Did you know that the first ever feature movie was filmed in Australia, not Hollywood?
Australia has served as the cinematic centrepiece for a score of flicks since 1906. So forget the guidebooks, and rent a few DVDs for a high-definition journey around Australia. Even better – leave the armchair behind and embark on a tour of the country’s most iconic film locations… as well as a few that might surprise you!
Port Douglas brilliantly showcases the tropical splendour of the Daintree Rainforest and clear blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef; making it the only place in the world where two Heritage-listed sites meet. The area is ideally suited for movies like Fool’s Gold (2008), where Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson dive for hidden treasure, or Nim’s Island (2008), in which Jodie Foster befriends a young girl on an isolated island.
The stars who (arguably) stole the show in Nim’s Island, sea lions Selkie and Galileo, reside on the Gold Coast with their newfound fame – you can meet them at SeaWorld. Gold Coast has also played host to Scooby-Doo (2002), and 20 other movies besides, with MovieWorld theme park paying homage to Australia’s celebrity with its Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster and Superman Returns rides.
New South Wales
I love cities and Sydney is one of my favourites – it’s a perfect blend of metropolitan with beach town. It certainly didn’t need much transformation into an urban American sprawl for filming The Matrix Trilogy (1999) and Superman Returns (2006). On the other hand, Muriel’s Wedding (1994) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert (1994) embraced Sydney as a character in its own right. You can take a tour through the city and explore iconic film locations and more – but be warned, you may experience an overwhelming urge to re-enact your favourite scenes.
After living it up in Sydney, it’s time to move on to greener pastures; an idyllic English country town perhaps? Babe (1995) was filmed in Robertson, and although visitors to the region may be sorely disappointed at the lack of talking animals, the area certainly makes up for it. Try a spot of golf, bush-walking, horse-riding or wine-tasting in lush green surrounds.
Stay: Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Sydney
The haunting Australian classic, Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), was filmed in the Macedon Ranges. The infamous Hanging Rock has a colourful history; rumours of being a hideout for bushrangers notwithstanding. Nowadays, the area has been transformed into a Reserve well worth a visit. Have a barbecue, go fishing with the kids, play tennis or cricket, enjoy a cup of tea at the Café, or climb the Rock for majestic views over a quintessential Australian landscape. Have a picnic … if you dare.
Stay: WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham Ballarat
The camera seems to love Australia, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to cram all the movies filmed in this country into one blog post, so keep your eyes peeled for a sequel!
Have you been to one of these locations? What did you think? What were your favourite movies filmed in Australia?