‘Tis so much fun to cruise around Bondi, soak up the sun, enjoy the joie de vivre that the neighbourhood is steeped in. True, Bondi and its adjoining beach, have achieved iconic status in Australia, but you have to realise, first, that Bondi, is more than just a neighbourhood, it is a lifestyle. Also, Bondi Beach has been the cradle of the unique surf culture. Everywhere you look, you will find immensely fit men and women, lugging their surfboards across the promenade, towards the beach and then into the water. One brand that is synonymous with this Bondi surf culture is Quiksilver. I partnered with Quiksilver India, during my recent trip to Sydney, to see how we could blend fashion and the Bondi lifestyle. I spent a few mornings in the neighbourhood, dressed in pieces from Quiksilver India’s collection and eased myself into the beachfront neighbourhood, with effortless ease.
Interestingly enough, while Quiksilver has traditionally been associated purely with surfing attire, I was happy to find, in their Mumbai store, a whole new lifestyle angle, with comfy chinos, tees, shorts and even printed shirts, which are not necessarily “surf-like” but which somehow tie in to the surfer lifestyle. Read on to know about my Bondi adventures.
Here’s what I did. If you’re visiting Bondi anytime soon, consider these as my recommendations for you.
Soak up the Culture – Let me start by telling you that while the beach is at the centre of the Bondi experience, there is SO much more to do beyond the beach. The neighbourhood itself is a lively one, where locals live normal – albeit stylish – lives. The hipster quotient is super high in Bondi, going by the number of organic cafes, art galleries and restaurants and bars that dot the streets. One of my favourites is Paradise Road Kitchen (this has nothing to do with Paradise Road in Colombo, in case you are wondering), with its lovely nautical-inspired façade and outdoor seating. As you walk along the waterfront promenade, be sure to check out the numerous restaurants serving all sorts of fun cuisine.
There’s lots of street art to be enjoyed all over – I particularly loved this huge dog, splashed across a café wall, just across the street from the beach.
Take a Surfing Lesson – This is an ABSOLUTE must-do! Whether you’re an ace swimmer or an amateur one, nothing quite prepares you for the feeling of learning to surf. As I mentioned earlier, surfing is the core culture of Bondi and EVERYBODY seems to be doing it. If you want to experience it, head on over to Let’s Go Surfing (www.letsgosurfing.com.au) a surfing school which is good for a beginner’s lesson! I signed up for an hour-long session. It was SO much fun. It costs about AUD 95 and, if you’re good enough, you might even manage to ride a way for a few seconds. I managed a five second stint, in the company of my French surf instructor who was about 7 feet tall!
Bondi Icebergs – This is my FAVOURITE address in all of Bondi, which is why I’ve decided to give it one entire section to itself. Bondi Icebergs, is an upscale restaurant and bar, located above the iconic Bondi Icebergs Club, a swimming pool overlooking the beach. Views from Icebergs bar are spectacular, and the cocktails are amazing too. Be sure to sit down and treat yourself to a coffee or a glass of prosecco, as I did, and look out at the pool below you, or the beach sprawled before you.
Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk – This has got to be one of the most stunning walking trails in the world. The rocky stretch between Bondi and its neighbouring beach Bronte, has been spectacularly landscaped and designed in the form of a coastal walk. The walk which starts at the south end of Bondi goes through cavernous rocks, private beaches, natural caves, steep steps and finally a stunning lookout point with sweeping views of Bondi and the Pacific Ocean. Walk further and you reach Bronte Beach, which is a smaller and more relaxed beach, with its own collection of cafes and restaurants.
The Beach – You can’t possibly come to Bondi and not lie around aimlessly on the beach. Well, not so aimlessly, considering all the gym bodies and beach fashion that you’d be gladly spotting all over.
Between dips in the ocean, lounging around on the sand and people watching, be sure to hop into the Bondi Pavillion for an iced beverage, a coffee or some sparkling wine.
If you’re visiting Sydney and trying to figure out how to get to Bondi by public transport, it’s easy. Regular buses run directly from Sydney’s Circular Quay to Bondi Beach. Alternately, a cab ride would take you about 15-20 minutes.
Clothes: Quiksilver India