News 23.02.22

LOCATION SPOTLIGHT: WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S GOLDFIELDS-ESPERANCE REGION



From acclaimed drama series, Mystery Road: Origin to groundbreaking Indigenous documentary series Our Law, two seasons of Aussie Gold Hunters, Tim Minchin’s comedy series, Upright and the upcoming Outback Car Hunters, the Goldfields-Esperance region is well and truly becoming a sought-after filming destination.

The Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission (GEDC) and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder have been pulling out all the stops to secure Film Friendly accreditation with Screenwest, an initiative designed to smooth the path for incoming filmmakers and provide a range of resources to attract and support filmmakers to shoot in regional Western Australia (WA), alongside the State Government’s AU$16 million WA Screen Fund.

Goldfields-Esperance. Photos by Ian Brodie.
Cast and crew on-set of Our Law, Warakurna WA. Courtesy of Periscope Pictures & Pink Pepper.

Last year, the GEDC commissioned film tourism expert, Ian Brodie, to produce two Film Friendly publications, Imagine That and On Location to welcome filmmakers to the region and to assist their production planning.

Imagine That provides a visual journey through the region from Hopetoun to Esperance and into the Goldfields, highlighting iconic sites and locations for a variety of production types. This filming location guide also has local weather information, key contacts and first points of call for site selection and production.

Image 1: Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park. Courtesy of Tourism WA. Images 2 & 3: Ian Brodie.

On-Location provides a snapshot of the many film, series and documentary productions filmed across the region, complete with testimonials from cast and crew.

Located within a day’s drive of WA’s capital Perth, the sunny Goldfields-Esperance is located in the south-eastern corner of Western Australia and is the largest region in the state with a land area of 771,276 square kilometres. The region is three times the size of the state of Victoria and just under a third of Western Australia’s total landmass.

Aerial view of Lake Hillier, Middle Island near Esperance. Courtesy of Tourism WA
Image 1: Malcom Dam, near Leonora. Courtesy of Tourism WA. Image 2: Credit Ian Brodie

Anchored by the Goldfields city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the coastal town of Esperance, the expansive, geographically diverse region features a multitude of accessible locations, from vast salt lakes, rugged mountains, pristine beaches, dusty outback towns and one of the biggest open cut mines in the world.

1. Photo by Ian Brodie. 2. The Super Pit, Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Courtesy of Tourism WA
Twilight Cove, along the Great Ocean Drive. Courtesy of Tourism WA

The beaches around Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park have been consistently voted the best in Australia. With powdery white sand and crystal blue water, the coastal area could easily substitute for the beaches of the Caribbean, Greek Islands, or the South Pacific. Esperance, which is nestled in an archipelago of over 100 islands, has recently been featured in the Tim Winton adaptation, Dirt Music, and in an ABC iview documentary about one of its locals, Jaimen Hudson: From Sky to Sea.

Jaimen Hudson on Wharton Beach WA. Courtesy of Sea Dog TV International.

The region’s largest city, Kalgoorlie-Boulder was established during the Western Australian gold rush of the 1800s and has some of the best-preserved early 20th-century architecture in Australia. Grand, Federation-style town halls and heritage-listed hotels line-wide main streets, offering an uncanny ability to be used as locations worldwide.

Image of Town Hall: Menzies Town Hall, Menzies. Courtesy of Tourism WA. Other Images: Ian Brodie
Lake Ballard. Photo by Tim Campbell Photo.

The city and its surrounds have recently been home to several productions including two for Foxtel: factual series Aussie Gold Hunters and comedy-drama Upright, starring Tim Minchin.

“I loved shooting in Kalgoorlie for the first time on Upright, such a unique looking town. I don’t think there’s anywhere quite like it in the country. The broad verandahs in the Main Street, beautiful old heritage buildings, and the most extraordinarily large hole in the ground. WA does epic landscape so well.”

Katie Milwright ACS, Upright Director of Photography

A third season of successful drama series Mystery Road, titled Mystery Road: Origin wrapped filming in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in December and is set to hit screens later this year on ABC TV and iview.

Mark Coles Smith as Young Jay in Mystery Road Origin. Photography by Tyson Perkins

“The landscape is astounding with its red gums and red desert dirt – it’s perfect for a Western, like Mystery Road. The grandeur of the past, reflected in the incredible buildings of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, provides a perfect setting for our mystery drama. We are excited to be working here and the community has generously embraced us. We can’t wait to share this special place with the world.”

Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey, Mystery Road: Origin Producers

Download the GEDC’s film guides here.

Western Australian Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda) and grass tree (Balga), Cape Le Grand National Park. Courtesy of Tourism WA.

To find out how you can film in the incredible Goldfields-Esperance region with the assistance of the Western Australian Regional Film Fund and for more information and resources to help you bring your production to Western Australia, visit Screenwest or contact:

Production Attraction & Services
E: [email protected]
T: +61 8 6169 2100

Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission
E: [email protected]
T: +61 8 9080 5000 (Kalgoorlie-Boulder) / +61 8 9083 2222 (Esperance)