Friends Reunited in Sydney

The main reason for my trip ‘Down Under’ was to see my family but no way was it going to be exclusively about them due in part to not wanting to outstay my welcome at my sisters house. As there are no direct flights between Tokyo and Melbourne I had to transit in Sydney so I decided to catch up with a few British friends from my past now living in the New South Wales state.

On my first night I met up with Andy who I travelled with for a bit in Oz 11 years ago. Our conversation was pretty much identical to the last time I saw him which was in Stockport back in 2003! We had dinner and a few schooners of beer at a bar somewhere in The Rocks. It was a great laugh and I could so easily have stayed chatting to him all night but sadly we only had a few hours of talking b*llocks!

 

It was the turn of Bev the following night at Bondi Junction where Continue reading

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The Matrix Filming Locations

Can’t say I ever cared too much for this 1999 film but it does have some great action scenes which in some ways compensate for the “as if!” moments. Even though it doesn’t reference Sydney that is where most of it was filmed as the city’s Central Business District portrayed a generic metropolis better than most of its world city counterparts due to the lack of highly recognisable skyscrapers.

Keanu Reeves plays Neo; the computer programmer who leads a double life and is chased down by Matrix agents on 12 minutes at the Westpac Plaza (below) on 273 George Street where he works. He does try to escape from them by climbing out on to the window ledge on 16 mins before admitting defeat and giving himself up for capture.

 

The combat training featuring the distracting woman in the red dress takes place at Martin Place (above) on 57 minutes where the street meets Pitt Street. This circular fountain is Continue reading

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Even though I spent a whole year in Australia 11 years ago there were still many things that I didn’t do for various reasons usually related to money and this trip was intended to bring almost complete closure to what I wanted to do Down Under. Having been to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock for the first time my mind turned to doing something in Sydney for the first time. I set my mind on climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge and thanks to the better half of my mate Andy I even got a 25% discount which made the final price (about A$150 instead of A$200) a lot easier to swallow.

Not wanting to waste time in my day I decided to do the 9am climb which Continue reading

Mission Impossible 2 Filming Locations

M:I-2‘ as it was officially titled is probably the worst of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ films but that’s not to say that it’s bad. It’s just that John Woo’s direction of the sequel grates with me a bit because of all the ridiculous acrobatics, somersaults and slo-mo action scenes.

A lot of the movie was filmed in New South Wales (NSW), particularly in Sydney and it starts straight away with the camera panning over the Opera House (below). 

 

Next is Biocyte Pharmaceuticals which in reality is Governor Phillip Tower (below). It can be found in the north-east area of the Central Business District (CBD) at 29/1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000.

 

Argyll Street in The Rocks (below) doubles up as Continue reading

Superman Returns Filming Location

One movie to have been made in part in Sydney is ‘Superman Returns‘ (2005) and its just ahead of the hour mark (58 mins to be a bit more precise) that Superman is ‘distracted’ by an out-of-control car which was all part of the diversion plan from his nemesis Lex Luthor. Superman saves Luthor’s henchwoman Kitty Kowalski by the circular fountain (below) on Martin Place in the middle of the CBD.

 

Muriels Wedding Filming Location

One place I was interested in seeing was the church where Muriel got married in ‘Muriels Wedding‘ which admittedly is a bit sa-a-a-a-a-a-d but that is what I do. Following google’s directions on my iPad I walked there in an hour from my base in Randwick on the final day of my trip. Luckily it was nice weather although the glaring sunshine did ruin my shot of the church a bit. Its located on 53 Darling Point Road and is known as the not-so-snappy St. Mark’s Anglican Church Darling Point.

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Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is the iconic symbol of the city and perhaps even the country. I’ve still never been inside the place and to be honest I don’t really have any interest in doing so. I was more than happy to spend a lovely sunny day walking from Circular Quay to Mrs Macquaries Point and back via the Royal Botanic Gardens.

   

Unlike Melbourne I really don’t know my way around Sydney so well despite spending two weeks there at the start and two weeks at the end of my years working holiday in 2001. Obviously its a more beautiful looking city than its rival due to its harbour setting and famous landmarks but I can’t say I’m too keen on its Central Business District (CBD).

Melbourne Filming Locations

It may not have been featured as much in international movies as much as its rival Sydney but Melbourne has had its moments on the big screen albeit in lesser known productions. It was way back in 1959 that ‘On The Beach‘ was filmed in parts of Frankston including the beach seen below. Needless to say that the place looks very different but I guess I have just said that! Its first screen appearance is on 16 mins.

   

A much more famous landmark used was Melbourne’s iconic central railway station, Flinders Street Station (below) which Continue reading

Neighbours Filming Locations

For a lot of British people their images of suburban Australia life are based solely on how the residents of Ramsay Street spend their lives in ‘Neighbours‘. This soap opera has been on the air since 1986 and I saw almost all of the episodes from the first nine years before taking a five year hiatus. I haven’t seen a moment of the show since 2005 but it will always have a place in my heart.

For those wanting to know what my first ever filming locations were then Ramsay Street in fictional Erinsbrough is the answer not that my obsession with locations started till many years later. In reality the street is known as Pin Oak Court in Vermont South (Melbourne) and I first went there in March 2001 with Chris and Dave who I was travelling with at the time. I then returned to the street with Richard Richard in January 2002 as he wanted to go with someone and may have even offered to pay for my train ticket in return for accompanying him. Mind you, he did only buy me a children’s train ticket!

Just days after my nephew Eifion was born my sister Ruth and I went with him to the street for my third visit. I wasn’t really planning to go there this time but when we didn’t bother to go to the ‘Meet the Neighbours’ night as we had planned I thought I should get my ‘Neighbours’ fix by going to the street yet again.

There are only six houses in the street which are used for filming outside from time to time even though in the show the house numbers are known as 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32. These are real houses and people do live there and have to put up with people like me taking pictures and hanging around the street all the time. I lived in a similar style cul-de-sac when I was younger which was great as we could play in the street without trouble but that probably wouldn’t be possible or certainly not advisable here with all the visitors to the street. The pictures of the houses below are in the order you find them on the street going from left to right. The interiors you see on screen are not the same as in these houses and are of course all set in the Global Television studios.

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The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Filming Locations

“I have always wanted to travel to the center of Australia, climb Kings Canyon as a queen, in a full-length Gaultier sequin, heels and a tiara.”

No, they’re not my words but the ones uttered in the 1994 comedy ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ which brought this canyon to my attention many many years after its release.

After 88 mins the three drag queens begin their ascend of Kings Canyon starting off on the same steps and going on through some fairly nondescript parts before they reach the area below where there is a gap between the two rocks.

 

We then see the strange dome shaped rocks below for a brief second or two.

We then see some helicopter shots looking down at the three characters from above so I wasn’t quite able to replicate that so you’ll have to settle for the one below!