If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney, why not take yourself on a Hollywood movie location self-guided walk? Find out which Hollywood movies were filmed in Sydney!
Think Hollywood is the only place they film big blockbusters? Did you know Australia is the eighth most filmed country in the world?
After spending a bit of time in LA during our travels a few months back, we felt a bit on the starstruck side about how many different locations we recognised from our favourite movies over the years.
Then we remembered that hang on, there’s a few Hollywood movies filmed in Sydney! So we thought we’d show you some of the Sydney film set locations which have made it onto the big screen.
You’ll be pleased to know there’s been over 18 movies filmed in Sydney and a load more around the rest of the country which we also mention at the end of this post.
If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney, go and find some of these top movie locations below!
1. The Great Gatsby, 2013
Did you know The Great Gatsby was filmed in Sydney? Directed by Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby had a star studded cast with Leonardo DiCaprio starring as the lead with support from Carry Mulligan, Toby Maguire and Isla Fisher.
Around 40% of the movie was filmed in Sydney, most notably The Gatsby Mansion was filmed at the International College of Management in Manly. All they needed to do was photoshop the palm trees out. If you don’t know where it is, it’s on the way up to North Head. They also filmed at the gorgeous Breenhold Gardens in Mount Wilson in The Blue Mountains, Glebe Island, Waverly Cemetery and even in Rozelle. Funeral scenes were filmed at Waverly Cemetery and the entrance to The Gatsby house in Centennial Park.
At the very beginning of the video below, you’ll find the main characters walking into the International College of Management… I mean Gatsby Mansion.
2. The Wolverine, 2013
Although the story is largely based in Japan, several street scenes set in Tokyo were shot in Parramatta of all places for The Wolverine movie staring Hugh Jackman! Other locations such as the small town of Picton was turned into an Alaskan set, and Surry Hills, Kurnell and Fox Studios were all used to shoot scenes in the superhero movie.
3. Strictly Ballroom (1992)
One of Australia’s favourite movies of all time Strictly Ballroom was unsurprisingly filmed in Sydney. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, it won three Baftas and was nominated for various Golden Globes. The main filming location was located at Petersham Town Hall which was used for the dancing scenes.
The scene where they danced to Cyndi Lauper’s Time after time next to the Coke sign was built on top of these shops in Marrickville pictured above.
At 0:20 you’ll find the scene on top of the Marrickville building with the coke sign.
4. Babe, 1995
Babe became everyone’s favourite movie about the loveable pig was surprisingly not filmed in the English countryside but instead in the Kangaroo Valley area of Robertson.
Watch the trailer below to see the Aussie countryside!
5. The Matrix (all three movies)
A fan takes off the famous scene in the above photo.
The Matrix trilogy was entirely filmed all over Sydney. The famous helicopter crash was actually at the BT tower in Market Street and thanks to the skyscrapers in Sydney’s CBD, they were able to create a mega-city feel for the movies.
Check out the scene with the woman in the red dress below!
The woman in the red dress who walks past Neo in the first movie is at the fountain in Martin Place, but this popular filming spot has been used for another blockbuster mentioned again in this post. Can you guess what movie it is?
6. Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 1994
One of the biggest Aussie movies to make it to Hollywood is Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It was filmed all over Sydney, most notably in The Imperial Hotel on Erskineville Road. Other filming locations included Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Coober Pedy and South Australia.
This famous shot of them in the outback was filmed in Kings Canyon in Northern Territory.
7. Frost/Nixon, 2008
The 2008 Frost/Nixon movie which depicts the interviews between Frost and Nixon in 1977 shows an early scene filmed at The Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay.
8. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, 1995
Back in the mid 90s The Power Rangers was a huge kids show. Although it’s a random movie that we’re guessing no-one has probably watched, The Power Rangers was filmed all over Sydney as well as in Queensland and Northern Territory.
9. Movies filmed at Moore Park Studios
There has been many movies shot at Fox Studios in Moore Park so we thought we’d list a few favourites. Although you can’t visit the set locations, we thought it was quite interesting to learn about them anyway: Star Wars Episode 2 and 3, Alien: Covenant, Planet of the Apes, Moulin Rouge
10. Australia, 2008
Another one if Baz Luhrmann’s blockbusters, Australia was filmed between Queensland, Northern Territory and Sydney.
One of the most obvious filming locations for Australia in Sydney was at Strickland House in Vaucluse which featured as Darwin’s Government House. Towards the end of the movie, you’ll see Hugh Jackman in a white suit as he mixes with the wealthy at a party outside Strickland House.
You’ll find Strickland House in the trailer below at 1:06
11. The Inbetweeners 2, 2014
The UK’s biggest comedy movie of all time, The Inbetweeners filmed its sequel in Australia. Various locations were used as the teenagers backpacked around the country. Most notably the Gold Coast’s water park, Byron Bay, South Australia and Sydney were used to make this movie.
