Luxury Escapes Guide to Bondi
Bondi needs no introduction. It’s one of Australia’s most famous destinations, where visitors enjoy perfect weather and waves – and where trendy eateries and beautiful people abound.
Things to see and do
Discover beaches along the Bondi to Coogee walk
The Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach walk is a regular pastime loved by locals, and a great way to spot dolphins and whales passing through the Tasman Sea. Adorned by multiple beaches and bays, the coastal route is home to a few low-key spots. One such is McKenzies Beach, just off the south point of McKenzies Point, and largely unknown to tourists and even some Sydneysiders. This mystery beach, between Bondi and Tamarama, is said to appear once every seven years, when sand builds up on the rocks and the tide falls.
Swim in the Bondi Icebergs pool
Welcome to one of the most photographed pools in the world. Doing laps here is no ordinary swim: the bright blue waters of this iconic pool come straight from the ocean, and depending on the tides, your morning swim could come with a side of ocean spray. Perched on the rocks on the southern end of Bondi Beach, this has been the home of winter swimming since 1929, when a group of local lifesavers decided to form the Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club to maintain their fitness during the colder months. Kids and adults alike can swim every day of the year in the Olympic-size pool or the smaller one, with qualified lifeguards on patrol during opening hours.
Watch the sunrise at Ben Buckler Point
Bondi is a place where life starts early – and sunrise is one of the most loved moments for every resident. Pop your head outside the front door and you’ll realise sunrise is peak hour here – with surfers running to the ocean, dogs being walked, swimmers doing laps and joggers completing their daily run before work. Whether you’re an early riser or not, wake up early one morning to enjoy nature’s spectacular show of rich reds, oranges and purples colouring the sky over Bondi. The best place to soak it all up? Ben Buckler Point, the northern tip of the crescent, which offers wonderful views over the entire beach.
Shop your heart out on Gould Street
Gould Street is the beating heart of Bondi – a boutique-lined street where you can shop for luxury labels, organic cosmetics, glamorous activewear, playful jewellery and locally made, eco-friendly cleaning products all in one place. Take a stroll down the street and be prepared to shop until you drop: buy taco-shaped bracelets at Playa, Lucy Folk’s colourful jewellery shop, stock up on organic and eco-friendly cleaning products at Bondi Wash, buy chic and elegant activewear – eco-friendly of course, at Nimble Activewear or shop for easy-to-wear denim at Denim CoLab.
Learn how to cook at the Cooking School
Follow the lead of head chef Gabriele Emanuele as he takes you on a journey through homemade pasta, fresh seafood and delicious dessert at Bondi’s famous Cooking School. On offer is a range of hands-on classes and masterclasses, all between three to four hours in length, where you’ll be taught all the secrets of the trade. From fresh pasta to Thai food all the way to macarons, the school has a myriad of classes available for every level and skills. Best of all, you get to eat all the delicious food you’ve cooked at the end, so come hungry.
Explore Bondi’s weekend markets
Bondi’s local markets, popping up every weekend at Bondi Beach Public School from 10am to 4pm, offer visitors a real taste of life in this beachside suburb. Every Saturday, the playground springs to life with the Bondi Farmers Market, where you can pick farm-fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, just-picked flowers as well as delicious local produce including homemade jams, artisan bread, cheeses and other delicacies. If you are a lover of all things vintage, head to the same spot on Sunday and stroll the Bondi Markets – a pop-up of stalls selling everything from jewellery to one-off vintage pieces and everything in between.
Learn how to surf with the pros
As Australia’s most famous surf beach, Bondi is a surfer’s paradise. Blessed with consistently good waves and water temperatures that can reach up to 25 degrees Celsius in summer and a chilly but not too chilly 16 degrees Celsius in winter, this is where pro surfers and learners alike can spend hours trying to catch the perfect wave. Experienced surfers usually head to South Bondi where swells are bigger and stronger, while beginners will find plenty of surf shops offering lessons and boards for rent. Currents and rips are strong here, so we recommend booking a lesson with Lets Go Surfing Bondi, one of the best surf schools in the area.
