Enjoying Your Swim in Bondi Beach: Know the Dangers

By Josh •  Updated: 08/12/23 •  7 min read

If you ever visit Sydney, your bucket list must feature a visit to Bondi beach. Your trip to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without going there for a swim, but is it safe to swim in Bondi beach

Bondi Beach is a relatively safe beach to swim on for skilled swimmers, and body surfers make the most out of swimming in Bondi Beach. But you’ll have to take the necessary precautions if you decide to swim there. Bondi beach is known to have shark attacks, rip currents, and blue box jellyfish. But if you abide by the beach rules, you should be okay. 

Though Bondi beach may have a reputation for being a bit dangerous, there are lifeguards and a flag system to ensure your safety

If you want to learn more about the hazards in detail and the precautions before going for a swim in Bondi Beach, please stick around till the end.

Crowded Bondi Beach on a hot summer day

3 Reasons Why Swimming in Bondi Beach May Be Dangerous 

Australian waters are notorious for being risky, and Bondi Beach is no different. Here are three reasons swimming at Bondi beach may not be the best idea if you’re not a competent swimmer. 

Rip Currents 

One of the most frequent dangers of Australian waters are rip currents, which is also the most threatening one. Every year, rip currents take about 21 lives in Australia on average.

But the lifeguards are trained to perform numerous rescues on the swimmers who get caught in these currents. 

It is imperative to avoid the areas that the beach authorities have marked hazardous by the flags.

You have to look for specific signs to spot rip currents like dark waters, lesser breaking waves, debris, momentous water movement, and sandy water beyond the surfing area. 

The best way to overcome rip currents is to stay calm and not panic. You have to conserve your energy, seek help, and swim parallel toward the waves or the beach.


Other than that, you can float with the current, and it might return you to a bank. 

Shark Attacks

All coastal areas of Australia are home to sharks to some extent. These areas are an essential part of the ecosystem, and shark attacks frequently happen in Australia. But, according to statistics, shark attacks on swimmers are relatively low. 

In Bondi Beach, swimmers reported 13 shark incidents, out of which only two were fatal. The last shark attack on Bondi beach was back on 12th February 2009, and it was not disastrous either.

You’re more likely to die by drowning than have an encounter with a shark. 

Although shark attacks do not happen often, they have occurred in the past on the beach. So, even if you’re a skilled swimmer or surfer, you should not go against the rules and put yourself in danger. 

Blue Box Jellyfish

One of the most frequently asked questions about Bondi Beach is, does Bondi beach have jellyfish? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Bondi Beach is known to have blue box jellyfish, which is the world’s most lethal living creature. 

The jellyfish numbers rise between November and May, but they stay around for the entire year.

Box jellyfish are more prominent than usual jellyfish like the Irukandjis. Their sting is excruciating, disorienting, and causes significant wounds. 

Bondi Beach may also be home to bluebottle jellyfish. Although they are not lethal, they will cause you crippling pain, nausea, and severe headaches.

Calling out for first aid is crucial if a jellyfish stings you. I recommend rinsing the affected area with vinegar and removing the tentacles with tweezers. 


I don’t recommend exploring an unpatrolled beach, and you also shouldn’t ever ignore the signs of the beach for your safety. 

Although this article is about knowing the dangers of swimming in Bondi Beach, I should also mention that theft is another hazard on the beach.

If you’re planning to go for a swim, you should be careful of the things you leave unguarded. 

The beach may have these risks, but there’s also an indoor pool for kids and adults overlooking the beach.

Also, there are several guidelines and systems at work that will ensure your safety. So, is it safe to swim on Bondi Beach? You know now. 

Precautions for Beach Safety 

Now that you know about the risks of swimming in Bondi Beach, I recommend learning about the precautions you should take to ensure your safety at the beach.

So here are some guidelines you should follow while you visit the beach. 

Swimming between the Flags

When you’re swimming, always try your best to stay within the red and yellow flags and not go beyond them. Bondi beach has a couple of locations for swimming.

They’re the end and the middle of North Bondi beach. If you’re swimming in the middle, you have to remain between the flags. 

This system makes sense because, as I’ve already mentioned, Bondi Beach has rip currents, which several people underestimate.

Every summer, there are hundreds of rescues. By swimming between the flags, the lifeguards can make sure that they’re watching you. And you’ll also be swimming in the safest spots on the beach. 

Also, surfers are not allowed to surf between the flags. So, you won’t have to worry about dodging the surfboards while you swim, which may also be dangerous. 

Avoid Swimming in an Unpatrolled Beach

When you’re swimming, the red and yellow flags should be up and waving.

If you don’t see any flags, it means that the beach is unguarded or closed, and if an accident occurs, necessary authorities will not attend to you. 

So, keep away from such beaches or beach areas at all costs. As you know by now the Bondi Beach areas have no lack of life-threatening hazards.

So, swimming in unmonitored waters can become a death sentence. 

If You’re Caught in a Rip Current, Stay Calm

I’ve already mentioned what you should do if a rip current or an undertow catches you. You have to raise an arm and signal a lifeguard for assistance.

Also, remember to try and keep floating till the help comes or swim parallel to the shore. 

It’s also the same if you’re cramping in the middle of your swim, and it’s best not to struggle. The cramped area should be perfectly still, and try your best to keep afloat. 

Avoid Rough Weather

If you’re on a trip and time is not something you can spare much, you’ll feel like doing everything despite the red signals. If the weather is terrible, and the surfing conditions aren’t well, it’s best not to take any chances. 

Even though it means missing out on an activity you’ve looked forward to and had daydreams about, I don’t recommend taking risks and going through it anyway.

Always remember to ask the lifeguard or an expert before you step out on rough waters. 

Avoid Swimming Under Alcohol Influence

Drinking and swimming can be a lethal combination, and scientific evidence backs up this claim.

Alcohol can harm your senses and change your sense of direction and distance. It might also make you feel disoriented and confused. 

Besides, it causes your body heat to decrease than usual temperature, so if the water is not warm, you’ll be more susceptible to hypothermia. It may also result in failed attempts of CPR, if ever necessary. 

If you’ve had a drink, I recommend waiting an hour per drink so that you have sufficient time to sober before going for a dip. And don’t forget the sunscreen! 


Bondi beach is a wonderful place to travel to. But being a wonderful travel destination doesn’t mean it is hazard free. After reading this article, I’m sure you’ve got the answer to your question – “Is it safe to swim in Bondi Beach?”.

Thanks for reading till the end and I wish you the best of luck with your visit to Bondi Beach.  


Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!

Keep Reading