What to do when the weather changes and the mercury dips ever lower? Here in Sydney, winter isn’t the cold, scary beast it is in more extreme climes. There’s still plenty of opportunity to get into the great outdoors, and if you’re not up for getting into the water, then at the very least, you should be out by the water. Bondi Beach in winter means crisp days filled with blue sky and long afternoon shadows. There are fun runs, art to admire, whales to watch and kites to fly.
City 2 Surf
Sydney’s most popular fun run, the 14km City 2 Surf winds its way from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach. People run this in costumes, with prams, with friends – it’s a relaxed atmosphere and the views, especially once you get to Rose Bay, is worth every drop of sweat. Every year, the crowd gets bigger and the tents on the beach get better and better. There’s a bit of a party atmosphere on the beach at the end of the run – so even if you don’t participate, you can join in the fun.
Winter Magic Festival
Perhaps the only place in the world where you can go skating on an ice rink on the beach, Bondi’s Winter Magic Festival takes place at the end of June to July each year. There are stalls selling mulled wine, live bands and food galore – all set on the golden sands of Sydney’s most famous beach. For exact dates and more information, check out the Winter Magic 2013’s upcoming events.
Festival of the Winds
Bondi Beach in winter wouldn’t be complete without this kite flying festival that attracts both local and international kite flyers. For one day in September each winter, the skies above Bondi Beach are filled with whimsical creations big and small. Last year a humpback whale soared about the beach, sharing space with giant geckos and pirate ships. There are also kite making workshops, puppet shows and live music.
Sculpture by the Sea
One of the most famous art galleries in the world, the coastal track between Bondi and Bronte hosts Sculpture by the Sea every winter. The works are usually large and placed outdoors, gains a sense of interaction with the environment that would be lacking in a conventional gallery. Best of all? Sculpture by the Sea is a free for all. It usually runs in late winter/early spring each year.
In winter, Bondi Beach is a great spot to stake out a whale watch. Ben Buckler’s point, on the south end of the beach, is an elevated position with benches and 360 degree views. Bring a pair of binoculars, a thermos of hot drink and rug up! The whales migrate south to north and back again, and usually pass by Sydney in June/July and September/October each year.