Written in collaboration with TFE Hotels
How could we possibly get from Mexico to the Middle East via Italy in one weekend without punching a big fat hole in the space-time continuum? Easy. It turns out that The Adina Apartment Hotel in Bondi is a portal to a whole world of fun experiences and face stuffing for this family.
I have to be honest. As a life long Sydney dweller, I’d never really signed up to the cult of Bondi. I’d always felt there were prettier and less crowded beaches, funkier shopping districts and other entertainment and dining hubs. Add Bondi’s enormous crowds to the equation and I just didn’t get it. That is until we spent a weekend soaking up it atmosphere and eats. Now I’m happily chugging back the Bondi kool aid.
The turnaround comes from basing ourselves in Bondi for a weekend. In the middle of winter. Sure the colder temperatures mean there’s no soaking in the water. But the lack of crowds and queues mean we could more readily soak up Bondi’s other charms. And there are many.
Here are our top 11 reasons to eat, play and stay at Bondi with Kids this winter;
1. Churros by the sea
Sure, fish and chips may be more of a trad beach treat but on a winter’s morning we can’t go past a box of hot and sweet churros from San Churro, which is conveniently located opposite the skate park.
2. Getting our skates on
Raffles, though new to skateboarding, is fairly obsessed after meeting champion skater Alex Sorgente. Needless to say he’s pretty excited to try his new skills at the Bondi Skate Park. Getting here nice and early means he has it all to himself before the more experienced riders drop in to do their thing.
3. Art and about
Sugarpuff is more inclined to scoot than skate, so while Raffles takes on the skate park she and I take to Bondi Beach’s street art strewn boardwalk for a little art appreciation on wheels.
Raffles too takes a break from his board to check out some of the stunning artworks from talented local and international artists that adorn the wall.
4. Surfs up
We watch in awe as wet suited folk far braver than ourselves hit the surf on their boards. But on this rather chilly occasion we decide to stick to building sand castles, practising cartwheels and burying each other in Bondi’s golden sand. Oh, and of course hanging with the camels.
5. Camel capers
Wait, what? No, we’re not hallucinating. Well, at least not about this. As part of the Bondi Winter Magic festival (19 June to 30 July), Saturdays and Sundays will see the ships of the desert taking the place of bikini-clad sunbathers on Bondi Beach.
Raffles and Sugarpuff can’t get enough of their new, and I must note, rather fragrant friends, and are soon bumping their way down the beach grinning like buffoons.
6. ‘Bergs in the ‘burbs
Nope not in the water! Although some of the brave swimmers at what has to be one Sydney’s best known ocean pools certainly look iceberg-like after they exit the freezing water. Located at the South end of the beach, Icebergs is the spot for bubbles and breathtaking vistas over Bondi Beach. On this occasion, we’re skipping the more salubrious restaurant for the more wallet friendly Bistro next door for a post-camel lunch of fish and chips and bevvies with a view over Bondi beach.
The cooler weather means a dip in the usual crowds along the Bondi-Bronte walk. It is the most famous and most walked track in Sydney and, coincidentally, starts right outside Icebergs.
While a few sections of the coastal walk have completely collapsed after Sydney’s recent storms, that didn’t stop my little adventurers, or several hundred other folks, from trekking its lofty picturesque length.
8. Ice Capades
The Bondi Winter Magic festival means that along with chilly camels, Australia’s only beachside ice rink will be frosting up Bondi Beach (from 1-17 July). We got our skates on last year and we’re so excited by our latest Bondi discoveries that we’ll be we’ll be heading back in the coming weeks to show off our best moves. Just quietly, these mostly involve falling indelicately on to our backsides.
9. Swings and roundabouts
And slides and climbing frames too! There’s a great, gated playground right alongside Bondi Pavilion that the kids simply can’t resist.
10. We all scream for ice cream
Winter or not, nothing says a day on the beach quite like a couple of sticky ice cream coated kids. Though the icy poles on the graffiti wall tempt Raffles momentarily, it is the siren call of Gelato Messina that proves irresistible.
Somewhat serendipitously, Messina is located right next door to our digs at the Adina Apartment Hotel, meaning there’s no escaping its icy clutches.
11. Divine digs
We’re staying at The Adina Apartment Hotel just a few minutes stroll from the beach front. It is modern, warm and inviting and conveniently nestled along the hip strip that is Hall Street between some of Bondi’s best restaurants and above a gourmet provedore, which we take the utmost advantage of. With a good choice of accommodation in Sydney, Adina’s modern apartments offers space, handy kitchenettes and laundry facilities, with all the comforts of a hotel, making them an ideal choice for holidaying families like ours.