Five Films To Watch That Were Shot In South Australia

From our rolling hills to wild coastlines, it’s no surprise that South Australia has been the setting of many great films. We take a look at a handful of them, and where you can check out the filming locations for yourself.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) dir. Peter Weir

Rebooted this year as a television series, Picnic at Hanging Rock is a mystery drama that charts the disappearance of schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at… wait for it… Hanging Rock.

Despite the fact Hanging Rock itself is in Victoria, Martindale Hall near Mintaro (in the Clare Valley) was the filming location for the girls’ school. We recommend checking out the fascinating Martindale Hall, which is now a historic museum.

Storm Boy (1976) dir. Henri Safran

Based on the children’s book by Colin Thiele, Storm Boy is about a lonely young boy who raises three orphaned pelicans. A reboot of the film is set to be released next year, with Geoffrey Rush as the adult version of Storm Boy.

The film is set and was shot at the Coorong on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. If you’re in the mood to find your own Mr. Percival, there’s no shortage of pelicans!

Shine (1996) dir. Scott Hicks

In a role that earned Geoffrey Rush an Academy Award, Shine is based on the life of pianist David Helfgott. The film follows his career as an award-winning concert pianist and his struggles with mental illness.

Helfgott grew up in suburban Adelaide, so the film was shot in various places around the city. Locations include North Adelaide, the Adelaide Town Hall and the Botanic Gardens and parklands.

December Boys (2007) dir. Rod Hardy

Daniel Radcliffe’s first film foray outside of the Harry Potter series took him to South Australia. Set in 1960s Australia, the film is a coming-of-age story that follows four orphaned teenagers over the course of a Christmas holiday.

The film was primarily shot on Kangaroo Island, as well as other South Australian coastal locations. If you find yourself on Kangaroo Island, some spots you’ll recognise from the film are the Remarkable Rocks, Snug Cove and Admiral’s Arch.

The Boys Are Back (2009) dir. Scott Hicks

Another film that brought a famous British face to our shores is The Boys Are Back, with Clive Owen in the starring role as Joe Warr, a sports writer and widowed father. While some of the film is shot in the United Kingdom, the majority is filmed in and around Adelaide.

The film was shot in a variety of locations across the state, but particularly the Fleurieu Peninsula in areas like McLaren Vale, Myponga and Aldinga. As Warr is a sports writer, the film also fittingly features The Advertiser building on Waymouth Street and AAMI Stadium.


Words by Bonnie Parker

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