Bondi Beach has come to be viewed both within Australia and internationally as the quintessential Australian beach. It remains the third most visited site in Sydney after the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and the 380 bus route from Circular Quay to Bondi Beach is the most profitable in Sydney.
Bondi Beach has played a nationally significant role in the development of Australia’s self image. Love of the beach is a defining characteristic of the Australian way of life. Bondi Beach is one of the world’s most famous beaches and is important to both the Australian community and to visitors. The beach, with its golden sands, parks, and the blue waters of the bay, framed within its rocky headlands, embodies a powerful sense of place and has come to symbolise Australia’s way of life and leisure. It is where Australians meet nature’s challenge in the surf and is strongly associated with the Bronzed Aussie myth of easygoing hedonism and endeavour balanced with relaxation. A place full of Australian spirit, synonymous with Australian beach culture, surfing and the surf life saving movement, it is recognised internationally.
The central role of beaches, and Bondi Beach in particular, in Australia’s self image is reflected in the use of the beach by painters, filmmakers, poets and writers in analysing the growth of this new self image and reflecting it back to Australian society.
– Australian Heritage Council [pdf]