Sydney On Location: Feature Films

When you see an Australian made movie, chances are you'll also see Sydney. Melbourne and Sydney share equal billing as the cities most used in movies when the depiction suburban Australia is required. There are just some of the movies shot in and around Sydney.

See also: Sydney Television Locations >>

The Sentimental Bloke (1919)
This Aussie classic was filmed at Woolloomooloo, Manly Beach and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

For The Term of His Natural Life (1927)
Early Australian film which used Goat Island, Sydney Heads and The Ponds Creek, Dundas for location shots. Inside and close up shots of the old convict gaol buildings on Goat Island were used to depict the Port Arthur settlement.

The Kid Stakes (1927)
Very early Australian movie shot in Centennial Park, Woolloomooloo and Potts Point.

Forty Thousand Horsemen
Classic Australian war movie in which the sand dunes at Kurnell are featured prominently, doubling as the Sinai Desert. Camden is also featured.

Bush Christmas (1947)
This early Australian feature film was shot around Newnes and the Wongan Valley.

They're A Weird Mob (1966)
This classic comedy was set in and around Kings Cross. Bondi Beach and Clark Island (Sydney Harbour) are also featured.

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (1968-70)
Waratah Park, where native Australian animals such as kangaroos, emus, koalas and wombats were once seen in close to their natural habitat is the place where the TV series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo was filmed. The studio which represented the inside of the ranger station was retained for posterity. UBD Map 135 Ref G 4

Number 96
83 Moncur Street, Woollahra is the house used for the exterior shots of the TV soap, No. 96.

Stone (1974)
Classic Aussie bikie movie in which the Middle Head forts and a stretch of the Pacific Highway north of Hornsby known as the Brooklyn Cut are easily recognisable.

The Last Wave (1977)
Director Peter Weir used the Bondi Treatment Works as a backdrop for this drama.

The FJ Holden (1977)
A movie snapshot of life in 1970s suburban Bankstown. This movie was filmed in and around Bankstown and stars Frankie J Holden and Sigrid Thornton. One of the most recognisable scenes is the Bankstown Mall Food Court.

Newsfront (1979)
The Newcastle floods scene was shot at Narrabeen Lakes. A number of Sydney locations appear in the film and include the State Theatre in George Street; Waverley Cemetery; Walsh Bay wharves.

Palm Beach (1980)
As expected, this movie is set in and was shot in and around Palm Beach.

Puberty Blues (1981)
Surf culture movie using Cronulla Beach and Sutherland as a backdrop.

Starstruck (1982)
A comedy directed by Gillian Armstrong. The Harbour View Hotel in The Rocks and the Sydney Opera House are the locations around which this film's story revolves.

Phar Lap (1983)
The story of Australia's most famous racehorse. Many outdoor scenes were shot around La Perouse. Bare Island and Centennial Park also appear in the film. The racecourse and grandstand at Towong in North Eastern Victoria were used in the filming of Phar Lap. It was here that where the gangster Squizzy Taylor once stole the takings.

Silver City (1984)
The story of the members of a Polish family living in an Australian migrate hostel. Locations include the Scheyville and Ingleburn Army camps, the Anzac Rifle Range, Central Railway Station and the old Pyrmont Wharves.

Playing Beattie Bow (1986)
Dir: Donald Crombie. Cast: Peter Phelps, Imogen Annesley, Mouche Phillips, Nikki Coghill
Playing Beattie Bow tells the story of an Australian girl who travels back in time to 19th century Sydney. This movie was shot in and around The Rocks, which is where the book on which the film is based, was set. The Argyle Cut, Argyle Stairs, Harbour Bridge approaches and Trinity (Garrison) Church are among the more recognisable locations in the movie. Beattie Bow is played by Mouche Phillips, who went on to play Viv in Home And Away.

Sweetie (1989)
The Sydney suburbs of Kurnell and Willoughby feature prominently in this Jane Campion directed drama about the dysfunctional members of a family.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)
A drama about the world of ballroom dancers by Baz Luhrmann. Petersham Town Hall, on the corner of Crystal and Frederick Streets in Petersham, had its brush with fame when some of the flamboyant dancing scenes from Strictly Ballroom were filmed in its main auditorium. L.J. Hooker building, Cnr Marrickville and Victoria Roads, Marrickville, with the hills hoist on the roof is one of Marrickville's famous landmarks. It was used for the rooftop dancing lessons scenes in the movie. The Darling Island Jctn signal box appears briefly in the movie, being used as the home of the parents of the girl who danced with Paul Mecurio. A '49' class Loco appeared briefly in front of the house. The signal box was located where the buses stop at Star City Casino today. It was demolished soon after the film was shot during the removal of the last remnants of the Darling Harbour Railway goods yard.

The Nostradamus Kid (1993)
This movie's major scenes where shot against the background of Sydney University Campus, Glebe. It was also used for the movies My Mother Frank and For Love Alone.

Careful He Might Hear You (1993)
The backdrop for scenes in this movie include North Head Quarantine Station; Centennial Park.

Muriel's Wedding (1994)
St. Marks Church, Darling Point Road, Darling Point: the church where the wedding scene was filmed. Park Avenue Bridal Boutique, Shop 306 Westfield Shopping Town, Parramatta is the bridal shop featured in the film. Ryde Hospital and the shops of Oxford Street, Darlinghurst were also used for outdoor scenes.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
The Imperial Hotel, Erskineville is featured as the point where the epic journey begins. St. Stephens Church, Newtown is also seen.

