Our first impression of Bondi Beach was that is it exactly like its described: sprawling, popular, beautiful, full of crashing waves, with a fun, laid-back atmosphere. The beach is the closest one to the center of Sydney, which makes it very popular with both locals and tourists. Inland, the streets are lined with backpacker hostels, cafes, pharmacies, and other shops. A few blocks back, the neighborhoods are crammed with small homes and apartments that I can imagine are paradise for surfers, who we see constantly walking barefoot toward the beach. A few grocery and convenience stores nearby are great for picking up some picnic supplies, which saved us a lot of money over the beach side cafes on the main promenade.