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It's celebration time in Australia! The entire nation has taken the time to wish the country a very Happy Birthday in what can be called the equivalent to our Fourth of July, Australia Day. This holiday is the national day for Aussies all around the world and as you would expect, BBQs, beach and brews are part of the fun of the long weekend. Today (Monday) is Australia Day, observed.
One of the biggest celebrations is at the iconic Bondi Beach where the iconic flip-flop maker Havaianas attempts to break a world record for the largest amount of people on a beach with inflatableyou guessed itflip-flops. (Here's a tip: if you're down under, call them "thongs")
The Chinese are just starting to get out and discover the world in droves, but a few of them will be thinking twice before heading back to Australia. Down Under might normally be seen as some kind of holiday paradise, but a few unscrupulous tourist operators have really been taking advantage of Chinese tourists' inexperience and poor English skills, with a few really sad scams taking place.
The worst of these is when the Chinese tourists are told there's an entry fee for Bondi Beach--they have to pay $100 to have their photo taken there. The same story is repeated outside Sydney Opera House, though surely the Chinese must wonder about how other tourists just seem to wander up and take a picture without handing anyone any cash. The Australian government is trying to crack down on the scammers. Next they'll be charging for sunlight or blue skies.
Though you wouldn't know it with all the snow and ice in the Northeastern US, this week marks the beginning of spring. Spring break, beach season and the imminent start of summer are just around the corner. If April is the new June, we better get you prepped early, so this week we'll be looking at the sandy strands that while beautiful, should come with a warning label. Know about a Killer Beach we haven't mentioned? Help your fellow beach goers out and adventure seekers out--let us know about it.
Bondi Beach :: Map
On the coast of suburban Sydney, Bondi Beach is sort of like Coney Island in New York, except nice. Beautiful blue water laps the sand and shark netting goes up to keep swimmers safe. You may even strike up an impromptu game of beer pong with some new, sunbathing friends. What's not to love?
You mean besides getting hammered while swimming in a crowded cove full of maniacal surfers? Well, there are those motorized dinghies that would be happy to run you down--check 'em out on the satellite view. Oh, and then there's that whole giant-hole-in-the-ozone-layer issue. But other than all that, Bondi's great!
How to get there:
Once you get to Sydney--maybe you'll fly there on an A380?--getting there is easy enough. You could of course drive there from downtown. There's also bus service, if you're into public transportation, like we are.
· Killer Beaches of 2007 coverage [Jaunted]
On Australia Day 2007 Google Earth did something a little different, they pre-announced when and where their planes would be flying over certain parts of Sydney. Furthermore, they provided a tracker so that you could plan your day around trying to live in Google Earth aerial photographic infamy.
The Australia Day event was different from usual Google aerial photography protocol, and naturally created quite a buzz in Sydney. The resulting images, which became available on Google Earth a couple weeks back, are some of the clearest shots we have seen from the mapping application.
Though there were plenty of attempts at staged promotion, a no fly zone, combined with Google editors seem to have thoroughly wiped out any examples of inevitable private mapvertising. We couldn't find any such examples, and we like to think our favorite image find from the day was purely spontaneous.
The folks pictured above were playing water pong out on Bondi Beach when the Google planes passed overhead. The photos are super high resolution, but you still can't make out the details of the players or what they might be drinking. That's OK, we know Australia well enough to know these folks were playing water beer pong on Australia Day.
Spend some time surfing around the Google Australia Day flyover shots and let us in the comments section if you happen upon anything cool.
Bronte / Bondi Beach / Beaches / Body Surfing / Kate Bowman / → All Tags
Kate Bowman's Sydney feature in the July Sunday Times Travel Magazine (it appears you will actually have to buy the magazine to read the feature) reminds us that one of greatest beach walks in the world is the winding cliff path between Bondi to Coogee. Along the way you will have the opportunity to leer at million-dollar homes, aboriginal rock carvings, Bronte's bogey hole, sweeping Mackenzies Point vistas, and of course, hot semi-nude Australians. Kate says of her experience on the cliff walk:
I sported short shorts, sunglasses and a bikini top -- yet not one spark of male appreciation, not even an awkward glimpse from a spotty teenager. It was like I was invisible. I'd heard Tamarama called Glamarama thanks to its flawless gay contingent--but this was ridiculous.
We are unable to locate a web photo of Kate Bowman, so we can't be certain if she doth protest too much, or if her point is valid.
However, we remember vividly from our own cliff walks, the eye candy competition is extremely fierce, especially between Bondi and Bronte.
If you look at the satellite view of the cliff walk above, you won't be able to spot any of the topless hard bodies, but you will be able to locate, from north to south the beaches of Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, and Coogee.
Our recommendation? Do the cliffwalk from Bondi to Bronte and spend the day at Bronte beach. The body surfing at Bronte is some of the best in the world (Crane Beach in Barbados was our favorite), and by body surfing we mean actually riding waves, not gawking at fellow beach goers. Jeez, you readers are a lecherous group, aren't you?
· Google Maps Bondi-Bronte View [maps.google.com]
· Bondi-Bronte Cliff Walk Map [Waverley Council]
· Sunday Times Travel Magazine [Official Site]