12. Unbroken, 2014
The World War II movie Unbroken is directed by Angelina Jolie and was filmed in many NSW and QLD locations. The real life story of the US airman Louise Zamperini survived many weeks adrift in the Pacific before being captured by the Japanese was actually filmed on Cockatoo Island. They used this island right in the middle of Sydney Harbour to depict the prisoners of war camp.
Watch at 1:42 for the war camp scenes on Cockatoo Island
13. Peter Rabbit 1, 2018 and Peter Rabbit 2, 2020
If you didn’t know 2018’s Peter Rabbit made more than $350 million at the box office, making it Sony pictures biggest ever movie (minus the Bond movies obvs). Although the movie is supposed to be based around the English countryside, it was mostly filmed at Sydney’s Centennial Park!
Watch the scene below which takes place in Centennial Park!
14. Superman Returns, 2006
Another movie that included the Martin Place fountain was Superman Returns where superman saves a crowd of people before a blue car crashes into them. Other locations for filming included; The Australian Museum, Concord West, Darlinghurst, Hyde Park, Moore Park, Narrabeen, Newcastle, Sylvania Waters and Tamworth.
15. Mad Max: Fury Road
The first two Mad Max movies were predominately filmed around New South Wales in Silverton and here just outside of Newcastle at Tin City in the Stockton Sand Dunes. You can only reach Tiny City by 4×4 but there’s plenty of tours that will take you out there as well.
Silverton have basked in the movie and even have their very own Mad Max 2 museum you can visit!
16. The Lego Movie
Did you know The Lego Movie actually came from the Sydney based firm Animal Logic? They are also the visual masterminds behind The Matrix, Happy Feet and The Great Gatsby too!
17. Muriel’s Wedding
Everyone’s favourite Aussie movie Muriel’s Wedding was filmed all over Sydney. Her family home was shot in Narrabean, the wedding at a church in Darling Point and the good old video shop she worked in Sydney is actually located on Oxford Street!
18. Mission Impossible 2
Unlike The Matrix and Superman Returns who were also shot in Sydney, Mission Impossible was actually set in Sydney, featuring The Opera House, Mrs Macquaries Chair and Argyle Street in The Rocks was featured as a scene in Seville, Spain. The famous last scene of the movie sees Tom Cruise ride a motorbike over to Bare Island located in Botany Bay near Sydney airport!
At 1:06 you’ll find a scene at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.
A couple of movies filmed outside of Sydney
Crocodile Dundee, 1986: hugely favourite Aussie movie was filmed in Queensland and Kakadu National Park in NT. Walkabout Creek Pub was an actual pub out west in Queensland!
Dead Calm, 1989: This thriller set on a yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean starring Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane was actually filmed on the Gold Coast and Hamilton Island.
Street Fighter, 1994: When Jean Claude Van Damme was in his element, the majority of this movie was surprisingly filmed around Brisbane.
Wolf Creek, 2005: The horror movie every backpacker talks about was loosely based on a true story and filmed near to Wolfe Creek Crater National Park which holds the title as the worlds second largest meteorite crater located northeast of Western Australia.
Fool’s Gold, 2008: Although it was supposed to be filmed in the Caribbean, they had to move the set location to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef due to bad weather conditions. This treasure hunt movie staring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey didn’t exactly get a good response from film critics but it’s worth a mention anyway.
Where the wild things are, 2009: This gorgeous fantastical kids movie directed by Spike Jonz was entirely shot in Australia. It showcased beautiful locations such as; Flinders, Gembrook, Little River, Mornington, Portland and Williamstown.
More recent movies filmed in Australia
Lion, 2016: Who could forget the incredibly moving true story about an Indian child adopted into an Australian family? Starring Nicole Kidman who filmed all of her scenes in Australia, filming took place between Melbourne and Tasmania as well as in Kolkata, India.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, 2017: Places such as Helensvale, Moreton Bay, Hastings Point, Maudsland, Whitsunday Islands, Lennox Headland Reserve, Southport and Mount Tamborine were used for recreating the Caribbean atmosphere.
Aquaman, 2018: Heart-throb Jason Momoa stars in this huge blockbuster which was filmed in Queensland in several locations such as; Gold Coast, Southport, Amity Point, Hastings Point and Main Beach.
Hotel Mumbai, 2019: You’ll find Australian director Anthony Maras’ debut feature called Hotel Mumbai was filmed in Australia. The movie depicts the true story of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks starring Dev Patel. The majority of the feature was filmed in South Australian studios to depict the interior of The Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
18 Hollywood movies filmed in Sydney
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