A LOCALS GUIDE to bondi & tama...
Pictures by Lydia Snowdon
In Bondi us locals are totally spoilt with a smorgasbord of things to do and places to go. It is becoming more & more like a little city within it’s self as you don’t even have to leave some days because it has everything – Beaches, Café’s, shopping, nightlife & culture all with one of the most beautiful coastal back drops in the world (what more does a girl need?).
TV shows, news stories and huge annual events have contributed to making it the iconic place that it is today but to truly grasp the attitude and appeal of the place I think you have to see it from a local’s perspective. So whether you’re looking to visit or if you live in Sydney but haven’t ventured beyond the main drag that is Campbell parade, then this locals guide is for you. Obviously there is a lot I could cover but I aim to focus on the key things that I believe are the best elements of Bondi life and fall under the categories of: Good-clean-cheap fun, Beaches, Eats & Drinks and Retail therapy.
Good, Clean, Cheap fun
Picture by Monique Luchterhand
I couldn’t tell you how many times I have done the Bondi To Bronte coastal walk but I can tell you that I will never get bored of it. Every morning & afternoon offers something new & beautiful to admire; whether it be the sunrise, the swell, a passing school of whales or the colour variations in the rocks. It truly is one of the most special things that Bondi has to offer and best of all it’s a free activity + it’s good for you!! (winning!)
Hot tip: Why not burn some extra calories on your walk so that you can then use them up at a café afterwards. There are heaps of stairs and benches along the way for doing fancy exercises on and the reward for your hard work at the end? A fresh dip in the ocean - so wear your bikini!
Picture by Monique Luchterhand
Who likes picnics? More like who doesn’t! Well Marks Park, tucked in between Bondi & Tama is a PRIME spot for a picnic. It has lots of shade and lush grass to sit on and the best draw card about this spot… it has the most spectacular view over the eastern suburbs beaches. BYO rug, gourmet goodies and maybe some cruisey beats to set the mood and you have yourself a perfect afternoon.
Hot Tip: Don’t own a dog and wish you did?..... simply rock up to Marks park and play with someone else’s! It is a puppy paradise where you are guarantied to get your ‘ K9 fix’!
Yoga by the Sea:
Picture by Bec & Bridge Intsagram
A healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with living in Bondi so if you are visiting you might as well get on board too! There are a heap of Yoga places around the hood but if you want the full Bondi experience may I suggest, ‘Yoga by the Sea’ at Bondi Icebergs. Where a lot of yoga places play token nature sounds CD’s of crashing waves during their practice, there is no need for such a thing here because they have the real thing! That’s right the class is set-up outside on the gym Terrace overlooking the most stunning, whitewash view of Bondi beach. It is truly a glorious way to start the day and I would highly recommend.
We are truly blessed with stunning beaches right at our front door step however everyone knows that as soon as summer hits, pretty quickly it can turn ugly (so to speak). So if you’re not interested in being a part of the congested, patchwork of beach towels & want to revel in Bondi Beach, ‘local style’, try exploring the surrounding rocky inlets for a quite spot. The rocks at North Bondi are easy to access and if the swell isn’t too big (& you’re game) you can jump into the water off the rocks (Warning: only attempt if you are a strong swimmer – you don’t want to be ‘that girl’ making an appearance on Bondi Rescue). There is also another great beach/inlet between Bondi & Tamarama called McKenzies that I would highly recommend. See the Map below for some sweet little spots you should check out.
Hot Tip: (Here goes my rant) once you finish enjoying the beautiful beaches and rocky inlets make sure you take your rubbish with you. We want to keep these special places as pristine & un-touched for people & sea life to enjoy for years to come. If you don’t have any rubbish? Why not do your good deed for the day and pick some up on your way!
Picture by Monique Luchterhand
Pictures by Samantha Sutherland & Lotte Samuels
If you are into your cooking or simply just love to eat you HAVE to go to the Bondi farmers markets held at Bondi Public School every Saturday (9am-1pm). It is a treasure trove of hip market food and fresh produce. Make sure you are nice and hungry before you go because there is so much good stuff to sample; Mexican, mini breakfast sliders, quinoa porridge, mushies on toast, corn fritters, (real) chai tea – guarantied something for everyone! It is a true representation of Bondi localism at it’s finest. Get amongst it!
Hot Tip: Make a groceries list before you go and stick to it. You will be so tempted to buy all sorts of yummy things that it can end up burning a small hole in your pocket. (I’m speaking from experience here people!)
