Bondi Beach – Surf, Sun & Lifeguards!

 I visited Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia a few years ago, but I chose the wrong day to go! I was on a 10 day trip to Australia with a bunch of other travel agents and we were taken to visit this famous beach.When we arrived at Bondi Beach it was grey and wet and windy and there was not a single person on the beach. It could have been anywhere but then we were greeted by the famous Bondi Beach lifeguards and they gave us a demonstration of their life guard techniques. There was no shortage of female volunteers to help with the demonstration I can tell you!

Bondi Beach is about one kilometre long and receives thousands of visitors throughout the year. Surf Life Saving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach in 2004.While the northern end has been rated a gentle 4 (with 10 as the most hazardous), the southern side is rated as a 7 due to a famous rip current known as the “Backpackers’ Express” because of its proximity to the bus stop, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming.The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding. Yellow and red flags define safe swimming areas, and visitors are advised to swim between them.Somewhat surprisingly, in view of official warnings about the dangers of exposure to the sun, there are no parasols available on the beach, either free or for hire. Those not used to the sun should not let this lull them into a false sense of security as burns can occur much more quickly than expected.

There is an underwater shark net shared, during the summer months, with other beaches along the southern part of the coast. Pods of whales and dolphins have been sighted in the bay during the months of migration. Fairy penguins, while uncommon, are sometimes also seen swimming close to shore.In 2007, the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot was set at Bondi Beach, with 1,010 women wearing bikinis taking part.Bondi Beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008.

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Check out this excellent short video about Bondi Beach


Travel Agents Benefit From Stunning Film Locations

There have been several Bafta and Oscar nominated films released recently that are having a knock on effect on the travel industry. The best selling movie DVD of all time is Mama Mia, which is based on the hit musical about Abba. It is a great movie and if you haven’t seen it then you should because it has got the feel good factor about it and, of course the music is brilliant.

As well as good music the Mama Mia movie also features stunning Greek island scenery as it was filmed on the islands of Skiathos and Skopolos. As a result of the movie there has been an increase in demand for holidays to Skiathos. As travel agents we can understand why Skiathos should be so popular. It is still a bit of an undiscovered Greek island gem although that could be about to change after the success of the movie.

Skiathos has a reputation for good beaches and a stunning coastline.After the hit movie The Beach, staring Leonardo DiCaprio holidays to Thailand became more popular, and holidays to Kefalonia boomed after the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was released.When a hit movie is released it is almost like free destination advertising for travel agents and we could do with more help like that.

Nicole Kidman’s new film Australia has just been released as well and will have to see if that has the same affect on holidays to Australia.The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett is another movie out soon that may have an influence on the travel industry as it was filmed on location in New Orleans. The city is famous, of course for its vibrant music scene and culture and is still recovering after Hurricane Katrina.