Sydney / People / Sydney's Top Swimming Beaches with Our Favourite Bondi Rescue Lifeguard

Sydney's Top Swimming Beaches with Our Favourite Bondi Rescue Lifeguard

Q&A with Harrison Reid

Tell us a little bit about your background – where did you grow up?

I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand and moved here to Sydney three years ago. I've always lived near the beach, with the family... We never liked the cold, but loved the sun! I had never been skiing, even though I lived two hours from a ski field, hence why we always travelled somewhere tropical in the harsh Kiwi winter. 

How long have you lived in Bellevue Hill and what made you choose this area in particular?

I have lived in Bellevue Hill for the whole time I've been here. I love it around this area- it's close to my work and not far from Double Bay and the harbour beaches. Bondi Junction is also up the road, which means I never have to go into the city!

What’s one place everyone should go to when they come to Bellevue Hill? 

There's a little deli tucked away halfway down Bellevue Road called Crave, which I love to walk down to on my days off for breaky and a fresh OJ.

What do you love most about where you live?

The endless local options to be able to go out for a quick bite to eat or a drink with a mate. Especially since I moved here straight after college, my cooking skills in the kitchen are atrocious. Mum did everything for me, I should've asked for some cooking tips before I left home!

Why/how did you choose to be a lifeguard for Bondi Beach vs other Sydney beaches?

Bondi is one of the busiest beaches in the world, I can't describe what goes on down there on a busy day - it's crazy. If you're going to be a lifeguard, that beach will put you to the test.

We also get the chance to work at nearby beaches along the coast, we’re on a rotating roster between Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte. In winter you’ll still find about six or seven of us up in the lifeguard tower. We can get up to a bit of mischief when the weather is bad and we’re all stuck in there together.

You mentioned it can get crazy down on the beach. What’s the most memorable thing you’ve seen as a lifeguard?

One day I was up in the tower on a rainy day and I looked over to see a car in the middle of the beach. I initially thought it must have been some young guys trying to be funny by pushing a car down the hill, however it ended up being a driver who had lost control on Campbell Parade and careened through the railing, landing on the beach.

If you’re not on duty in the lifeguard tower, where would we find you and what would you be doing? 

To be honest, bunkered home out of the sun! If I need to go for a swim I'll head down to one of the harbour beaches, just to get away from the crowds. Since I'm around a lot of people at work down on the beach, it's nice to have some time to yourself.

Bondi is pretty iconic as far as Sydney beaches go! Do you have any local secret swimming spots that we should know about if we’re looking for something a little less crowded? 

Watson's Bay and Camp Cove, especially in a southerly. Not many people go there apart from locals which is pleasant. It's hard to get a park, so since I've got a scooter I score rock star parking at the front and don't get stuck in the traffic on the way home.

Saltwater pools are becoming more and more popular in Sydney. Where would you recommend we try this summer? 

The iconic Icebergs for sure, you get all types of people around there which is fun for a laugh. Just make sure you get that typical 'Bondi Iceberg' photo for Instagram with the other half of Sydney, otherwise were you really there?

After a long day in the sun, what’s the first thing you do when you get home? 

There's nothing better than coming home to a cold drink, and putting some music on and relaxing. I'll then spend an hour deciding on what I'll have for dinner... it's the most stressful part of the day with too many options!

What are you currently working on, and where can we expect to see you next?

Well I'm always working on my tan of course.

I’m currently renovating my place which I'm finding exciting and will hopefully be done for summer. You'll then find me being that annoying guy on the megaphone getting backpackers out of the rips down at the beach (I apologise to all the residents at North and South Bondi for that especially).

What are your top 5 favourite saltwater pools in Sydney?

Icebergs, Bondi Beach

Watsons Bay Baths, Watsons Bay

Neilson Park, Vaucluse

Murray Rose Pool, Double Bay

Bronte Baths

Bronte Baths, Bronte


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