Beach-y Keen

Australia is basically massive, and getting your head around it can be a little daunting. But the beach is always a good place to start, don't you think? Especially if we are talking about places to sport amazingly stylish swimwear. Which, lest you forget, we are.

And so, just for you, here is a little guide to some of Sydney's best beaches.

Bondi Beach

First thing to know: Bondi is pronounced Bond-eye. I have just saved you a heap of tourist embarassment. You're welcome. Second thing to know: Nicole Kidman is often to be seen wandering about Bondi. So keep your eyes peeled. You're welcome.

Bondi is the closest beach to Sydney's city center, and is one of the best places for gnarly waves. Be prepared to fight the surfing crowds though; Bondi is a popular destination for boards and their owners. If youy're looking to become a surfer yourself, Bondi is a good place to start. Just do yourself (and the beach patrol) a favor and stay between the flags positioned to mark the most dangerous riptides and holes.

And be prepared to see plenty of budgie smugglers. Those would be speedos. You're welcome.

Bronte Beach
This stretch of sand is the winner for family-friendly beach real estate, and is also home to the oldest surf life-saving club in the world. There is a kiosk and changing pavilion attached to the surf club, but don't expect to find parking anywhere nearby.

Coogee Beach

The locals pronounce the double-o in Coogee as in the word "took." Coogee is Bondi without Nicole Kidman, complete plenty of green space for barbecues or tossing a frisbee around.

And if you are the parent of small children and/or paranoid about shark attacks, Coogee also has a string of manmade ocean pools, perfect for more mellow soaking. Best news of all: most of them are free!

Manly Beach

Just a short and highly scenic ferry ride across the Sydney Harbor, Manly is the site of my own surfing triumph, and is definitely worth a visit whether you are down for catching some waves or not.

In addition to the beachfront, Manly also boasts The Corso, a part-pedestrian mall lined with surf shops, pubs and restaurants. (I found a heavenly post-surfing gyro.) Nearby you can also find Oceanworld, where you can get up close and personal with some sharks. Better here than in the surf, right?

Manly Cove, right next to Manly Wharf, offers shark-protected, surf free swimming.

Has your Australia appetite been whetted?

What beach sounds the best to you, friends?


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