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Located on the east coast of Sydney in the Municipality of Waverley and stretching for about a kilometre is Bondi. A hugely popular destination for tourist and locals alike, with the stretch of golden sand packed during the summer months. A favoured haven for back packers, Bondi is often buzzing both day and night and hosts a number of large events during the year.

Bondi is Aboriginal for “breaking of the waves” and the beach is enclosed at the north and south by headlands. Many visitors take the famous walk from North Bondi, which makes its way south to Maroubra. The coast walk around the cliffs and past the beaches at Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee and finally onto Maroubra, is a distance of 12 km. It is an easy walk with spectacular views, fresh sea air, and plenty of rest spots.

As well as our listed travel guide info, for more attractions, tours and other information contact the local tourism visitor centre.

Information Centre

Sydney Visitor Centre The Rocks

Bondi Attractions

Ben Butler
This is the name given to the northern headland of Sydney’s famous Bondi. It is believed to be originally named by Governor Macquarie, who called it Ben-Becula, because of its resemblance to an island in Scotland’s outer Hebrides. Other stories include that Ben Butler was a convict who lived in the rocks at North Bondi or that was the corruption of the Aboriginal word ‘Ball-Buckalea’, as the area was once only inhabited by the Aboriginal communities and emanates a magical energy.

On the 15 July 1912, a 235 tonne boulder was tossed from the Tasman Sea onto the rocks and although historically it is recorded as ‘Big Ben’, ‘Flat Rcok’, or ‘Big Rock’, it is only recently been renamed ‘The Mermaid Rock’.

Bondi BeachBondi Mermaids
On the 3rd April, 1960, the late artist Lyall Randolph was inspired by the Copenhagen’s ‘Little Mermaid’, to sculpture 2 life-size mermaids. The mermaids were modelled after two local swimming champions ‘Jan Carmody’ and ‘Lynette Whillier’ and sculpted in fibreglass, filled with cement, injected with polymer resin and painted bronze.

The ‘Bondi Mermaids’ made instant international headlines, largely due to being controversially ‘topless’. Three weeks later, Jan (one of the mermaids) was stolen by a Sydney University student in a prank, which unfortunately resulted in her being badly damaged. Lyall was devastated, society shocked and amidst scandalous scrutiny, the community banded together and paid for Lyall to lovingly repair the damage and a year later, the ‘Bondi Mermaids’ were officially reunited.

Then in 1974, severe storms and seas claimed Lynette and Jan’s originally damaged torso was all that remained, until 1976, when Waverley Council relocated her to higher ground, in concern for her safety. She then mysteriously disappeared for 10 years and resurfaced only to be stored at Waverley Library.

On 22nd July, 1997, the Australian artist, ‘Mermaid Lizmania’ successfully proposed and received Waverley Council’s support to preserve Jan’s remnants and to pay the long overdue tribute to the artist ‘Lyall Randolph’ by reinstating the ‘Bondi Mermaids’ in a more appropriate bronze medium.

On the 14th October, 1999, Jan’s preserved remnants (paid for by the ‘Friends of Waverley Library Group’) were unveiled at the new Waverley Library, where it resides as a permanent exhibit.

Source: Waverley Library & Community Services

Bondi Beach Coastal Walks
The coastal walk is one of the most popular tourist walks in Sydney, winding it’s way from North Bondi to South Maroubra. At the height of summer it is known to attract over 800 people per hour. Also, just recently opened is the Vaucluse to Dover Heights coastal walk.
Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club
The worlds first surf club has had a long and proud history. Bondi invented the reel and many other icons of lifesaving and has had the largest rescue ever on a single day - "Black Sunday". Bondi is structured to save lives on the beach and is still a leader in the practice and development of lifesaving. We always need more members to patrol the beach or provide core administrative or support duties - please think about joining our club.
Marine Discovery Centre
• Ph: 02 9300 0974 • Email
A non-profit charitable association providing first class marine and coastal educatio excursion programs to schools and communities in the Sydney region. Check out their calendar.

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Bondi Events

New South Wales Events
Sculpture By The Sea
• Ph: +61 2 9357 1457 • Fax: +61 2 9357 2335 • Email
• October - November
Billed as Australia's largest annual outdoor free to the public exhibition of contemporary sculpture, staged along Sydney's spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk. This annual exhibition exhibits around 100 works by artists from Australia and overseas.

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Bondi Tours

NSW Tours OutbackEco AdventureNational Tours

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Bondi Other links

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