Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, is one of 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 stemmed from an Aboriginal word having the exact same meaning as “surf” in English. In the mid-19th century, the property that consisted of the beach was part of the personal “Bondi Estate.” For a time, the owners allowed the general public to access the beach, which was famous 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, referred to as “Black Sunday,” 5 beachgoers were killed and more than 250 hurt when a series of large waves pulled individuals into the water.
Bondi Beach has been the site of efforts to control decency in swimwear for both men and women. In 1935, the city government passed an ordinance governing the level of skin that could be shown, leading to American actress Jean Parker being escorted off Bondi Beach in 1951 due to the fact that her swimsuit was too revealing. The regulation was reversed in 1961 and topless bathing became popular. On Sept. 26, 2007, 1,010 women dressing in small bikinis assembled on Bondi Beach. The resulting photo, published in Cosmopolitan in 2008, established the Guinness record for the biggest swimsuit photoshoot.
Today, Bondi Beach brings in about 2.5 million visitors a year, a lot of whom benefit from the stylish cafes along the Campbell Parade that adjoins the beach. Tourists to Bondi Beach can also enjoy rugby matches played on the beach by the Sydney Roosters.