BEN BUCKLER IS one of those secret places you can find in any large city, a space within a space, with its own microclimate and way of life. Three streets on a headland at the north end of Bondi Beach; it is bounded by the long sweep of the bay to the south and a cliff-top golf course to the north. The headland is densely developed with old apartment blocks slowly crumbling into the sandstone, ravaged by the afternoon sun and the fierce southerlies that blow through on a regular basis. Despite the high densities – there are thousands of people calling Ben Buckler home – it feels neither crowded nor put upon, unlike the grid of the streets behind Bondi’s famous tourist strip where many residents of the headland refuse to tread during the height of summer.
Property prices are high in this discrete little village. The gardens of Ben Buckler’s apartments and houses are quiet and well shaded by some surprisingly thick tangles of scrub and backyard bush. You don’t get into the low end of the market for less than three quarters of a million dollars. And that won’t get you much more than a shabby two-bedroom apartment. A bus terminal provides fast, reliable transport to the city for the headland’s community of creatives and managers, while about the terminal, a cluster of shops and cafes provides enough amenity to make the 10-minute walk down the hill into Bondi proper an irregular event.
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