Five Days in Bondi

Our time in Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most iconic places, is winding down quickly. We’ve had our ups and downs here over the past five days (downs specifically referring to the internet*), but overall it’s been a really great week.

Bondi Beach time!

Bondi Beach time!

We originally wanted to stay in an apartment for our five nights in Bondi, but everyone we contacted through Airbnb said that they had already rented their places out. I think there’s just a very large demand for short term rentals in the area, so property owners cross-list their places on multiple rental sites and then forget to update all of the various availability calendars once an apartment is taken.

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Since the apartment option was out, we booked a room at Hotel Bondi, directly across the street from the beach. Our original room was large and airy with an updated bathroom, but since it had zero internet connection we were moved to a tiny room with a gorgeous beach view. Although we felt cramped, it was hard to say no to a view like this:

Room with a view!

Room with a view!

It was another work-week for us, so we had to spend most of our time in front of our computers, but when we could get away we explored the village, hiked and ran the coastal walkways, tried a bunch of different restaurants, and worked on our tans. Below are some of our favorite bits.

– If there’s only one thing that you do during a visit to Sydney, it should be the coastal walk between Coogee and Bondi (or vice versa). I used to do it every Sunday when I lived in Coogee, and this past week I did at least a chunk of it every day. The scenery is unbelievable, the exercise is good for you, and the people-watching is top notch. Do it, do it, do it!

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Tamarama

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Waverly Cemetery

– The restaurant/cafe scene in Bondi appears to be ever-changing with a super high turnover rate, so a lot of the spots with good reviews online no longer existed when I showed up at their addresses. The good news though is that if your first choice place is booked up or out of business, another handful of options is literally right next door.

  • North Bondi Fish: great seafood, right on the northern end of Bondi Beach. Try the bugs!
  • Bruce Leaves: unbelievable salads, cool decor, healthy juices/smoothies. So good I went twice.
  • Bangkok Bites: street food-inspired Thai restaurant. Young crowd, very loud, fast turn around, and massive portions. Cash only and BYO.
  • Yummba: I’ve been telling people since 2005 that the world’s best falafel is in a Sydney mall food court… and it’s still true! If you go shopping in Bondi Junction, or if you just really want to try the world’s best falafel, you need to get Yummba.
  • Bondi Fresh: hungry for healthy food but don’t want to stray too far away from the beach? Grab a quick salad or sandwich takeaway from this place.
  • Messina: incredibly good gelato. Voted best in Australia!
  • Gusto Espresso Bar: good coffee, central location.
  • Gertrude & Alice: awesome book store + adorable coffee shop. Has tons of great reviews online. We stopped by on multiple occasions so Aaron could buy and sell a few books.
Bruce Leaves' sashimi salmon salad - yes, yes, yes!

Bruce Leaves’ sashimi salmon salad – yes, yes, yes!

* The biggest downside to Hotel Bondi, and just Bondi in general, is their horrible wifi or lack there of. In Manly last week I had perfect internet connection in our apartment and there was decent wifi at the cafe next door, but my wifi struggles in Bondi have been stressful. The hotel here just says that “internet in Bondi isn’t great” which isn’t very helpful, and I haven’t been able to find a single cafe nearby with wifi! Coming from Silicon Valley, this is a huge shocker. So if you’re planning on actually doing work in Australia, make sure you have your internet plans sorted out in advance.

We’re spending this upcoming weekend in Coogee, then driving down to Jervis Bay for a night, and then we’re off to Byron Bay.

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