Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bondi Beach

These four photos are in a Phelan family album. It's Bondi beach, Sydney, some time in the 70s I think. Bondi isn't in our patch so it must have been a holiday. I suspect that the photographer didn't even venture on to the beach because the photos appear to have been taken from a car park, and probably on the same day. They probably just went to have a look at the famous beach. Nowadays about three million people a year visit the beach - but not all at the same time fortunately. On a warm weekend in summer you might have to share with only 40 000 other people.

Coastal New South Wales is almost like a foreign country to us because we never visited when I was a child growing up in the neighbouring state of Victoria, and my husband's family was the same. If we wanted a day at the beach or a holiday on the coast we went to one of the numerous sandy beach towns along the south coast of Victoria. And we never saw crowds like this. Sometimes we had the long stretches of sand to ourselves.

One disadvantage of our beach visits was that we didn't have surf lifesavers watching, we didn't have to swim 'inside the flags' (note the red and yellow flag on the left of the first photo), but luckily none of us ever had a mishap in the ocean. This beach is the home of the first lifesaving club, established in 1907.

I've never been to Bondi. Should an Aussie admit to such a thing?

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach and famous Bondi Baths built in 1931.
The baths are saltwater and tidal and have a heritage classification. In fact, the whole beach has a heritage value. The baths are also the home of the Bondi Icebergs, a club for people who swim there throughout the year.


Bondi Beach
This photo was taken on a different family holiday at Mission Beach in Queensland. Warm days and kilometres of sandy beach to share with ... hardly anyone else.

Mission Beach, Queensland. 1990s
This post is in response to the theme photo, a postcard of Bondi as it used to be. You can see more responses over at Sepia Saturday. Or you could pack your bags and head downunder in time for summer.


15 comments:

  1. I agree Lorraine, Bondi is probably not your style, too crowded and no parking anywhere close these days. I much prefer Hawks Nest, but I wonder how many millions of photos of Bondi have been taken over the years by visitors like the Phelan family?

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  2. Working my way through the various Sepia Saturday posts, I have to say that the last image I saw before turning to your blog was of Morecambe. And from there I suddenly switched to Bondi Beach. No contest really.

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  3. Maybe they went on to the beach but didn't take the camera down so it didn't gt sand in it. The views are from so high up in the first two pictures that I think they might have been taken from a hotel balcony.

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    1. The photographer could have been standing on the grassy slope above the beach.

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  4. I must admit the Mission Beach iin Queensland appealed to me far more than the crowded Bondi Beach. There is an air of serenity about it which is so much more attractive.

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  5. I'm with the serenity folk who prefer the solitary beaches. The party beaches like Bondi seem more frenetic than restful.

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  6. Isn't it funny how people become like little islands staking out there little piece of sand.

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  7. Think you have a typo Mum! 80 million visitors a year is a bit much! 😜 also is that Tess, Tom and miles in the last photo?

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    1. LOL. I don't know what happened there. Even 8 million is a bit much! I've amended the blog after a bit of research. And yes, they're your cousins on the beach in Queensland. They've grown just a bit since then.

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    2. Haha yep 3 million sounds much better! But still way too many people to enjoy the beach!

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  8. Bondi is a heckuva big beach! But Mission Beach looks more inviting. Cute picture.

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    1. Really it's a small beach (by Aussie standards), only about a kilometre long.

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  9. I reckon those photos are 1979-1980 summer based on my knowledge of cars. Also think I might recognise a couple of fellows sitting on the seawall in #3 (one could be me!).
    I used to work in Maroubra with an Irish mechanic Fintan Phelan in 1987/88. A keen motorcyclist. Any relation?!

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    1. We don't know of a Fintan, but the motorcycle bit sounds like fun:)

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    2. We don't know of a Fintan, but the motorcycle bit sounds like fun:)

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I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.

Lorraine