Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, is among the world’s most popular beaches. It is particularly popular with visitors from the Northern Hemisphere, who can commemorate Christmas at the beach.
Bondi Beach is 4 miles east of the CBD, Sydney’s Central Business District. The word “Bondi” (pronounced bondie) is originated from an Aboriginal word having the very same meaning as “surf” in English. In the mid-19th century, the property that included the beach belonged to the private “Bondi Estate.” For a time, the owners enabled the general public to access the beach, which was well-known for the size of its waves. When the owners threatened to obstruct access to the beach, the Municipal Council made it public in 1882. By the 20th century, up to 60,000 individuals a day were coming to the beach. On Feb. 6, 1938, known as “Black Sunday,” 5 beachgoers were killed and more than 250 hurt when a series of huge waves pulled individuals into the water.
Bondi Beach has been the site of efforts to manage decency in swimwear for both males and females. In 1935, the city government passed an ordinance governing the level of skin that could be revealed, leading to American starlet Jean Parker being escorted off Bondi Beach in 1951 since her bikini was too revealing. The ordinance was reversed in 1961 and topless bathing became popular. On Sept. 26, 2007, 1,010 women wearing small swimsuits assembled on Bondi Beach. The resulting photograph, released in Cosmopolitan in 2008, established the Guinness record for the largest swimwear photoshoot.
Today, Bondi Beach draws in about 2.5 million visitors a year, a number of whom make the most of the fashionable cafes along the Campbell Parade that joins the beach. Tourists to Bondi Beach can also view rugby matches played on the beach by the Sydney Roosters.