Crocodile Dundee
Film CV:
 Exotic Queensland has been the backdrop of choice for a stream of box-office smashes. Dead Calm (1989) starred “our” Nicole Kidman was filmed around the Whitsundays. plus,The Thin Red Line (1998), had scenes shot in theDaintree Rainforest, while the Darwin of Australia (2008), was actually Bowen. 

Most famous for: But the state’s unrivalled masterpiece remains the mighty Crocodile Dundee (1986), a classic love story with a comedic croc-infested twist.

Re-enact it: You can follow in the crocodile hunter’s footsteps by stopping for a cold beer in his local, Walkabout Creek Hotel, located in dusty McKinlay in remote western Queensland.

New South Wales:

Finding Nemo
Film CV:
 The location of choice for a list of Hollywood belters including Star Wars: Episodes II (2002) and Episode III (2005), Mission: Impossible I I(2000), Babe: The Gallant Pig (1995), Mad Max II (1981), Superman (2006) and The Matrix (1999).

Most famous for: Sydney can be clearly seen in The Matrix. The scene where Neo is distracted by a woman in a red dress was shot in the heart of the CBD; the fountain is in Martin Place. The second Mad Max film was largely shot in Outback NSW, on the roads around Silverton and Broken Hill and last time TNT were out there his car was still outside the Silverton Hotel. Another massively overlooked moment of movie glory. In computer-animated classicFinding Nemo(2003), little kidnapped Nemo finally embraces freedom in the Sydney Harbour.

Re-enact it: If you’re not heading out to Broken Hill any time soon, recreate the thrills of Nemo’s adventures and possibly meet Bruce the friendly shark by diving with grey nurse sharks at Maroubra Beach.

Northern Territory:

Film CV:
 Parts of Crocodile Dundee were shot in the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, on the Arnhem Highway and at Ubir in Kakadu National Park. Alice Springs has been a popular Hollywood destination for films like A Cry In The Dark (1988; called Evil Angels in Australia) and several (mostly very very bad) other movies. A famous scene in The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994, see South Australia) was shot at Kings Canyon. The Top End’s croc country was the setting for gnash-fest Rogue (2007).

Most famous for: Baz Luhrmann’s much-hyped but disappointing epic Australiawas packed with stunning scenery, if not a lot else. The story followed Nicole Kidman (again, sigh) as an uptight English aristocrat (again, sigh) left in control of a cattle station during World War II. Nic and a rough cattle drover (Hugh Jackman, aka Huge Action) undertake a massive cattle drive to Darwin. Much of it was actually filmed in WA, however, especially the spectacular Kimberley region.

Re-enact it: Aside from jumping in with the jumping crocs on Adelaide River, near Darwin (for Rogue), you can join the great Australian cattle muster tradition in a five-day Jackaroo experience. Start practising those “Yeeeehaaaas!”

South Australia:

Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
Film CV: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (that’s right, the Tina Turner one) has scenes shot in the lunar plains around Coober Pedy (as was 2000’s Pitch Black, hence the random bits of spaceship still dotting the town) and other car chase scenes about the state, while Wolf Creek (see Western Australia) has additional landscapes shot here, while Oscar-winning Shine (1996) was almost completely filmed in South Australia.

Most famous for: There’s no Aussie movie scene more iconic than Guy Pearce poised in a flowing silver frock atop a speeding bus, tearing through the dusty outback with giant metallic frills flapping towards the sky. Set mainly in SA, Priscilla tells the ridiculously flamboyant adventures of two drag queens and a transsexual driving their bus, “Priscilla”, from Sydney toAlice Springs (via Broken Hill).

Re-enact it: Retrace their epic journey on your own bus trip. Pack your feather boa, load up your iPod with Abba and Gloria Gaynor and let the campness commence.

Australian Capital Territory:

The Dish
Film CV: The ACT has done pretty good for such a small place, boasting The Castle (1997) and The Dish (2000).

Most famous for: One of the most critically and commercially successful films ever to come out of Australia, The Dish tells the comedic story of the Parkes Observatory’s crucial role in relaying the live transmission of the moon landing. Based on a true story, it shows how three Aussie technicians saved footage of the event from being lost.

Re-enact it: Pay a visit to this icon of Australian science at the Parkes Observatory and see this telescopic movie star for yourself.

Western Australia:

Wolf Creek
Film CV: Despite all the jaw-dropping scenery, the state has starred in few good films. Aussie-made Japanese Story (2003) is worth more than a glance. Starring Toni Collette, it showcases both the danger and the dreaminess of some amazing landscapes. And then there’s Wolf Creek (2005). Gulp…

Most famous for: This Outback horror story, loosely based on the murder of Peter Falconio and serial hitchhiker-killer Ivan Milat, follows three backpackers on a roadtrip from Broome. Things take a turn for the worse when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and a man appears to tow them to “safety”.

Re-enact it: We’re guessing it’s a journey you’ll want to recreate only loosely. Pick up a hire car in Broome and make the mighty roadtrip over to Wolfe Creek meteor crater, which measures 835m across and is a sight to behold. Just don’t go talking to any strangers.


Young Einstein
Film CV: Often overlooked by both tourists and film-makers, Tasmania boasts an outrageously zany movie claim to fame with off-the-wall comedy Young Einstein (1988), starring and directed by the not-at-all-serious, Yahoo Serious.

Most famous for: This intentionally inaccurate portrayal of Albert Einstein’s early years sees him growing up on a Tasmanian apple farm. It’s here in the isle’s rolling hills that he discovers rock ‘n’ roll, how to put bubbles in beer and, oh yeah, the theory of relativity.

Re-enact it: To recreate this slapstick romp, get apple picking in Tasmania’s orchards. Don’t forget to don your dungarees, back comb your hair and get beer drinking until your struck by scientific enlightenment.


Mad Max
Film CV: The state’s cinematic CV features mainly low-key local movies, with two exceptions. Haunting Peter Weir flick Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975) was based on a rocky volcanic outcrop, actually called Hanging Rock (the popular name for Mount Diogenes). Vic really pulls it out of the bag with apocalyptic action thriller, Mad Max (1979), which shot unknown Mel Gibson to overnight stardom.

Most famous for: Most of the movie’s iconic high-speed car chases were filmed in barren Outback landscape near Geelong, 50kms south west of Melbourne. 

Re-enact it: To recreate some Mad Max antics, get kitted out head-to-toe in black leather, challenge your mates to a V8 Super Car Race Day in Melbourne (where you’ll scream, “I am the night rider!” sadistically on each lap) and try to pick a fight with Tina Turner.