Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cross off Bondi Beach

Oh, nothing prepared for Sunday. So busy. Here is something I wrote earlier when I was cross.

Dear Minister Transport Minister Berejiklian,

We are visiting your fair city in March and meeting up with a visitor to Sydney from Japan. Sydney is a terrific city for tourists and with some pride we will show her the sights, many of which we have already showed other overseas visitors.

But disappointingly for her, and us really, we will not take her to Bondi Beach because of the horrendous bus trip from Bondi Junction to Bondi Beach. We have taken the trip after alighting from the train at Bondi Junction many times in the past, our first in 1983, and each time it just gets worse. The last time was so horrendous we vowed to never to it again, with trying to return to Bondi Junction the absolute worst. We are not wealthy people, but gave up and caught a taxi back to our hotel.

We have used public transport in many countries around the world, and believe me, nothing quite compares to trying to get from Bondi Junction to Bondi Beach by bus, and back again.

It is unbelievable to me that the quite efficient train ends at Bondi Junction and does not continue to Bondi Beach. Do you have plans, Minister?

34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. PS: Love the double barrelled title. Cross as in peeved, and as in something which has been crossed off the to do list.

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    2. EC, the cross was a coincidence. Btw, the minister is a she, nicked named Our Glad, Gladys.

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  2. Andrew so it interesting post. I was very busy, too but luckily I have survived with my blog because I love blogging and the most important my blogger friends. Take care..

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    1. Gosia, I am sure if you visited Australia and Sydney specifically, you would want to go to Bondi Beach. It should be a better experience.

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  3. Depending on where you are staying you are better off going to Coogee or Manly beaches instead or if Bondi Beach still is a target take the 333 bus from the city rather than from Bondi Junction interchange. The other problem with Bondi Beach in summer, however, is the queues waiting to board a return journey.

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    1. Victor, yes we have caught the bus all the way too. Coming back from BB, even knowing where to stand is problematic, with not even the staff at the stop knowing.

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  4. It's been years since I visited the city beaches, that bus trip was awful even when I was a child and that was a while back.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merle, only a couple of decades ago, surely.

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  5. Andrew, did you write the bit about not being wealthy before or after you booked your accommodation in New York?

    They just need better and more buses with some means of increasing the service if it is a nice day or at least in the high summer season.

    It would be unbelievably and I think also unjustifiably expensive to make the train go all the way to the beach and would probably also spoil the beach. If the train-line were to be continued (which was proposed) it should have been continued to Randwick and UNSW along the ridge - for which until quite recently (though I fear no longer) land had been reserved.

    Gladys has enough on her plate providing public transport for commuters and residents - not to mention doing it all in a way which is best calculated to destroy the public-sector aspect of public transport over time and crush the unions.

    Meanwhile, Victor is right: if you want to take public transport take the bus to Coogee (not so famous but actually easier to get around and enjoy); take the ferry to Manly (famous and that way you get a ferry trip) or (Victor doesn't say this, I know) stay at home. If you have brought goggles with you and plan to actually swim, take the bus to Clovelly and swim with the fish there.

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    1. I wrote if after Marcellous. I can only afford to stay in New York if I avoid using taxis here.

      If such a project is seriously considered, it needs to go underground and turn right after BB to Coogee or further. When buses can't cope, you can put in a light rail, but once a light rail can't cope, you need a proper train. Yes, it would be very expensive, but the population is there along with the tourists.

      We never miss the ferry trip to Manly, returning by Hydro, although I am not sure if that is still running. When we last visited, we walked from BB to Coogee and Clovelly was delightful.

      That the inner bus system has not already been privatised is unusual. Gosh, I don't envy those bus drivers driving in such traffic and congestion all the time.

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  6. You know what bothers me about letters like this? Enough people write them, so the people or person concerned decides to "test the system". They take a ride on public transport. BUT, the transport office is notified, so for that day/morning/single trip, the chosen bus, tram or train is clean, uncrowded and on time. But never again once the dignitary(?) has alighted. Said dignitary then reports back that his/her trip was "uneventful, clean, punctual and why don't more people use public transport?"
    Pfft!!