Practice yoga by the ocean
A visit to Bondi wouldn’t be complete without joining one of the fitness classes available in the area – and a yoga class by the beach is the ideal way to embrace the seaside breeze and exercise in one of the world’s most beautiful coastal locations. Unroll your yoga mat and salute the sun beside the ocean with Yoga by the Sea, offering a range of daily classes from sunrise to sunset during summer months. Classes take place at the southern end of the beach, near the Icebergs pool and right next to the water – so you can have a view of the ocean, breathe in fresh air, get splashed by the ocean and spot a dolphin or two as you hold your tree pose.
Top places to eat and drink
Bringing the essence of Thai street food to Bondi Beach, the cooler-than-cool Bangkok Bites will transport you to Thailand with its authentic, flavourful food crafted with local ingredients. Food here is served in a casual yet cool space, featuring exposed brick walls, colorful stools and tables, and an open kitchen that’s always in full swing. Fill your table with everything from satay skewers and spicy stir fry to creamy curries and all sorts of rice dishes. Can’t decide? Pick the Banquet Bites, offering a selection of the best dishes in the house, perfect for four. Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of wine, as this funky place is BYO.
You’ll want to book in advance to make sure you get a seat at Totti’s, as this is one of Bondi’s most popular Italian eateries, brought to you by ever-impressive Merivale hospitality group. Under the guidance of chefs Mike Eggert and Khan Danis – one of the best wood-fire chefs in Australia, Totti’s showcases a simple menu that is all about delicious Italian food designed to share. Start with wood-fired bread accompanied by mortadella and burrata before moving on to a pasta dish like fettuccine in tomato sugo topped with creamy stracciatella, or opt for fresh seafood cooked in the Josper charcoal oven. To top things off, the restaurant comes complete with a courtyard dotted with olive trees – a little corner of Italy in Bondi.
Lox Stock and Barrel
This buzzing, NYC-inspired deli is one of Bondi’s favourites when it comes to breakfast, brunch and lunch – and the queue out the door on weekends proves it. Four varieties of bagels are baked in-house every day and are available to fill with wagyu corned beef, egg and mayo, smoked salmon, avocado or whatever you fancy. Homemade bread, zucchini omelette, eggs with chutney and sourdough bread, brioche French toast and raw vegetable salad are all on the menu as well, if bagels are not your thing.
Don’t be shy to use your hands at Sefa Kitchen – its owner, Utku Ayhan, would be proud of you. Sefa Kitchen is an all-time favourite serving food originally from the Levantine region – the Mediterranean part of the Middle East, which includes Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus and the south east corner of Turkey. Expect all the flavours of the Middle East to come alive as you enjoy house-made flatbreads, slow-cooked meats, spiced chicken and Israeli salads, North African dips, house-made pickles, lamb kafta, falafels. Wash it all down with a refreshing Egyptian Hibiscus Spritzer with hibiscus tea, vodka, ginger and prosecco.
Ultra-fresh sashimi, cold sake and glimpses of the glistening blue waters of the ocean – this is Raw Bar in a nutshell. Opened in 1993, perched at the north end of Bondi Beach, this Japanese eatery and treasured local serves delicious Japanese favourites in a relaxed space. Every morning, the Raw Bar’s team – headed by chef Shintaro Honda, pick the freshest catch of the day to be transformed into beautifully prepared sushi and sashimi. The focus here is on fresh, clean flavours and outstanding produce, so expect to enjoy kingfish, salmon or tuna sashimi, perfectly balanced sushi rolls and the signature Raw Bar Salad, a vegetarian bowl of green goodness. Match everything with a sake, cocktail or wine – all served alongside views over Bondi Beach.
Latin American dishes, bottomless boozy brunches and stellar beach views are all on the list at Panama House. Designed by local stylist Jason Grant, Panama House is oh, so stylish. This contemporary space features reclaimed brick walls, ironbark hardwood tables, leather chairs and a spectacular glass balcony overlooking the beach – decked with timber benches and colourful cushions. On the menu you’ll find modern Latin American food, including corned beef hash browns, cheesy quesadillas and huevos rancheros – all served with bottomless drinks from Friday to Sunday.
