Located 7 kilometres north of Sydney's CBD, Bondi Beach is Oz’s best known beach. Following are some quick notes and pics:
- The word “Bondi” is aboriginal and means the sound of waves breaking over rocks.
- The beach area and surrounding land was part of a 200 acre grant to road-builder William Roberts in 1809. In 1851 the land was sold to Edward Smith Hall, fiery editor of the Sydney Monitor, and his son in law Francis O’Brien. Hall acquired his father in law’s share in the following 25 years and made the beach and surrounding land available to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. However, as the beach became increasingly popular, O’Brien threatened to exclude public access to the beach. In 1882 the local Council acquired the beach land and made it a public reserve, ensuring continued public access.
- On 6 February 1938, a day later to be known as “Black Sunday”, 5 people drowned and over 250 people were rescued or resuscitated after a series of large waves struck the beach and pulled people back into the sea.
- Bondi Beach has over the years been the focus of opinions as to suitable and unsuitable beach attire, including the bikini, topless and nude. Regulations were enforced by beach inspectors, the most famous (or infamous) being Aub Laidlaw. With his ruler to measure bikini measurements, he escorted from the beach anyone found to be wearing smaller than permitted swimwear.
Bondi Beach pics:
Beach inspector Aub Laidlaw at Bondi, 16 November 1958.
“Get off the beach! You’re obscene.” (Les Tanner, The Bulletin, October 1961)
Bondi Beach today