What makes Bondi famous? / by Tom Oliver Payne

 Early mornings are always a good time to take photos down at Bondi.  

Early mornings are always a good time to take photos down at Bondi.  

I was hanging out with my grandpa down at his favourite beach this morning - Bondi. After years of heading there with friends and family, taking photos, swimming and surfing, I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on what is also one of my favourite places in Sydney. 

Bondi is one of the world's most famous beaches, and is incredibly special to Sydney. Located 7 kilometres from the Central Business District, it has always been the 'city beach' (my 95 year old grandpa wouldn't let you forget it), and is the face of almost every Australian marketing campaign - from Bondi Rescue to QANTAS advertisements to Oporto's Burgers. But what has kept Bondi beautiful is not its fame, or fortune... It is actually, the opposite.

 Me chatting away on the phone while my friend Sam Doss patiently waits on... :) 

Me chatting away on the phone while my friend Sam Doss patiently waits on... :) 

 North-side view of the beach.

North-side view of the beach.

 Surfers catching late afternoon swell.

Surfers catching late afternoon swell.

Bondi has never peaked. It has never been too crowded, nor has it ever become overdeveloped. Transport to Bondi is difficult, parking is a nightmare and developers have never stood a chance. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

Without a train line or multi-storey apartments, Bondi has managed to stave off Gold Coast-style developments that have been occurring across Australian coastlines. In doing so, it has managed to hold on to that small coastal town mentality and laid back vibe - even in the midst of tourist season.

Bondi may have become made famous because of its golden sand and surf breaks, but its the intimate character of its shoreline that has helped to keep it special, and stopped it from expanding at its own peril - like so many other coastal boom towns.