Porch and Parlour
Brunching in Bondi is an art: cool cafés and beautifully designed eateries hide around every corner, coffees are always perfectly poured and menus are filled healthy yet mouthwatering options, from colorful acai bowls with fresh fruit to spicy chili labneh eggs and beyond. Porch and Parlour puts all of this together with the added luxury of striking views over Bondi’s waves. Whether you need a caffeine lift after a swim, or want to indulge in a boozy brunch with friends, this cleverly designed, Mediterranean-inspired café is the place you want to be and be seen in Bondi – from breakfast till dinner.
The Corner House
If you are looking for an intimate and cosy cocktail bar with a sprawling balcony overlooking the buzzing life of Bondi, the Corner House is the place for you. Showcasing a chic, industrial feel, with acid-distressed steel floors, vintage furniture and salvaged railway timbers, this neighbourhood favourite offers Mediterranean fare in the dining room and an upstairs cocktail bar with plush leather couches. Try their signature cocktail Bondi-Vice with flor de cana white rum, lime, coconut water, pineapple and strawberry jam. With an extensive wine list, fantastic cocktails and a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe, The Corner House might be Bondi’s best-kept secret.
Neighbourhood is all about good burgers, cocktails and good times. Defining itself as a ‘neighbourhood hangout’, the Hood – as its staff like to call it – is a place to kick back and enjoy some good food and drinks with friends. Cocktails are the hero here: there are 12 on the list, ranging from modern concoctions to all-time classics implemented with native ingredients for a local twist. A standout is the Ausmopolitan – a localised version of a Cosmo made with native riberry and lemon myrtle cordial instead of cranberries. The team takes pride in their cocktails, which are all crafted with premium spirits, home-made syrups, shrubs and liqueurs, so sit back, order up some sharing plates or a burger, and pick your favourite poison.
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
With sweeping views over the beach and below to the Icebergs pool, together with a flawless menu showcasing modern Italian fare, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar is one of those places that over-delivers on both food and views. Headed by restaurateur Maurice Terzini, this sleek and modern venue boasts three distinct areas, ranging from a refined dining room to a more casual outdoor terrace. Head to the elegant dining room to indulge in regional Italian cuisine with a modern twist, or take a seat on terrace of this iconic venue to shuck oysters in the sun and enjoy a signature N8 cocktail – a concoction of Ketel One vodka, Campari and ruby grapefruit.
The Bucket List
With no drinking allowed on the beach, The Bucket List is the closest you can get to sipping a beer or cocktail with your toes in the sand. Occupying part of the iconic Bondi Pavillion, this sprawling venue boasts an unbeatable location right on the promenade – offering the ideal spot for people watching with a glass of Pimms in hand. Take a seat on the plush couches outside and let the sea breeze ruffle your hair as you watch life go by while eating fresh seafood, Cali-inspired tacos and tasty burgers.
Take a scenic flight over Bondi on a seaplane
Imagine soaking up unparalleled views over iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the sparkling waters of Bondi Beach from an immaculately resorted historic seaplane – an unforgettable experience. Make it yours with a 15-minute ride with Sydney Seaplanes. Depart from Rose Bay Terminal (just 10 minutes from Bondi), where you can indulge in a seafood platter with champagne at the elegant Empire Lounge before take-off, then fly high above Sydney’s most celebrated sights, taking in splendid views over the city’s skyline and glistening ocean.
Buy a piece of art from Aquabumps
Local artist and photographer Eugene Tan loves Bondi and anywhere coastal. His beloved brand Aquabumps was born in 1999, when Eugene combined his passion for surf, photography and the web in one spot. What started as a simple website showcasing his images of early morning beach life is now a brand of its own, with 139,000 Instagram followers and over 40,000 daily email subscribers. In 2004, Eugene opened his own gallery in Bondi to showcase his stunning works of art. Whether you’d like to hang a bit of Bondi on your living room walls, or wake up to a view of secret beach in Positano or a coastal town in Croatia, you are set to find something special here.
Tailor your escape to Bondi
Immerse yourself in Bondi with Luxury Escapes’ hand-picked Experiences. We’ve curated a selection of cultural activities, adrenaline thrills, food adventures and luxury add-ons to help you discover your destination. These Experiences are bookable when you purchase your next escape. Simply select your travel dates and number of travellers for any package, and opt to tailor your escape by selecting the available Experiences.