If you’re a bit of a movie buff, there is nothing cooler than being able to explore a location in real life that you’ve seen on screen. With Australia’s seemingly endless stockpile of stunning film locations, there is no shortage of blockbuster film locations you can visit. Here are some of our favourites!
Mundi Mundi Plains, NSW (Mad Max 2, Priscilla Queen of the Desert)
Perhaps one of Australia’s most iconic film locations lies in the Mundi Mundi Plains, located approximately an hour north of Broken Hill. Here, scenes for two iconic blockbusters, Mad Max 2 and Priscilla Queen of the Desert were filmed, utilising the desolate landscapes to portray an internationally stereotypical ‘Australian outback’ vibe. If you make your way to the Mundi Mundi Lookout, you can really get a sense of the post-apocalyptic landscape that inspired George Miller (Mad Max) in one of the movie releases of the 80s.
MacKinlay, QLD (Crocodile Dundee)
In 1986, Mick Dundee took the world by storm, as The Crocodile Dundee became the highest-grossing Australian film of all time and the highest-grossing non-American film at the US box office. All of a sudden, the eyes of the world were fixated on a small pub in remote northwest Queensland. The pub goes by the name of Walkabout Creek Hotel and it still stands with arms wide open for Crocodile Dundee fans, young and old. Pro tip- If you speak to the staff nicely, you can even get your hands on Mick Dundee’s knife! What a photo opportunity!
Far North Queensland, QLD (The Thin Red Line, Fools Gold, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Wizards)
The stunning setting of Far North Queensland has long been considered a filmmakers dream, with several films showcasing the landscape between Bramstson Beach and the Daintree. One of the most famous films would have to be the 1998 War epic, The Thin Red Line, starring Hollywood A-listers including George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, and John Cusak. On the other end of the scale, the movie flop The Island of Dr. Moreau, starring Marlon Brando was also filmed in the Daintree Rainforest, with a focus on Cape Tribulation. Fools Gold starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughy was filmed predominantly in Port Douglas and the 2022 film The Wizards, starring Orlando Bloom and Pete Davidson is currently being filmed in locations across Cairns and Port Douglas.
Mount Diogenes, Victoria (Picnic at Hanging Rock)
In 1975, Australian director Peter Weir adapted the iconic Joan Lindsay novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, highlighting the incredible scenery of Mount Diogenes. A former volcano that lies 718m above sea level, the incredibly scenic Hanging Rock can be visited on a day trip from the Melbourne CBD and has been a popular tourist destination for decades.
Kangaroo Island, SA (The December Boys)
In 2007, Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliff spent time in South Australia, filming the movie adaption of Michael Noonan’s 1963 novel of the same name. While a bit of a flop at the box office, The December Boys presents the stunning scenery of tourist hotspot Kangaroo Island, including the Flinders Chase National Park (Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch), Hanson Bay, Little Sahara sand dunes, Snug Cove Road and Cape Borda. Other locations seen in the film and worth a visit include Second Valley, Clayton, and the Murray River which stretches and winds through South Australia to the mouth, located at Goolwa.
The Coorong, SA (Storm Boy)
In 1976, Henri Safran directed the film adaptation of Colin Thiele’s classic novel, Storm Boy, starring Greg Rowe and David Gulpilil. Key shooting locations included Goolwa (the mouth of the Murray River), Port Elliot, Encounter Bay, Maslins Beach, and the Coorong Lake. The Coorong itself stretches over 200km from Goolwa to Kingston and has immense International importance as a wetland ecosystem.
Robertson, NSW (Babe)
In 1995, a talking pig took the world by storm, with Chris Biibab’s adaptation of Dick King-Smith’s 1983 novel, The Sheep-Pig, going on to become an enormous success, including Oscar nominations for Best Picture. Although the film gives English countryside vibes, Babe was filmed in a small country township called Robertson in the Southern Highlands of NSW and located approximately 140km southwest of the Sydney CBD. Unfortunately, there is no Hoggett Farm to explore, however you can stay in the stunning Fountaindale Grand Manor, which is located in close proximity to the film set.
Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (Ten Canoes, High Ground)
The stunning, vast landscape of Arnhem Land in the top end of Australia is a filmmaker's dream, with over 97,000km of land that is rich in Aboriginal culture, rare wildlife, and breathtaking scenery. One of the biggest hit movies filmed in this sacred land is the 2006 Australian classic, Ten Canoes, which presented the Arafura Swamp to the rest of the world.
Sydney, NSW (The Matrix, Frost/Nixon, The Inbetweeners, Mission Impossible 2)
As one of the most iconic and recognisable harbours in the world, there is no surprise that the Sydney Harbour has provided the backdrop for numerous Hollywood blockbusters. Whether the focus is on the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, or the city as a whole, you can’t go wrong with one of the most famous and iconic locations in the world!
The Great Barrier Reef, QLD (Finding Nemo)
We know, we know, animated movies don’t really count, but it’s hard to go past one of the most popular Pixar films of all time. The Great Barrier Reef is home to Nemo and his father Marlin, however, after Nemo ventures into the open water, he is captured and sent to live in a fish tank in Sydney. We promise that it has a happy ending though! The vibrant colour of Finding Nemo captured audiences and critical acclaim when released in 2003, however, the real Great Barrier Reef is just as vivid and beautiful. You might even get the chance to meet Nemo hiding in an anemone!