Where was Nine Perfect Strangers filmed?
Ballina, Sydney, Byron Bay
Beach/Oceanview, Naturescapes, Contemporary, Modern
Exotic/Tropical, Modern Building, Contemporary Modern, Resort, Retreat
About Nine Perfect Strangers
The promise of rest, rejuvenation and transformation leads nine guests to a 10-day retreat at Tranquillum House, a remote health resort in the fictional town of Cabrillo, California. The mystery drama miniseries was based on the novel “Nine Perfect Strangers” written by Liane Moriarty in 2018. These nine guests all have their own personal reasons for going on this retreat, while some, like Frances Welty, played by Melissa McCarthy, come to heal from bad experiences in their personal and professional lives, others, like Lars Lee, come with more hidden agendas.
From the first episode, it's clear to the audience that the staff at Tranquillum have their work cut out for them. With all the guests having their own personal problems and differing personalities, viewers can see that this retreat won’t surely go as everyone initially planned. By the end of the first episode, tension between the guests and Masha, the founder of Tranquillum, has reached an all-time high and it only gets worse from that point onward.
Audience members can see hints that something is off whenever Masha, played by Nicole Kidman, acts detached and stops smiling when she isn’t being looked at. These small observations pile up and add to the tension that the show creates through the discord and unconventional manners in which Masha attempts to “heal” her group of attendees.
Spoiler alert ahead, the central characters soon realize that the retreat was but a guise for experimentation. These characters were being drugged as early as episode four and were being put through psychedelic journeys where they must confront their deepest emotional fears, Masha included. This raises the attention of even the police, who in the finale come to interview everyone who attended the retreat and take Masha away to be interrogated.
Although her methods may be considered unconventional to say the least, all the guests who arrived at Tranquillum have seen how Masha’s experimental therapy has brought them solace and positive changes in their lives. The finale ends with Masha driving away while the new caretakers of Tranquillum, Ben and Jessica, welcome new guests to the retreat.
Nine Perfect Strangers Locations
Although the scene for the series was set to be in Los Angeles, California, production settled in Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the series was shot in New South Wales, Australia, and covered a few of the cities there, mainly: Sydney, Byron Bay, and Ballina. Each of these locations was used for various shots, some of which included flashback scenes as well as the opening scenes that depicted how the “strangers” made their way to the retreat from the city.
Most of the backdrops utilized in Nine Perfect Strangers were in coastal regions which allowed the audience to feel more connected to nature whilst watching the series. Byron Bay on its own is known as a wellness hub, filled with easygoing surfers and has a rich hippie history, which adds to the resort-like feel that Tranquillum gives off in the initial episodes. Although Byron Bay is the smallest town out of the three that were used for film shooting, it's worth the stop-by, with beach houses, craft breweries and award-winning restaurants, all waiting to be explored by you. Spoiler alert: You’ll enjoy the scenes we’ve covered!
The actor who plays Frances in childhood is played by Melissa McCarthy’s daughter Vivian Falcone.
Arriving at Tranquillum House scene in Nine Perfect Strangers
Lune de Sang, Byron Bay, Australia
The scene for Episode 1 is set for a beautiful retreat. With rolling hills and an off-the-road, gravel path that leads up to Tranquillum, the audience can tell that this retreat is remote, to say the least. Francis is the first to arrive at the location, and while being escorted to her room, continues to rant to her friend and editor, Marty, complaining, “Oh, how can they say I hate women? I can’t hate women. I am a woman.” This is seen and heard from the perspective of a security camera where we see the other guests arriving in their different cars. With the cast of characters exiting their cars, the audience can see that each has their own issues that they’re working with, which is the point of visiting Tranquillum.
The arrival at the house is set in the beautiful Lune de Sang, a sustainable timber plantation that houses a private residence and many outdoor areas that included fig trees which helped with the continuity of the show as it made Tranquillum look like one massive resort instead of two separate filming locations. Lune de Sang was one of the filming locations of Nine Perfect Strangers and helped build the setting for the series. Lune de Sang is a privately owned estate and so getting to it would require you to drive about 25 kilometers west of Byron Bay towards the Rocky Creek Dam area.
Meditation room scene in Nine Perfect Strangers
Soma, Byron Bay, Australia
Played by Nicole Kidman, Masha who is the founder of Tranquillum welcomes the guests to her retreat in episode 1 of Nine Perfect Strangers. All 9 guests are, for the first time, in one place, where Masha delivers her speech on how she will transform everyone. She boldly claims that, “In 10 days, you will leave here, you will not be the person that you are now.” Clearly, Masha has some action plans set in place, but the guests are already suspicious of her methods, arguing with her and questioning her choices to take certain items that belonged to the guests in this scene.