Sirens (1994)
Set in and around Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains, which is the actual location where the events depicted in the film are believed to have happened. Also featured is the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge and the Zig Zag viaduct and historic railway at Lithgow.

Vacant Possession (1995)
The story of a teenage girl who leaves home, locations include Waverley Cemetery; Captain Cook Bridge, Sans Souci; locations in and around Kurnell, Kate's house is in Challis Parade. Stars Pamela Rabe, John Stanton.

Cosi (1996)
Filmed in and around Sydney, familiar sights are the mural on the wall of the Bondi Beach Pavilion. The grounds of the Rozelle and Gladesville Psychiatric hospital.

Two Hands (1999)
Gregor Jordan's debut movie extensively features Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross and Bondi Beach.

The Matrix (1999)
Indoor scenes were shot at Fox Studios. Outdoor locations include the abandoned White Bay Power Station; Walsh Bay wharves; George Street; the skyscrapers on and around Kent Street; The Rocks and the railway lines at White Bay.

Holy Smoke (1999)
A house in Mutch Avenue, Kogarah was used extensively in this movie and was the location for much of the film's story. A movie by director Jane Campion, it tells the story of an Australian family's attempts to rescue their daughter from the attention of an Indian guru.

Angst (2000)
A comedy from first-time director Daniel Nettheim which included an extended flirting scene with Abi Tucker and Sam Lewis on the Sydney Monorail.

Looking For Alibrandi (2000)
The back yard of 15 East Street, Five Dock.

Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
Filmed at Fox Studios, Centennial Park. Outdoor locations include Bare Island; George Street, Paddington; Bradleys Head (the ampitheatre was the site of a complete house built for the movie. It was removed after shooting was completed). A flat rock area on the cliffs near the remains of the Cape Banks fortifications is where the movie's fight scenes were filmed. In the film you can catch glimpses of the Lookout Tower in the background along with the 15m high Wind Generator that was located beyond the Bunkers up until a few years ago. Also flashed on the scene is The Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botany Bay's Bare Island, the CBD

Lantana (2001)
The streets of Balmain and The Rocks (particularly Hickson Road) feature heavily in Ray Lawrence's follow-up to Bliss.

Popular Sydney movie locations

Fox Studios has been used as the indoor film studio for a variety of Australian and International feature films. They include The Matrix; Babe: Pig In The City; Mission Impossible 2; Moulin Rouge; Star Wars: Episode 2 Attack of the Clones; Down & Under; The Quiet American and the TV series, Farscape.

Balmain has been home to more than any suburb's fair share of soapy television, including E Street and Water Rats. The set of the Water Rats headquarters is situated on the eastern tip.

Sydney's Central Railway Station has appeared in many movies over the years. These include The Hayseeds; Dave & Dave Come to Town; Three In One; Caddy; Love Letters From Trialba Road; Silver City; Young Einstein.

Just as Central Railway Station has been used in many movies to depict a large city railway station, the wharves of Walsh Bay have been similarly used to depict a big city docks. They appear as such in Newsfront; Playing Beattie Bow; Babe 2 Pig In The City; The Matrix; Young Einstein; Starstruck

Waverley Cemetery has appeared in many movies where a cemetery scene is required. Movies which have utilised this cemetery include Tim; Vacant Possession; Newsfront.

Bare Island is a location that keeps cropping up in movies. These include Phar Lap; Spectre; The Boys; Mission Impossible 2.

Bondi Beach is a highly recognised icon that appears regularly in Australian movies. It can be seen in The Last Wave; They're A Weird Mob; Empty Beach.

Strickland House, Vaucluse has been used in The Road From Corrain and The Sugar Factory.

The Quarantine Station at North Head has a sufficiently foreboding air about it that it crops up regularly in films requiring such a location. These include Sundowners; Careful He Might Hear you.

Sydney's Luna Park had been a filming location for 1959's "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll", plus TV episodes of "Six O'Clock Rock" and even "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo". In more recent years, the movie "Our Lips Are Sealed" (starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), an episode of "Farscape" ("Infinite Possibilities, Part I: Daedalus Demands") and parts of "JAG" ("Boomerang"), not to mention the excellent documentary, "Spirits of the Carnival: The Quest for Fun", were filmed at the location. The Rotor attraction was also featured in the 2006 film, "Candy".
In 1976, several residents of TV's Number 96 visited Luna Park. Dorrie and Herb Evans (Pat McDonald and Ron Shand), their old pal Flo Patterson (Bunney Brooke) and a naive man-child named "Junior" Winthrop (Curt Jansen), who believed that he was Herb's secret, long lost son, ended up on the opposite side of Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Opera House. You see, Junior's planned date with opera buff girlfriend, Isobel Mainwaring (Jill McKay) - turned out to be decidedly underwhelming. So he treats his pensioner friends to a trip to Luna Park instead. Scenes of them all in Coney Island, eating fairy floss, and riding on the original wooden Big Dipper and the dizzying Topsy-Turvy House, are featured in the episode.

FJ Holden

Young Einstein


Number 96

Muriel's Wedding

Mel Gibson in Tim

Imperial Hotel, Erskineville, seen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Playing Beattie Bow

They're A Wierd Mob

Phar Lap

Elle Macpherson in Sirens

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