Friends 3 day Reunion in Perth

By Marla D · Feb 5, 2016

The Trip — 6 friends reconnecting in Perth to celebrate birthdays and an engagement

Duration — 3 days

Origin — Singapore and Perth

Type of Trip— Beach, Birthday, Swan Valley, Wine, Food, Chinese New Year, Bachelorette Party, Group

Average temperature— 40 degrees (heat wave in Perth!)

Mode of Transportation — Kia Cerato (from Ace car rental)

Cost — best guess is $1300 / person for the 3 days, including roundtrip flights from Singapore to Perth

General Route — Friday night arrivals, Saturday visit to Swan Valley and birthday BBQ at home, Sunday first ferry to Rottnest, Monday last ferry home in time for dinner reservation, Tuesday visit to Kings Park and express shopping, afternoon flights home

Accommodation — 1 night at Hotel Rottnest

Main Activities — wine tasting, Cards Against Humanity, beach, cycling, dining and shots of Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

Food and drink Highlights — Jane Brook Estate, birthday cake from Bittersweet Bakery in Mosman Park, huevos rancheros at The Lane Cafe on Rottnest, The Standard, Varsity Burgers and Neighbourhood Pizza in Perth

Essential Packing for this Trip — 1 sun tent for the beach, sun cream


Rate the overall trip — 9/10 We packed heaps of things into the 3 days and still had plenty of time to relax and catch up

Rate the activity on your trip — 9/10 wine tasting rarely disappoints and bonding on Rottnest with good friends is bucket list stuff.

Rate the ease of logistics — 8/10 Rottnest is easy. Swan Valley requires a bit more planning and of course a designated driver. Ace Car Rental is a 15 minute shuttle bus from the airport, it’s not located right at the terminal.

Luxury factor — 6/10 The luxury factor of Hotel Rottnest is a little underwhelming for the price you pay, other than that there wasn’t really any other luxury component to the weekend.

About The Traveller



I’m from
the Canadian Rockies

My favourite trip as of late
beach and culture in Sri Lanka last year

I often travel…
For work, and then extend my trip to explore

I would class myself as
an experienced traveller

I regularly go on the following types of trips
Culture, sporty, beach, gourmet, relax

It’s a dealbreaker when
my accommodation or the restaurant is dirty

Continent I know the best

Private beach on Rottnest

huevos rancheros at The Lane

Our Experience

The 6 of us, representing 6 different countries, used to work together in Singapore

and when I moved to Perth they promised to come and visit me. Shortly after, flights were booked (Singapore Airlines and Scoot) to celebrate - Chinese New Year, a 50th birthday, a 37th birthday and an engagement. Most of the girls arrived on the Friday night in Perth.

Saturday we went to Swan Valley, planning our route in advance using James Halliday’s wine guide and then google images (we wanted good wine and pretty settings). We settled on Jane Brook Estate for lunch (because they do family style sharing plates), then Houghton Winery followed by Sitella and Sandalford. We got to Jane Brook Estate just before 1pm and made it to Sandalford just before the cellar door closed at 5pm, so 4 wineries was the perfect amount. We loved the champagne at Houghton and bought a few bottles to bring with us to Rottnest. Saturday night we bbq’d at home with the highlight being the chocolate raspberry birthday cake we ordered from Bittersweet Bakery in Mosman Park. We gave birthday gifts (Ugg boots, 50 things to do at 50 and Aesop products), passed the spiced rum around a few times and then called it a night!

Sunday we were up bright and early to catch the 7:30am ferry from Hillarys to Rottnest. Checkin isn’t until 2pm, so we rented our bikes at the Pedal & Flipper, went to the settlement strip for breakfast, bought about 7 litres of water and then headed off to find our perfect patch of beach. We found it at Little Armstrong Bay, about 4 km from the settlement. We came back for a late lunch at Hotel Rottnest (thanks Kristy!) and then checked into our rooms: 2 bayside (ocean views and decent size patio) and 1 courtside (no water view, no patio). All rooms are accessed from the inner courtyard.

Afterwards we went on a quokka selfie expedition, and then for a photo shoot of us jumping, thanks to a kind and patient solo traveller walking by. Sunday nights on Rottnest are generally quite tame, but the girls weren’t having it and threw me a surprise bachelorette party, complete with champagne, indecent games, decent costumes and that damn spiced rum that somehow made it to Rottnest as well. Thanks ladies xxx

Jumpshot on Rottnest

Sunday kicked off a bit later starting with a leisurely pre-breakfast on one of our patios, before walking to the settlement for real breakfast. We said goodbye to HJ as she had an earlier flight to catch and then took off in the opposite direction, this time planning on setting up our beach tent at Little Salmon Bay, nearly 6km from the settlement. After a lot more hills, we made it and claimed our own hidden beach between Parker’s Point and Little Salmon Bay for the next few hours until our 4:15 ferry back to Hillarys. At 7 we had a dinner reservation at The Standard in Perth, one of my staple hangouts for good food and atmosphere.

Cycling toward Little Salmon Bay

Monday was just the morning as there were more flights to be caught at 2:15. We did a quick walk in Kings Park to the suspension bridge and back to the gift shop. At 9:30 am it was already 38 degrees and just too hot for walking. We then fit in 1.5 hours of express shopping on Hay street in the central business district. That afternoon, those of us who were left got a 6pack of beers and bag of crisps and watched the sunset at Cottesloe beach before heading to Varsity Burger in Perth for awesome burgers (note that they are not licensed so while your arteries will still be hard at work your liver will get a break.)

Kings Park Suspension Bridge

Why We Loved It

We packed in so much without it really feeling like we were rushing or lacking sleep. Group travelling has inherent challenges particularly relating to logistics and so when everything feels easy and laidback, the best times are had. Rottnest is also a really special place which I was starting to forget after having been there 4 times in the last 8 weeks and it was great to go to some new beaches and be there with a large group.


There weren’t too many, actually. Our trip coincided with the heat wave, but we were prepared and made sure to drink lots of water. It didn’t really impact our weekend. Coming from Singapore, stifling, muggy heat isn’t anything new. As I mentioned, I find the price of accommodation at Hotel Rottnest a bit extreme. I never enjoy feeling like a captive consumer - with limited options you’ll pay whatever they ask. They could put a lot more effort into the rooms to match the beauty of the island and make guests feel less swindled. Even the esthetic of the renovated rooms feel more like a motorway hotel than a premium accommodation. The island authority accommodation (essentially everything else) gets booked up well in advance, so it’s hard to find rooms during peak season less than 3 weeks prior to travel.

First Last Name

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I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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