The meditation room scene and the majority of the scenes within Tranquillum took place within a real-life spa named Soma, located just outside Byron Bay. Soma was seen as the ideal Nine Perfect Strangers film set due to how perfectly it fit along with the genre of the series. To get to the location, you just need to drive past the Pacific Highway and then head down Kennedys Lane to find Soma. Feel free to stop by and enjoy the sights and sounds that take you to another world, much like the journey that Masha and the nine guests underwent.
Masha’s office scene in Nine Perfect Strangers
Soma, Byron Bay, Australia
In the second episode of Nine Perfect Strangers, we see Masha and the guests interact more, and form differing bonds in the form of one-on-ones in her office. Masha takes Tony to her office in the beginning of the episode and later, confronts Jessica about her experience in the same office. It's here where the guests of Tranquillum can feel free to talk to Masha and she constantly reassures them. In one of the scenes, she assures Francis saying, “…in a few days, you’re gonna refuel. And I promise you, you’re gonna feel a thousand times better.”
Masha’s Office was a reported addition to the set that was already present in the Soma property. Although the property no longer has the house on location, it's still possible to visit Soma for the views and the occasional getaway. Getting to Soma is a relatively easy task since it's pretty close to the Pacific Highway. From the Pacific Highway, you can take a turn to go down Myocum Road and then take a right to go down Kennedys Lane to reach Soma.
Tony’s flashback scene in Nine Perfect Strangers
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
In Episode 3 of Nine Perfect Strangers, we explore some of the backstories of the guests. Among those is Tony, who Ben recognizes as a former football player who retired. While chasing a goat, Ben begins to experience flashbacks of him in his prime, chasing after the goat as if it was the endzone and he was about to score a touchdown. A few moments later, the audience is transported back to the house where everyone is coming back from their respective ventures for the day. The guests turn around when they hear Tony exclaim, “Who’s hungry for barbecue?” The camera pans to the group of men and Tony victoriously carrying the goat from earlier.
Certain scenes like the flashback were large scenes that required bigger spaces to film, so locations like Sydney were chosen to compensate for the needed space. Since Sydney is the most well-known city in Australia, there are countless ways to reach it, including airplanes, boats and driving there along the Pacific Highway route.
Waterfall scene in Nine Perfect Strangers
Killen Falls, New South Wales, Australia
As Yao talks to Napoleon and Heather Marconi, we see the tension between the couple as they decide on whether to jump off the waterfall. As pressure builds up between Yao and Heather, she turns her attention to Napoleon and asks him whether he wants to jump, then proceeds to say, “You jump. Fine, go ahead. Do it.” Without any hesitation, Napoleon hands Yao his glasses and then jumps down the waterfall, to which a shocked Heather gasps. In this fluid scene, Napoleon manages to break the tension and bring relief to his wife.
One of Nine Perfect Strangers’ action scenes, this waterfall scene was shot in Killen Falls, which is found close to Emigrant Creek. To get to this scenic location, travel along Friday Hut Road and then turn down Killen Falls Drive to get to Killen Falls. Who knows, you might spot the location where Napoleon and his wife jumped!
Masha’s flashback scene in Nine Perfect Strangers
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia
In the beginning of episode 7 of Nine Perfect Strangers, we catch a glimpse into the life of Masha in the form of a flashback. From the events that took place throughout the series, it's clear that it's not only the guests that have healing to do, but Masha has also undergone her own trauma in the past. This comes in the form of her daughter’s last words, “Mama” before she was run over by a passenger car. The scenes in the beginning turn from a bright snowy day to a dark and dreary night – the only light coming from the streetlights, an ambulance, and the police patrol car – to back to reality where Masha is presently at Tranquillum.
The flashback scene was mostly shot in Ballina, a small town of roughly 26,000 residents. Fun Fact: The snow that showcased snowy scenes which were filmed in Ballina were put on set by the production crew themselves. Since Ballina is a relatively well-known town, there are many ways to get to it, including driving along the Pacific Highway. Feel free to stop by the town and take in some fresh sea air. Perhaps you may be able to spot the Nine Perfect Strangers film scene where that flashback took place!
Throughout the series, the guests who visit Tranquillum as well as the audience watching the series get to know Masha and her intentions, little by little. With the finale of the series recollecting how Masha’s unconventional methods managed to bring everyone closure on their pasts, the guests leave the retreat center, feeling more rejuvenated and ready to tackle the problems of life. With the new owners of Tranquillum being Ben and Jessica Chandler, we may even be able to see a Season 2 of Nine Perfect Strangers!