Need ideas for a summer road trip? Look into your favourite movies for inspiration. You’ll definitely fill up your itinerary because many movies used Australia’s gorgeous East Coast as their backdrops. Check out our list below and see up close some of the region’s most beautiful filming locations.
Sydney CBD, NSW (The Matrix)
Ever wonder what Chicago would look like in the distant future? Check out Sydney’s shots in The Matrix. Take a closer look at some of the scenes, and you’ll recognise some of the landmarks. Did you know that the crew shot the entire fictional metropolis, aka Mega City, at Sydney’s CBD? Make sure to visit AWA Tower if your favourite scene was the helicopter/rooftop rescue scene. Check out other local establishments and landmarks such as the Adams St. Bridge. Remember the scene where Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) talked about betraying Neo (Keannu Reeves)? The backdrop was actually the now closed Forty One Restaurant.
TIP: Recreate some of the scenes from The Matrix as you stroll along the Sydney streets. Enjoy the magnificent view from the Sydney Tower. Grab a bite at any of the cafes located on top for an unforgettable holiday.
International College of Management, Manly, NSW (The Great Gatsby)
Drive down to NSW’s International College of Management in Manly if you’re a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Marvel at the building’s gorgeous Gothic architecture with hints of Spanish style. See Gatsby’s mansion up close, and imagine yourself that you’re in New York City during the roaring 1920s. Drop by Botany Bay, which served as the beach just below Gatsby’s mansion. Drive by the White Bay power station in Rozelle, aka the Valley of Ashes.
TIP: Head down to Botany Bay for an afternoon picnic once you’ve had your fill of the other locations. Enjoy a relaxing day and take plenty of amazing pictures with beautiful Manly as the backdrop.
Great Barrier Reef, QLD (Fool’s Gold)
Swim in clear, azure waters and walk along breathtaking coastlines at the Great Barrier Reef. The movie Fool’s Gold featured this natural wonder as the starring couple looked for lost treasure from a Spanish galleon. Watch the movie (again) until you’ve had enough of Matthew McConaughey’s and Kate Hudson’s perfectly sculpted abs. Then tick off the amazing scenes at the movie as you check out their locations up close.
TIP: Book a snorkeling tour and see why the Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Site. See a completely new world as you look down at the largest coral system on earth. Swim the afternoon away, or work on your tan at any of the nearby beaches.
Bushrangers Bay, VIC (Where the Wild Things Are)
Immerse yourself into the magical world from Where the Wild Things Are at Victoria’s Bushrangers Bay. The production crew spent 18 months looking for the perfect shooting location, with Thailand, Ireland, and New Zealand as some of the top choices. In the end, the location scouts chose Victoria’s mesmerising landscape, wide grasslands, and lush forests. Follow Max’s footsteps as you explore the lush greeneries and the scenic bay views.
TIP: Get some fresh air and trek across the idyllic hills and forests. Walk down the path until you reach the rocky shores of the bay. Stop and watch the waves pound on the shores—it’s the perfect remedy for a stressful week.
Make sure your phones or cameras are fully charged. You won’t run out of gorgeous shots to capture at any of these locations. You also won’t run out of things to do since many of these are popular tourist spots. Don’t forget to book a cheap car rental so you can easily travel to these different locations on your next road trip.