Bondi Beach (pronounced "BOND-eye", or /'bɒndaɪ/) is a popular beach and the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney, Australia. Bondi Beach is located 7 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverley Council, in the Eastern Suburbs. Bondi, North Bondi and Bondi Junction are neighbouring suburbs.
Bondi Beach is about one kilometre long and receives many visitors throughout the year. Surf Life Saving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach in 2004. But it remains one of the best beaches in the world. While the northern end has been rated a gentle 4 (with 10 as the most hazardous), the southern side is rated as a 7 due to a famous rip current known as the "Backpackers' Express" because of its proximity to the bus stop, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming. The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding. Yellow and red flags define safe swimming areas, and visitors are advised to swim between them. There is an underwater shark net shared, during the summer months, with other beaches along the southern part of the coast. Pods of whales and dolphins have been sighted in the bay during the months of migration. Fairy penguins, while uncommon, are sometimes also seen swimming close to shore. In 2007, the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot was set at Bondi Beach, with 1,010 women wearing bikinis taking part. Bondi Beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008.
"Bondi" or "Boondi" is an Aboriginal word meaning water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks. The Australian Museum records that Bondi means place where a flight of nullas took place. In 1809, the road builder William Roberts received a grant of land in the area. In 1851, Edward Smith Hall and Francis O'Brien purchased 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the Bondi area that included most of the beach frontage, which was named the "The Bondi Estate." Hall was O'Brien's father-in-law. Between 1855 and 1877 O'Brien purchased his father-in-law's share of the land, renamed the land the "O'Brien Estate," and made the beach and the surrounding land available to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. As the beach became increasingly popular, O'Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, the Municipal Council believed that the Government needed to intervene to make the beach a public reserve. On 9 June 1882, the Bondi Beach became a public beach. On 6 February 1938, 5 people drowned and over 250 people were rescued after a series of large waves struck the beach and pulled people back into the sea, a day that became known as "Black Sunday".