Urban Beaches Bondi Beach. From today until next Thursday we will introduce you to seven unique urban beaches located in Australia, Northern America and Europe. We touch down in Montreal, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon and Barcelona. But let’s start with the ‘Mother of all Urban Beaches’: Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach:
This urban beach was the first one to be recognized as such. Sydney is actually blessed with beaches: Bronte, Coogee, Maroubra, Malabar, Yarra Bay, Manly and many more. Still until today its most popular one remains Bondi Beach.
In 1809 the Australian road builder William Roberts received a grant of land in the Bondi area. In 1851 Edward Smith Hall and Francis O’Brien purchased 200 acres of that Bondi area. It included most of the beach frontage, which was then named the “The Bondi Estate.” Edward Smith Hall was O’Brien’s father-in-law. Between 1855 and 1877 O’Brien purchased his father-in-law’s share of the land, renamed the land the “O’Brien Estate,” and made the beach accessible to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. As the beach became increasingly popular, O’Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, Sydney’s Municipal Council believed that the Government needed to intervene to make the beach a public reserve. And hooray!, on 9 June 1882, Bondi Beach became a public beach :)