Wellness in Sydney isn’t so much a collection of reformer pilates studios and acai bowl haunts for the few, but a way of life for the many. In no region is this more amplified than in Bondi, where if you’re not catching waves you’ll likely be studying the selection of organic fruit and veggies at the farmer’s market, sipping consciously-sourced coffee or engaging in any number of fitness disciplines that takes your fancy.
It’s hard not to drink the Kool-Aid (in Bondi’s case, make that a kombucha) when the wellness wave is so easily ridden. On a recent trip, we found ourselves very much swept away by it all. Here are a few spots that stood out.
If you’re going to be spending a couple of weeks in Bondi and need a place to train at your own leisure, look no further than The Well. Chase a session in its state-of-the-art gym with an adaptogen-filled smoothie in its downstairs cafe, or take advantage of its informed roster of personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors… the list goes on.
A trip to Bondi isn’t really a trip to Bondi if you don’t at least attempt to do as the locals and seasoned backpackers do and ride a wave. With board and suit hire available at low cost from various beachfront outposts, head out early for your best shot at a tourist-free path to the shore.
Bondi’s activity of choice might take place atop a surfboard, but not far behind is its penchant for taking to the reformer. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. Pilates having such a strong core focus, you’ll find the classes at beautiful BodyMindLIfe rammed with those who frequent the waves. Don’t feel intimidated – its pro teachers cater to every level.
A Bondi institution, Icebergs is a public lido that sits on the southern end of the beach, marking the start point of the journey down-coast to Coogee. Filled with seawater and topped up by incoming waves, swimming lengths is notably more challenging than the standard chlorinated spa set-up, but an afternoon switching between a few hundred metres and a wind-down in the sauna is one well spent.
For the best selection of plant-based eats in Bondi, UMU is where to get your fix. Along with fresh juices and breakfast dishes, the daily changing menu saw us chow down on vegan roast pumpkin lasagne with herbed lentils and caramelised onion, and a miso polenta with garlic tamari dressing. *Drool*.
Harris Farm Markets
Your favourite supermarket doesn’t have anything on this. Less convenient grocery store, more museum of quality fresh produce and health food brands, we spent hours wandering the aisles at Harris Farm Markets. If you’ve set up shop in a nearby apartment, here’s where to keep the fridge stocked.
Acai bowls are the pretty pink breakfast choice of Instagram wellness bloggers the world over and are pretty much impossible to escape in these parts. The best you’ll find is in Oakberry Acai, where you can get your antioxidant-packed superfood layered with nut butter, seeds, chia pudding, granola and pretty much anything else you fancy. When in Bondi…
Bondi-Coogee Coast Walk
The Bondi-Coogee trail is a path well-trodden by many a tourist, but it’s one of those attractions that simply has to be done, if just to take in the change of vibe at each beach you pass through along the way. For animal lovers, the best stop is Mackenzies Bay, a particularly pooch-friendly beach where you can watch excitable dogs chase and run from the low tide.
Bondi Farmer’s Market
Bondi’s weekly open-air market takes place on school grounds towards the northern end of the beach. It offers a change of scene from the great produce you’ll find at Harris Farm, yes, but also showcases artisanal Australian crafts and organic skincare, not to mention exceptional coffee.
Retreat from the hustle and bustle of Bondi’s beachfront for a spot of pampering at MO+, where you can choose from its menu of massage treatments (we highly recommend the myofascial release if you’ve been hammering the surf) or combat musculoskeletal issues the ancient Chinese way, through acupuncture.