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    1. It is a very good point River. An individual trip can only be anecdotal. That is why monitoring, studies and surveys are important to give an overall picture.

      Let us call it the 'nursing home visit situation', where the home knows the official is going to visit.

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  7. My suggestion would be to get on the train and head south to Austinmer - they have a gorgeous lifeguard beach with several seawater swimming pools.

    http://tinyurl.com/qc4q4eg

    It is about 600m walk from the station to the beach. The sand is gorgeous and much less polluted than any Sydney beach. The train ride is scenic and fascinating and travels in part through the Royal National Park.

    I was just there a few days ago with Adelaide tourists and we had gelato at the Austi Beach Cafe. I said to the other half we have to go back and spend more time there, because it seemed quite awesome. But then we are spoiled for beaches on the South Coast - Booderee National Park is on our doorstep with the whitest beaches in the world.

    Next week I will be taking some tourists from China about the place - I'll take some pics and blog it. :)

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    1. Good heavens Snoskred, we will be nearly back in Victoria. It disturbs me that the trip can be made in a car with no traffic in 1.09 but by train, 1.29. Still, that is not such a long trip and it sounds like a lovely place.

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  8. We should get Victor down there to take a picture of the gorgeous lifeguard.

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    1. Over to you Victor, a nice day trip surely.

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    2. Sounds very tempting

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    3. I just checked and a direct train from Edgecliff (my local station) departs in just over an hour and takes 2 hours and 12 minutes.

      I can get to Bondi Beach and return and have a swim in that time!

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    4. Victor, that is a ridiculously long trip. I wonder why my information is so different. So, how was the water at Bondi? Did you need rescuing by a life guard?

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    5. It was probably an all stations train.

      Any life saver is welcome to practise his craft on me.

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  9. My husband is an old Bondi Boy. Won't help you with the bus service, but I thought you would like to know :)

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    1. Funny Hels, what you've mentioned is vaguely related to tomorrow's post.

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  10. That sounds like a mess to get to the beach, I wouldn't bother either.

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    1. WA, you wouldn't want to drive and try to park either, although many do I suspect.

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  11. Now I must look up "Bondi Beach" and see what is going on there. Sounds fabulous!

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    1. It is beautiful, I looked it up and some of your other beaches. Makes me long for somewhere warm, where the water might also be warm enough to enter without a wet suit or like on the Oregon coast, a dry suit.

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    2. Strayer, BB is a tourist mecca for any visitor to Sydney, but there are great other beaches too. The water is warmer for swimming than here in Melbourne.

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  12. Adelaide is better in my opinion. Almost any of our beaches can be got to within about 20 minutes by car. Bus doesn't take much longer. Unless you live way down south at Aldinga and want to get to Semaphore beach up north. That takes a bit longer.

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    1. River, your beaches are particularly nice but like Melbourne, the coast line is quite flat. Sydney's are anything but flat and so makes them quite picturesque.

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  13. Get the bus to Bronte Beach instead and have a picnic in the park behind the beach. Then take a stroll along the headland to Bondi Beach via Glamorama Beach.

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    1. Allan, yes Bronte Beach is nice too. Glamorama, haha.

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  14. We usually do the Bondi to Bronti walk each time we go to Sydney but Dave drives us so no train probs.. sounds like a serious flaw in the transport system ... I mean, Bondi.. everyone visiting Sydney wants to go.. personally I don't get all the hype.. It's just a beach right! I have a beautiful beach five minutes away :)

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    1. Grace, you have beautiful beaches, but do you really have the beaches Sydney has, rocky cliffs, bouts of sand, hills and crags. A cemetery overlooking a beach, a cliff face to suicide at? No, Sydney beaches are in a league of their own.

      While I don't know, goodness knows what happens at North Bondi Beach. Ok, I have heard a little.

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