Bondi is home to many world firsts, but it’s most renowned world first - being the only licensed winter swimming club - also happens to be its most iconic, as Icebergs regularly plays host to some of Australia’s - and, indeed, the world’s - rich and famous, including Aussie swimming champ, Geoff Huegill, Prince Phillip, and Oprah Winfrey.
But the Icebergs Winter Swimming Club, which was formed in 1929, came from humble beginnings: as a way for some dedicated Bondi lifesavers to keep fit during the winter months, while its clubhouse - now home to the two-hatted Icebergs Dining Room and Bar - began life as a tin shed where the lifesavers could in and out of their swimming trunks.
Since then, Icebergs has undergone a number of significant changes, the first, in 1960, was the construction of more comfortable premises, where club members could gather for refreshments at the bar, while a further expansion to the premises, in 1970, saw a second storey added.
In 1985, a junior winter swimming club, called Icecubes, was started by several Icebergs, though it would be another decade before, in 1995, a change to the club’s constitution finally allowed women to become members.
Through it all, though, one thing has remained a constant: Historical Rule 1B, which dictates that every Sunday between May and September, the Icebergs must swim (specifically Icebergs members must swim three Sundays a month, for every month of the swimming season, or they risk having their membership revoked).
Fortunately, for those not keen on Bondi’s ice cold water in the middle of winter, the club also offers regular swimming memberships, as well as casual swimming passes. And in addition to its two-hat dining room fare, also serves casual bistro food and bar meals, with panoramic views of Bondi Beach and the Icebergs pool from every table. The perfect place for brekkie, before embarking on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk!
Getting There: Bondi Icebergs Club is located on the southern end of Bondi Beach, on Notts Avenue.
Highlights: The historic olympic-size ocean pool, Sunday afternoons of live music, and the cool Icebergs merch.
Don’t Forget: Your swimmers!