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Bondi Beach and Surrounds

New South Wales


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Bondi Beach and Surrounds Local History

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Bondi Beach is a world-famous beach located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located approximately 7 km east of the Sydney Central Business District and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Australia. The history of Bondi Beach and its surrounds has played a significant role in shaping the local community.

Indigenous History

Bondi Beach is situated on the land of the Gadigal people, part of the larger Eora Nation. The Gadigal people lived in the area for thousands of years and had a deep connection to the land. They used the coastal region for fishing, hunting and gathering. They left behind their mark on the land through rock engravings and shell middens. The rock engravings, still visible today, depict images of animals and fish that would have been spotted in the area.

Early European Settlement

The first Europeans to settle in the area were members of the Bondi Estate. The estate was established by Francis O’Brien, an Irishman who arrived in New South Wales in 1815. O’Brien was granted land in the Bondi area in 1827. His estate covered an area of approximately 200 acres and included much of the land that is now the suburb of Bondi Beach. By the 1870s, the Bondi Estate had been subdivided into smaller areas and was being sold off for residential development.

Development of the Beach

Bondi Beach was first officially opened as a public beach in 1882. The Bondi Baths had already been established in 1881, which allowed for safe swimming in the ocean thanks to its protective walls. The beach quickly became a popular destination for city dwellers looking to escape the heat. In the early 1900s, political campaigns were waged to improve the safety of the beach. Over time, the beach was expanded and developed to cater for the growing number of visitors.

Surrounding Suburbs

The suburbs surrounding Bondi Beach have been shaped by the beach’s popularity. Tamarama, which is located south of Bondi, was originally known as Dixon’s Hole. The suburb was home to a large bather’s shed in the early 1900s, which was a popular meeting spot for local swimmers. Coogee, located to the north of Bondi, had its own baths, which were established in the late 1800s. They too became popular with swimmers and remain a popular destination today.

The Modern Era

Bondi Beach and its surrounds have continued to evolve in the modern era. The beach remains a popular tourist destination and continues to host events such as the Bondi Beachside Markets and the Bondi Open Air Cinema. The surrounding suburbs have also gone through significant changes, with modern apartment blocks and high-end shops taking over some of the historic buildings. Nonetheless, Bondi Beach remains a central part of the local community and continues to attract people from around the world.

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