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Bondi Beach

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Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach (with a long i) is a beach and suburb of Sydney, Australia. It is situated in the Eastern Suburbs, several kilometres from the centre of the city. Large numbers of tourists visit Bondi Beach throughout the year and many British tourists spend Christmas Day there.

Surf LifeSaving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach as at 2004. While the northern end has been rated a gentle 4, the southern side is rated as a 7 (with 10 as the most hazardous) due to a famous rip current known as the "Backpackers Express" (also known as "Bronte Express" because you would supposedly end up at Bronte - two beaches south - if caught in it). In actual fact there are up to five rip currents operating along the beach, the Backpackers' Express being the one closest to the designated swimming area. The beach has an underwater shark net in place sporadically during the swimming season. It is removed for repairs in the winter and is redeployed again in the summer.

Bondi Beach hosted the beach volleyball competition at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Bondi Beach is the end point of the City to Surf Fun Run. The run is held each year in August. Until the mid 1990s the run was held in October, late autumn, until the number of heat-related deaths forced organisers to rethink the event. The race attracts over 60,000 entrants who complete the 14 km run from the central business district of Sydney to Bondi Beach.

History

Bondi Beach was a working class suburb throughout most of the twentieth century. Bondi Beach and the Eastern Suburbs also became home for many mainly Jewish migrants as people fled war and the Holocaust from Poland and Germany. This can be noted by the synagogues and the kosher businesses in the area. During the 1970s and 80s it was renowned for its immigrant New Zealander population. The Bondi Astra hotel, now an apartment complex, was notorious as a place to buy illegal late-night liquor and heroin. A major factor in Bondi's seedy image was the fact that Sydney's Water Board maintained an untreated sewage outlet at the north end of the beach, resulting in the term 'Bondi Cigar' - a somewhat exaggerated reference to human faeces floating in on the tide. The sewage outlet was closed in the mid 1990s when a deep water ocean outfall was built. In recent decades Bondi has become gentrified and is home to many famous Australians such as media baron James Packer. War correspondent, film-maker and playwright John Pilger was born in Bondi Beach.

Origin of term

Bondi; derived from an old Aboriginal term meaning, approximately, "sound of water breaking on the beach".

See also: Bondi Junctionde:Bondi Beach

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