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An Unreliable Guide To… Parking Within A Kilometre Of Bondi Beach On The Weekend

By Nat Shepherd on February 22, 2016 in Other

What’s the number one bitch of the Eastern Suburbs? Apart from noisy neighbours and developers turning next-door’s cute cottage into a thirty-two apartment monster, it’s parking. Generally I have little sympathy for this because I’m originally from London. In that congested, overpopulated city, if you find a parking space in your suburb it’s a bonus. If you ever find one on your own street, throw a massive party and never move your car again.

The privileged dwellers in the paradise that is the Eastern Suburbs do have a point, though. On a sunny Sydney weekend parking your car anywhere near the beach, particularly Bondi Beach, is a combat sport not to be undertaken by those of a nervous disposition. But don’t be downhearted; the Unreliable Guide is here to help you with some tips, tricks and tactics…

1. Get up before dawn: Forget having a lie-in and take your day-off seriously. Pack your beach bag the night before and take your sleeping children from their beds before first light. When you get to the beach you’ll have the pick of the spots. You’ll need a second mortgage to pay for the all day parking, but nothing’s for free in this day and age.

2. Become a stalker: So the dawn raid is not for you? If you’d rather roll down to the beach after breakfast and chance your luck, you’ll need a strong nerve and a good eye as all the parking spaces will be long gone. Hundreds of desperate drivers prowl the streets and the only way you are going to beat them to that elusive park is by stalking your prey. Not the kind of stalking that ends up in a restraining order, mind you, but the careful surveillance and tracking of pedestrians. Is that guy playing with his car keys? Does that woman look like she’s taking that screaming toddler home? Follow a likely suspect and they might lead you to a parking pot of gold.

3. Ride a scooter: These are easy-peasy to park and, so long as no-one kills you, they are the best legal high around. Trouble is they aren’t the best vehicles for transporting a family of four with surfboards, Esky and beach umbrella. It can be done – go to any Asian country and see what those chaps can carry on the back of a Honda – but it takes serious skill.

4. Become a shift worker: The trouble with working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, is that everyone else does to, so chuck in your office job and become a nurse, garbo, supermarket shelf stacker or ambulance driver, then when you have your midweek-weekend, you’ll have the beach to yourself.

Photo: Kevin Bacon

Photo: Kevin Bacon

Considering the above, unless you commit to a serious lifestyle change, the Unreliable Guide suggests that you forget about the beach and go to the park. Sit under a tree, feed the ducks, play footy with the kids and relax. Better still, the parking will most probably be free and readily available.