A group of models help launch a new season of Lindsay Phillips Switchflops on Bondi Beach. Australian entrepreneur Lindsay Phillips turned a high school art project, completed when she was 16, into a $30million global brand with her idea for flip-flops with interchangeable strap designs.
Sydney – Fact Check

When the water became nice and cool, so did Bondi

Photo by Paul Lovelace

Sydney – Fact Check When the water became nice and cool, so did Bondi

Bondi was still a grim place as recently as 20 years ago, says book publicist Jaki Arthur, who has lived in a 1930s Tamarama apartment, just south of Bondi, for a decade.

Andrew Stone
Andrew Stone Travel Writer

“The buildings were in disrepair and the water was dirty with a sewer outlet emptying right into the water,” she says. These days, alongside the second and third-generation immigrant families, you find a mix of cashed-up finance professionals rubbing shoulders with young families and an arty, media set, some of the latter hanging on by their fingernails as rents and real estate prices spiral out of reach.

“When the water became decent and good for swimming, it became a more fun place to be,” says Arthur. “Now it’s absolutely pristine, the water is so clear, the sea life is back and there’s no crime. What better place to bring up kids?”

Bondi’s status as the closest ocean beach to the city center is also key to its appeal. That and the fact that it is easy to live a full but also very casual social life here, dropping in impromptu on friends, or as likely bumping into them on the street and dropping everything to catch up together over a coffee.

Coming from London, where you have to make an appointment to catch up with mates three weeks ahead, and then fight across the city to meet them, it is still a minor revelation to me that you can actually live like this.

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