The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly EMP, the “Experience Music Project”) is an inspired marriage between super-modern architecture and legendary rock-and-roll history that sprang from the imagination (and pocket) of Microsoft co-creator Paul Allen (1953–2018). Inside its avant-garde frame, you can tune into the famous sounds of Seattle (with an obvious bias toward Jimi Hendrix and grunge) or attempt to imitate the masters in the Interactive Sound Lab.
There’s a science fiction and fantasy exhibit on-site and various temporary exhibits.
Definitively Sydney, Bondi is one of the world’s great beaches. It’s the closest ocean beach to the city center (8km away), has consistently sound (though crowded) waves, and is excellent for a rough-and-tumble swim (the average water temperature is a considerate 21°C).
If the sea’s looking a bit angry, you can always head to the child-friendly saltwater sea baths at either end of the beach, both of which received an upgrade in 2019. Surfers also carve up sandbar breaks at either end of the beach; it’s also a good place for learners.
At the beach’s northern end, there’s a grassy spot with coin-operated barbecues, but don’t bring alcohol to your picnic – it’s banned on the beach. Changing rooms and lockers can be found at Bondi Pavilion. Free beach-friendly wheelchairs (for adults and children) can also be booked through the Bondi Pavilion.
Suppose you’re looking for your LGBTQIA+ community; head to near the North Bondi Surf Club, where there’s an outdoor workout area. This is one of the main hangouts for queer beach-going Sydneysiders.
Two surf clubs – Bondi and North Bondi – patrol the beach between sets of red-and-yellow flags, positioned to avoid the worst rips and holes. Thousands of unfortunates have to be rescued from the surf each year. Don’t become a statistic – swim between the flags.
Bondi Rescue, the hugely popular Australian TV series based at Bondi Beach, began in 2006, but the history of Sydney’s Bondi Beach Surf Life Saving Club dates back to 1907. The club started when a group of local swimmers met at Bondi’s Royal Hotel to discuss forming a surf life-saving organization, the first in the world.
Surf lifesavers, or lifeguards as they’re also known, deal with everything from swimmers getting into trouble in the sea swell to treating jellyfish stings.
Shark attacks at Bondi?
Headline-grabbing, yes, but there have been very few shark attacks at Bondi. The beach is ringed by a shark net protecting it from great white sharks. Although it is not entirely shark-proof, the chance of a giant shark entering the area is low, and surfers and lifeguards are on the lookout to keep swimmers safe.
The last major incident when the shark alarm was raised in 2019 — the unmissable signal from lifeguards for everyone to evacuate the water — turned out to be a false alarm. The shark spotted by two surfers was a harmless baby shark.
Hotels near Bondi Beach
Bondi is blessed with excellent accommodation options in every budget category.