le Paris-Go a great option for breakfast and Bondi Hardware something of an institution for dinner and drinks.
Adina Apartments Bondi Beach opened its doors on Hall St less than a year ago and, in an innovative move, has created a hub of food around the accommodation. With a wide range of restaurants of various cuisines including Mr Moustache, a Mexican bistro, A Tavola, a highly acclaimed Italian establishment, China Diner and the infamous Gelato Messina you are spoiled for choice. The complex also includes Harris Farm Fresh Food market, Papa Pasticceria deli and café, a butcher and a fishmonger allowing residents and guests to eat in without compromising on quality.
Located less than five minutes from the foreshore, the hotel features 111 well-appointed one and two bedroom apartments and studio rooms. Rooms are spacious and modern and feature many of the comforts of home, including a private balcony. Apartments have a full kitchen, including fridge, as well as a washing machine and dryer. Studios include a kitchenette, allowing guests the option of cooking their own meals to save on dining out if on a strict budget.
The hotel also boasts a pool, spa and gym and is beautifully decorated in beachy and earthy tones. Not forgetting its roots, the sandstone used was dug up on site, all furniture is Australian made and the art featured throughout is from two local Bondi and Bronte artists.
The Adina Bondi is a wonderful option for those wanting to experience all Bondi has to offer, in a cost-effective way – I can highly recommend staying here.
Whatever your budget, it’s almost impossible to have a bad experience in Bondi. The epitome of Australian beach culture, this is one iconic break which will leave you feeling relaxed and calm – no easy feat in today’s fast paced society. With no overseas airfare required, pull out your pen and move Bondi to the top of your bucket list now.
If you want to cross Bondi off your bucket list like SJ did, why not enter TFE Hotel’s current competition? Celebrating 100 years of Great Weekends, there are 52 weekends away to win.