A film buffs bucket list: must-see Aussie filming locations 

From the high-octane Mad Max movies to the groundbreaking Matrix, you’d be surprised at how many movies filmed in Australia have smashed through global screens to become blockbuster hits. So get ready to take your own cinematic turn and enter some famous scenes. Our list of Australian filming locations are easily accessible, instantly recognisable and excellent destinations, additions or detours for any road trip or holiday itinerary.


Silverton – Mad Max II

Scenes from the Mad Max film are painted on the exterior of the Mad Max Museum in Silverton. Image from Destination NSW.

Situated close to Broken Hill, Silverton’s vivid desert surroundings provided the perfect setting for the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max II. Today you can still see the locations and browse memorabilia at the Mad Max Museum, which showcases movie props and original vehicles. Oh yes, the 1984 horror flick Razorback, about a monster boar, and the 1970 classic Wake in Fright were also filmed here.

Broken Hill – The Adventures of Priscilla

Come and enjoy Drag Bingo at the Palace Hotel. Image from Destination NSW.

Bursting with colour of a different kind, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was also filmed around the Broken Hill region. The Palace Hotel was one landmark immortalised in this film about ABBA-obsessed drag queens travelling from Sydney to Central Australia. The film’s iconic hilltop scene atop a hill against a sweeping desert landscape has become an enduring image.

Where to stay

Situated in Broken Hill and close to Silverton, Comfort Inn Crystal is an ideal base for exploring this stunning region – and just a short stroll to art galleries, cafes and restaurants.

St Patrick’s Estate, Manly – The Great Gatsby

Located in the beautiful beach suburb of Manly, gained worldwide recognition as one of The Great Gatsby’s filming locations in Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy film adaptation of the novel. Stunning panoramic views of Sydney Harbor, combined with gothic architecture and sprawling grounds, perfectly capture the essence of the roaring twenties – this location is straight from the jazz age.

Sydney CBD – The Matrix, Superman Returns, Mission Impossible 2

One of the most famous movies filmed in Australia was The Matrix – a game-changer for a generation of filmmakers and audiences. Take a wander around Sydney’s CBD you’ll find plenty of Matrix easter eggs, including the fountain in Martin Place – which also made a cameo in Superman Returns. Glittering Sydney Harbour is also highly recognisable in the action-packed Mission: Impossible 2.

Where to stay 

There are plenty of accommodation options in Sydney close to the lights, camera and action – from boutique hotels to comfortable apartments and hotels close to the harbour.

Northern Territory

Kakadu National Park – Crocodile Dundee

Stop by the Kakadu National Park. Image from Rod Long on Unsplash.

That’s not a knife! Before outback wildman Mick Dundee was whisked away to New York, he wrestled crocs in front of breathtaking landscapes, lush wetlands and cascading waterfalls. We’re talking about Kakadu National Park, of course. Hike through this wilderness and see how this wilderness is a character in its own right, personifying Australia’s ruggedness and beauty.

Where to stay

A scenic drive away from Kakadu National Park, Quality Hotel Darwin Airport is conveniently located 12 minutes from the town centre, with restaurants, bars, shops and cafes at your doorstep.

South Australia

Coober Pedy – Mad Max III

Coober Pedy – home of Mad Max III. Image from South Australian Tourism Commission.

Max returned for Beyond Thunderdome in 1985 – this time appearing in Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy’s unique underground dwellings and opal mine take a leading role here as a settlement known as Bartertown. Coober Pedy’s desert landscape also added to the signature Mad Max atmosphere. Book yourself into a comfortable underground hotel for a truly immersive experience. 

Where to stay

Located entirely underground and sculpted from an original opal mine, The Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience provides style and comfort, as well as history and wonder.


Gold Coast – Thor:Ragnarok

Tamborine National Park. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland.

Join the mighty Thor in the majestic Tamborine National Park! Used as the backdrop in Thor:Ragnarok, you might recognise this sweeping, rugged landscape as the forests of Asgard. Tamborine National Park’s natural wonders lived up to the challenge, creating a sense of awe and wonder that matched Thor’s epic battles – an enchanting setting that you can visit today.

Where to stay

The Econo Lodge Waterford is within easy access to the Gold Coast and Tamborine National Park. Within five minutes’ walk of the hotel guests can also enjoy a huge range of restaurants and cafes.

Great Barrier Reef – Dead Calm, Finding Nemo 

Who doesn’t love Finding Nemo… You me able to spot him in the Great Barrier. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland.

Hoist the sails with the 1989 thriller Dead Calm takes, on a suspense-filled journey along the Great Barrier Reef with Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane – and beautiful inlets of white beach. And who could forget Finding Nemo? While our favourite fish tale is technically animation, the immersive colours of the thriving Great Barrier Reef are pretty darned close – so take a dive and meet the stars (maybe even Nemo) for yourself!

Where to stay

Base yourself amongst palm trees and tropical surroundings in Mackay – you’ll find accommodation options offering comfort and convenience, close to the region’s outstanding natural attractions. 

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