Widely known as Sydney’s most famous beach, it’s no surprise Bondi Beach attracts tourists from around the world, year-round. Bondi is a melting pot for people from all backgrounds and that makes it a diverse, interesting, and fun place to live or visit. While there are an endless number of fun things to do in Bondi, here are a few local Bondi tips for first-time visitors.
Skye Gilkeson | Cover Image via Jay Wennington
10 Epic Things to do in Bondi
Learn to Surf
If you’re new to surfing but keen to have your Keanu Reeves moment, there’s no better stretch to learn on than the famed Bondi Beach. But, to avoid becoming an unscripted talent on Bondi Rescue, it’s best to book in for a Bondi surf lesson with a local to help get you started.
While the Southern end of the beach can catch the inexperienced surfer or swimmer out, Bondi’s beautiful sheltered northern stretch can be the perfect spot to learn.
Choose early morning or weekday to book a lesson as Bondi is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Most companies offer private lessons, group lessons, lessons for kids, and surfing camps.
Start with a typical Bondi Breakfast
Bondi cafes plate up some of the most appealing meals we’ve eaten anywhere, particularly if you are partial to farm to plate fare. While the cafe scene in Bondi is pretty dynamic, we have some new and more established favourite picks for the best breakfast in Bondi.
Read more in our guide to the best breakfast in Bondi.
Go for a Round of Lawn Bowls and Beers
“Let’s go for a round of lawn bowls” doesn’t necessarily scream raging Saturday afternoon straight off the page. But, barefoot bowls are a very fun Australian pastime. And one best enjoyed with a big group of friends, new or old.
Book a lane or two at the Bondi Bowling Club (or the Bondi Bowlo as it is affectionately known). Settle in for an afternoon of bowls, beers, comfort-food snacks, and giggles.
This is definitely one of the most unique ways to experience Bondi. But it is such a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends or to celebrate a birthday.
Eat Dinner on the Grassy Knoll
Almost any night of the week you’ll find a stream of locals drawn to the Grassy Knoll as the sun starts to set.
Some come straight from an afternoon stretched on the sand, hair wet and sarong stained with saltwater.
Others, step off the bus, grab a takeaway meal from a local Bondi cafe, and head north to the Ben Bucker hill (known as the Grassy Knoll), still dressed in their suit from work (shoes optional).
It’s a beautiful unwritten tradition that locals share and something we used to do several times a week. A takeaway drink or meal, something packed from home, a shared towel, and the epic pink-peach of the breathtaking Bondi sunset makes for a perfect Bondi goodnight.
Cafe Bondi is a good spot to pick up a sandwich or salad (they close around 4 pm), bRU Coffee has some delicious, healthy options (closing at around 2 pm), and Speedos right off the sand even has the aptly named The Grassy Knoll on their menu to try (closes at about 3 pm).
Most cafes now offer pre-orders online so you can grab your food and snag a spot on the grass without waiting.
Related: What to do in Mollymook
Visit the Bondi Markets
The Bondi Markets are generally split into a farmers’ market on Saturday and a makers’ market on Sunday.
The Saturday market is a lovely chance to grab some goodies for your self-contained accommodation or for snacks to take to the beach.
The produce is predominantly organic and deliciously fresh. There are also stalls selling everything from smoothies to coffee and fresh Acai bowls. Settle in on the grass for some breakfast after your shop and you’ll likely be serenaded by a local musician too.
The Sunday markets have launched the careers of many famous fashion designers.
Stop in from 10 am to shop up-and-coming designers, handmade wares, and presents to take home to family.
Find more information here.
Do the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
First thing in the morning is the best time to hit the Bondi to Bronte walk, a well-worn path that winds from south Bondi to Bronte beach (via stunning Tamarama).
While the path around the foreshore isn’t lit by streetlights, you’ll still find some locals on the track as early as 5 am getting their steps in before the day begins.
The loop is fairly gentle, with a couple of steeper sections. Those with prams will need a little help up and downstairs in parts. A baby carrier would be easier to manage.
I recommend you avoid mid-morning on Saturday or Sunday to avoid the crush of people. To learn about Bondi’s history as you go, book into a small group guided walk.
Here are some of the other most beautiful Sydney Coastal Walks you should try on your visit.
Shop at Bondi’s Beautiful Boutiques
Bondi is certainly a suburb overflowing with beautiful people. So, it should come as no shock that it is also brimming with stunning shops stocking designer clothing and accessories too.
