Bondi & the Inner East
Bondi is the most famous beach in Australia. It's well and truly established as one of Sydney's major tourist attractions – think Sydney, think Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour, Opera House, Bondi Beach….
And the fame is deserved – that much is clear at around 2 in the afternoon on a warm Summer Saturday, when every inch of Bondi's kilometer or so of white sand is covered with glistening flesh wet with suntan lotion, the water filled with laughing kids, the better swimmers beating far out into ocean, surfers hanging their legs into the ocean, their boards just out past the break. It's all pretty irresistible.
But there is far more to this area than the beach, as great as the beach is. The area is a cultural mélange. Situated in Sydney exclusive Eastern Suburbs, deserted streets of mansions and BMWs give out to regions of splendid brick apartment buildings (circa 1930s-1950s) as you approach the beach, and the streets throng with a diverse crew of 'Bondi hippies' (trans: laid back, flip-flop wearing, yet affluent creative-professional/actor/model types), tourists – especially backpackers, and Sydneysiders on a day out. The area is also home to Sydney's densest population of Jewish people, and the streets throng with restaurants of all persuasions.
It's intoxicatingly easy to lose days to the delights of Bondi Beach, and to lose your nights in the bars and clubs that make the area one of Sydney's favorite nighttime playgrounds. But make sure you explore along the coast. The cliff top walk from Bondi to Coogee is certainly one of the highlights of Eastern Suburbs Sydney, with several divine aspects, opportunities to examine the beautiful weathered rocks characteristic of the region, to pass by several other beaches of note, all of them less busy than Bondi and at least as pretty (Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and, finally, Coogee). Perhaps the most memorably of all, this trip will take you right through Waverly Cemetery, which is almost tumbling off a cliff high above the Pacific Ocean, and has to have one of the most stunning views of any cemetery in the world.