I'm a 21-year-old uni student who loves to travel; which means that when I'm home, I'm always broke and on the lookout for cheap things to do in Perth.
Published July 25th 2013
Ten pin bowling doesn't have to be an expensive day out
If there's one thing in life that I'm genuinely bad at, it's ten pin bowling. Nevertheless, there's something about it that keeps drawing me back in. Maybe it's the social aspect; being able to chat with your friends, while still being entertained by someone like me consistently bowling down the gutter. Maybe it's the disco lighting and cliché 80s dance music that generally accompanies night-time bowling games. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm so bad at bowling that getting a strike would literally be the most exciting thing to happen to me all week – or at least I celebrate as if it were.
But I digress. While I would usually go to a bowling alley closer to my house, this week I happened to go to Rosemount Bowl, on Fitzgerald Street in North Perth. Given that it was a workday, I was a little worried about finding parking; however, it turned out that there were quite a few car parks nearby, where you could park for free with a ticket for three hours.
Rosemount Bowl's website describes their centre as "Perth's Retro Bowling Alley", and I can definitely see why. The décor is very much retro (although I guess it could also be mistaken for old). If you're expecting it to be like your local AMF Bowling Centre, you might be sorely disappointed. Rosemount is very small, with only about 8 lanes in total, so don't be surprised if you have to wait a bit to play – especially if you go during school holidays. However there is food and arcade games to entertain you if you do have to wait, or else there is always plenty to look at on and around Fitzgerald Street itself.
For such a small place, it still manages to get pretty noisy. Having said that, Rosemount is a great place for kids to learn how to bowl. There are bumpers on the sides of the lanes and lots of bowling ramps available to make it easier for them to play.
However, there are a few things to watch out for. Firstly, definitely be sure to bring socks with you. Shoe hire is free when you pay for a game, but they'll charge you a fee (I think it was around $6) for socks if you don't bring a pair. Secondly, the ball return is frictionless, meaning that bowling balls are often being knocked quickly into each other and the end of the rack, so be sure to watch out for your kids' fingers if they're going to pick up a bowling ball. And toes, as it so happens, because there are also no barriers on the sides to hold the balls in place. So if you're trying to pick one up, be careful not to let it roll off the edge and onto your foot – I found that out the hard way.
Prices are pretty good, and definitely cheaper than larger places like AMF. Adults can play one game for $13 or two for $21, while the concession prices are $11 for one or $16 for two. During school holidays they sometimes have special deals, so be sure to keep an eye out. We only paid $15 each for two games – around $7 less than an adult would pay at my local AMF. Rosemount can also be booked out for functions and birthday parties, and they offer many different catering packages for such events.
All in all, Rosemount is a decent bowling alley with everything you could want (licensed bar included) and a pretty fun, relaxed atmosphere. Just be sure to book in advance if you think it's going to be busy, or else be prepared to wait for a lane.