Santa, Sun and Sand: Christmas at Bondi
One of the perks of Christmas in the southern hemisphere is that it’s smack bang in the middle of summer. Here in Sydney we say no to questionable festive jumpers, roast turkeys and plum puddings, opting instead for barbequed prawns, ice-cold beer and a dip in the ocean. When it comes to the last activity in this trifecta, there’s no better place for it than Bondi.
Stretching for almost a kilometre, beautiful Bondi beach is a favourite of locals and travelers alike. Almost as iconic as the Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge, the golden sands and deep blue water of Bondi are a popular playground as the weather heats up.
On Christmas Day you’ll find people from all walks of life on the beach, including local families, visiting friends and cheerful backpackers. Costumes are popular but, given the heat, few brave the full Santa suit. Most opt for a more beach friendly variation, such as a Santa hat, themed bikini or reindeer antlers, all of which make for some excellent people watching and great photo opportunities. If you hang around long enough you’ll almost certainly get a snap of a surfing Santa; a great memento of a true blue Aussie Christmas.
Many of the surrounding bars, cafes and restaurants are open during the day – albeit for reduced hours - so if packing a picnic seems like too much effort there are plenty of other options to fill the hole in festive tummies. Speaking of festive, no alcohol is allowed on the beach and bags do get checked so if you want to enjoy a tipple, make sure you check yourself in to one of the many beachside bars.
If you want a frosty beer but don’t want to sacrifice the view, head to the Bucket List in the middle of the beach or Bondi Icebergs on the southern stretch of sand. While the top level of Icebergs is more along the lines of fine dining, the level below is an excellently placed members club, where visitors are always welcome, the drinks are cheap and the atmosphere is relaxed.
If you’re the active type or feel like walking off some Christmas Day indulgences, Bondi beach marks the beginning of the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk – 6kms of stellar views and beautiful beaches. The walk is usually a little quieter on Christmas Day, particularly in the afternoon, as people sleep off long lunches and kids tucker out as the excitement of the morning wears off. So take your time, test out some of the other beaches along the way and enjoy the last of Christmas Day in iconic Sydney style.