Gould Street, lower Hall Street, and Curlewis Street are great places to take a retail-therapy stroll.
These are a few of our favourite places to shop;
You can’t go to Bondi without visiting cult boutique Tuchuzy. Stocking a handful of mid-range and high-end designers alongside their in-house brand of basics, you’re bound to find something to covet at Tuchuzy.
Hope and May is a must-visit with their enviable neutral palate pieces for her and home.
Watson x Watson sells elevated essentials pieces designed by Australian sisters Somer and Liberty Watson.
Nimble Activewear is the perfect place to shop fun, locally designed athleisurewear to fit in with the Bondi crowd.
Cute meets cool at Playa by Lucy Folk. A curated concept store, this is the place to pick up a pair of retro-cool sunglasses or jewellery.
Related: A Guide to Blueys Beach
Eat at one of Bondi’s Best Restaurants
A backdrop of Bondi Beach would give any restaurant an invaluable headstart.
But, there are a few Bondi Beach restaurants that stand out as our picks when it comes to offering both delicious food and attentive service.
Icebergs Dining Room is the spot to impress if you have got a serious date or milestone to celebrate. Book in for a long lunch and enjoy their tasting menu with views overlooking the ocean and their iconic pool below.
North Bondi Fish is a fun choice for lunch or dinner with friends or family. Whether you’re wandering off the sand for an afternoon cocktail, takeaway fish and chips, or a delicious meal, NBF caters well to the crowds.
A sunset cocktail is a must and the North Bondi Fish food menu is simple and fresh with a few options for the kids too.
Sean’s Panorama has long been a local’s favourite for an intimate dinner. Stepping into ‘Sean’s’ is like walking into a family dining room. There is a warmth and comfort that you don’t feel at other fine dining destinations in Sydney.
Sean Moran crafts his three-course tasting menu from seasonal produce sourced from their farm in Bipin.
Grab a Beer with the Locals at a Bondi Bar
A wonderful local gem, the North Bondi RSL offers breathtaking ocean views at a fraction of the cost of its downstairs neighbour.
While it lacks a lot of the sparkle of NBF, drinks come at RSL prices (for members), and the pub grub is served up in generous portions. There’s also always the chance to win the Friday afternoon meat raffle. Membership is about $25 per person.
Beach Road Hotel is buzzing on a weekend afternoon so it’s best to get there early. Order some lunch from the bistro and a glass of wine or local pale ale to enjoy out in the beer garden.
Hotel Ravesis is another historic icon on the Bondi nightlife scene. Reinvented over the years, its prime position facing the middle of the beach on the Campbell Parade makes it an easy post-beach or pre-dinner spot for sundowners.
It is also home to a pretty impressive restaurant serving modern Mediterranean fare.
As the name would suggest, Ravesis also offers boutique beachside accommodation for those who want to stay at the beach a little longer.
Here are some other Bondi hotels.
Related: Yoga Inversions for Beginners
Join in a morning workout at a Bondi Gym
Training is almost a religion for the Bondi set. Most are up before the sun getting a sweat up on the sand or a Bondi gym or yoga studio.
Whatever your training persuasion, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Bondi.
Bondi is blessed with a number of great yoga studios to start your day. Dharma Shala in North Bondi is a small, welcoming studio well-known to locals, particularly for its nurturing approach to pre and post-natal practice.
Yoga by the Sea is another well-established offering where yogis can flow as the sunrises next to the Icebergs pool.
It would be hard to find a better spot for a morning workout than Bondi Icebergs pool. Bondi Icebergs offers casual passes for the pool. Simply turn up at the gate and pay on entry.
There are more gyms in Bondi than you can probably count but for the true Bondi experience, try Beach Fit.
Beach Fit Bondi is as much about people watching as perfecting your pull-ups.
The gym offers a 7-day trial pass which is a good option for people passing through. They have longer memberships for the gym and their F45 space for those who catch the Bondi bug and decide to stay on in the bubble.
The Well studio offers a bit of everything. From Pilates to Barre and boxing with casual visits and 7-day passes you can work your way through their schedule during your stay.
Of course, I couldn’t possibly mention Australia’s most famous beach without talking about North Bondi Outdoor Gym. Bond’s answer to Muscle Beach, head to this outdoor training space to get your heart rate and your Instagram followers count up.
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller. She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health. As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Skye created The Fit Traveller as a beautiful online space and community where people feel inspired to escape the desk to move and explore more.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her insatiable appetite for adventure.