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17 Dizzying Photos Of The Crowd On Bondi Beach Over More Than 100 Years

Parking in Bondi was never not a problem.

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Historia / REX / Shutterstock

The land around Bondi Beach was purchased in 1851, together with its small building known as "Bondi Lodge", for £300 by Edward Smith Hall, in trust for his daughter, Georgiana, who had married Francis O'Brien. It became the O'Brien Estate.



Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales

The traditional custodians of the land around Bondi Beach are the Gadigal. They lived on the south side of Port Jackson – from South Head to Long Cove (Darling Harbour). You can still spot some Aboriginal art today if you head to the cliffs on the Ben Buckler side.

Ivan Ives / Courtesy of Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and Courtesy ACP Magazines Ltd

The Local Government Act, Ordinance No. 52 (1935) set the rules for swimming costumes, and was in force until 1961. Men’s and women's costumes had to have legs at least 3 inches long; they had to completely cover the front of the body from armpit to waist level; and they had to have shoulder straps or other means of keeping the costume in place. Those who broke the rules faced arrest for offensive behaviour.



John Dominis / Getty Images

Plenty of wealth is centred around Bondi today, but it wasn't always so. Early attempts at subdivision (see O'Brien's Estate above) did not attract buyers because the site was "at a distance of some miles from Sydney Town".



There was once an amusement park just south of Bondi in Tamarama Gully. It was called Wonderland City (hence, the street named Wonderland Avenue today!) and was meant to be Sydney's version of New York's Coney Island. It closed down in 1911 but in its day it was the largest outdoor amusement park in the Southern Hemisphere.



Adam Pretty / Getty Images

Trams used to service the route now taken by the 380 and 333 buses from Circular Quay, through Oxford Street and Bondi Road, zipping down the hill on the south side of the beach and terminating at the north end of Campbell Parade.


Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

Parking in Bondi has been an issue since the 1920s when the beach experienced a boom in visitors and motor vehicle-owning residents. In 1926 Waverley Council introduced parking meters and fees.