49 Belgrave St Bronte, NSW, 2024
Iggy’s is a small, ‘hole in the walk’ bakery in the suburban back streets of Bronte/Tama. If you blink you might miss it so just keep an eye out for the line of locals waiting at its front doors for the freshest of the fresh! The ‘cool factor’ about this place is the no frills façade and it’s simple offering of naturally leavened breads which come in all shapes and sizes. It’s a labour of love for bakers; Igor and Ludmilla Ivanovic who’s simple objective is to bake goods that satisfy your stomachs and your soul! I like the sound of that!
Chapter One Café / Wine Bar:
Picture by Monique Luchterhand
This little, South Bondi gem may be small but it has big personality! It is tucked away in a quite street off Campbell Parade therefore it’s just far enough from the main drag for tourists to bypass, so you can be assured a chilled, local crowd here. As soon as you step foot inside you are transported to a rustic, santa fay (esque’) oasis. Over flowing with an AMAZING array of colourful Kilim cushions that you are going to want to steal for your house! By day they offer great coffee + healthy breaky options and by night (my personal favourite) they offer carefully selected boutique wines, cheese, charcuterie and homemade pasta. The staff are fantastic at helping you choose the right drop to accompany your food so don’t hesitate to ask for their help. Beware; this is the type of place where you go,’ just for one’ but you end up staying till close!!
Hot Tip: Looking for a fun, ‘cultured’ activity to do with your friends? They offer wine-tasting nights every month, which are, not only loads of fun but educational too…provided you don’t drink too much wine!
You might have noticed by now that there is a bit of a pattern occurring - I seem to have affection for small, ‘hole in the wall’ type establishments. Well I just think that there is something so quaint and exclusive about these types of places and it just so happens that Bondi is FULL OF THEM! La Piadina tucked away in the back streets is one of those absolutely delightful places! It is a tiny Italian eatery that only seats about 10 people (MAX) so you might have to wait you turn to get a table but I can assure you it is worth the wait! They have a small menu of traditional Italian pide type pizza's (but don't call them Pizza's) that are assembled on a hot plate right in front of you. The twist is that they use thin dough and it is folded in half, over the filling creating a calzone type thing (but way yummier & less doughy than a calzone). Bring your your closest buddies and a good bottle of vino and you are in for a fun little night here.
Hot Tip: Make sure you save room for dessert because they have a mini Nutella pizza that will rock your socks off!
If you are a Sydney sider I’m sure you have heard of this popular gelato Institution, but did you know that it has recently opened its doors in Bondi? Yes indeed it has and I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited. With its creative and sometimes-wacky flavors it would be impossible not to find a flavor you desire…There is undoubtedly something for everyone. The hardest thing is narrowing it down to just ONE flavor!
Hot Tip: Get take away and head down to the beach to consume whilst taking in the view. I can guarantee it adds to the taste sensation!!
Bondi Icebergs Pop-up café:
Icebergs is Bondi’s most Iconic landmarks so it is a serious ‘must do’ when you are in the hood. It has a fine dining restaurant that has one of the best views in Sydney however if that’s a little out of your price range then there is a new pop-up café which might be a little less intimidating to your wallet! It is situated on the top terrace, to the right of the front entrance so it pretty much has the same view as the restaurant anyway. They serve basic food, good coffee and a hell of a lot of ambience. Once you find yourself a sunny spot to sit you wont want to leave. It’s magical!
Picture by El Hummingbird & Nadine (Queen8Nadine)
If like me you get excited about a bit of a rummage through vintage fare & second hand goods then you will love Bondi Markets on every Sunday at the public school (same place as the food markets). They have all sorts of stalls ranging from: Fine jewelry, colorful friendship bracelets, scented candles, homewares & lots of new & pre-loved clothing. Pricing is varied and most stalls have eftpos so you can easily swipe the card if you end up burning through your cash (which isn’t hard here)! There are no food stalls at this market (apart from a sausage sizzle) so I would recommend brunch at one of the great surrounding cafes followed by a meander through the markets.
Hot Tip: For the people who are into second-hand goods there is a lady set up right at the end of the markets (near the toilet block) that has an amazing array of interesting clothing pieces & handbags. Often they are whimsically hanging from the trees, which always catches my eye. I would totally recommend you stop by there to have a look but you better not take all the good stuff! Ha!
For a little more retail therapy, Gould st, which is one street behind Campbell parade, is packed with lots of boutique shopping to keep you busy for a couple of hours. It is home to some local and international labels for the boys and the girls. Happy Shopping!
All images have been used with the persons consent.
Blogger, designer, beach babe and colour obsessed textiles geek Monique Luchterhand is a frequent contributor, correspondent and close friend of the brand. Follow her blog creatureofcolour.com to find out more about her colourful world…