A Portrait of Two Beaches: Bondi and Manly

22 Feb

I’m a pretty simple creature, internet. When looking for a place to go on vacation, I wanted somewhere with blue skies and sunny beaches. The rest was pretty incidental.

It’s almost tragic how little time I spent at the beach in Australia, given that we went to Australia in an unusually cool and wet summer. Everyone we talked to practically apologized for the “bad weather”, a balmy 85F and breezy, if slightly cloudy. The second week, okay, it was a little wet in the way torrential downpours usually are. Oh, well. I mean, my odds of getting skin cancer in the future probably went down, but I left with the saddest tan in the history of vampiricly pale white girls. On the other hand, I got to see more of what Australia is really like, not just the view from the beach. The view from the beach was pretty damn sweet, though.

  Bondi Beach at midday.

Bondi Beach is the famous one, and with good reason. It’s got beautiful white sand and gorgeous surf, and the cliffs rising around the beach bracket a long wide expanse of sand for sun worshipers to indulge in the great weather. For the non-Aussies, it’s pronounced BOND-eye, which only took the entire trip to get used to. Most people take the bus to Bondi, which drives through downtown Sydney and along Oxford Street into the suburbs, where the beach is located. I liked that, if only for a view of Sydney neighborhoods. I like to think of Oxford Street as the Williamsburg to downtown Sydney’s Manhattan, complete with hipsters and cooler-than-they-have-any-right-to-be retail shops.

  the Bondi Pavilion

 Mom on Bondi Beach

Mom and I went here three times, early in the morning, midday, and at sundown. It was pretty each time, and I really did like it at night, even if the wind picked up sand and whipped right on through us. We even figured out where the damn Southern Cross is (and maybe Mars?), which was a triumph of a mediocre Astronomy student like myself. Also, the crazy beach bums come out at night, including the junkie lady who noted that the bathrooms in prison were cleaner.

 Kari and I

 Bondi at Sundown

We also went to Manly Beach, on the recommendation of the Horde. Thanks, guys! It was a cloudy day, but the sun broke through the gray and gave us an hour or so of sunshine. I poked a toe in the water, but frankly, that was about as cold as I was willing to get. Manly Beach was less touristy, in the sense that this was a beach that more locals went to, than the super-touristy Bondi. You had to take a ferry to get there from Circular Quay, and the 20 minute ride was pretty cool, staring off from right next to the Opera House, skirting the open channel to the Pacific Ocean, and heading in to a protected cove. The beach itself was a fifteen minute stroll from the ferry.

 Sailing on Sydney Harbour

 Manly beach

  sun shining at Manly

It’s hard to say which of the two beaches I liked more. Bondi was beautiful, but had the advantage of better weather. Manly was definitely quieter and had an excellent fish restaurant just off the waterfront. Between the two, I would probably suggest Manly Beach, just for the lack of crowds. Seriously though, both were pretty damn awesome.

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2 Responses to “A Portrait of Two Beaches: Bondi and Manly”

  1. Trish March 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    That is such a cute picture of you at the end. And i love the one of mom, too. =D

    • Jane March 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      I know, right? It’s so weird when photos turn out well.

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