/News 21.05.19


Prison series are enjoying enormous success with shows like Escape at Dannemora adding to the ongoing popularity of Netflix’ Orange is the New Black.

The one element they all have in common is a killer location and if you are scouting for a crime, drama, prison or escape series or feature film, Parramatta Correctional Centre in Western Sydney should be on top of your list.

The craft of telling stories of the criminal system requires above all believable, isolated and enclosed sets where gripping human stories can take place. Parramatta Correctional Centre, which sits behind looming, seven-metre high walls along the eastern side of the upper Parramatta River in Western Sydney, is a dream come true – or maybe a nightmare come true – for any production team looking for an authentic, historic prison.

Walking through the formidable, dappled lit corridors of the facility, it’s almost impossible to believe that until 2011 this was an operating prison – in fact, it was the longest running correctional centre in Australia, with the building’s brutal history reflected in its striking architecture of sandstone, high walls, heavy metal and barbed wire.

Constructed in stages between 1835-1856, this magnificent piece of New South Wales’ heritage is one of Australia’s most important historic sites, and its design by English Royal engineer George Barney connects the location directly to Australia’s convict heritage.

 About the Location

This unique location can be utilised as an authentic prison or could equally double as a police station or hospital ward. Some of its key facilities include a prisoners’ processing centre, guard towers, visitors’ centre, medical centre, staff kitchen, outdoor phone booths, basketball courts and a sports oval – as well as indoor and outdoor prison cells, shower blocks and toilets. On the grounds there is a well-maintained sandstone church with stain glass windows. To top it off, office space is available for any production filming in the Parramatta area.

The location is owned and managed by the film-friendly Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council.

What has been filmed at Parramatta Correctional Centre?

This year, the prison has welcomed a variety of productions from student films to top-shelf dramas. Most recently, the outback thriller Wake in Fright filmed there, with other notable Australian TV productions including Home and Away, Rake, Redfern Now, Packed to The Rafters and Underbelly.  

Where can your crew stay in Parramatta?

Parramatta is located in Western Sydney, only 40 minutes from downtown Sydney. If you need to accommodate your cast and crew however, there is a large range of accommodations options in Parramatta, many only minutes from the prison.  

Why choose Parramatta Correctional Centre for your next shoot?

  • This extraordinary historic site has preserved the integrity of the working prison whilst reflecting changes in penal design across its long history
  • The site can also double as a police station, a hospital ward or clinic, and has a maintained sandstone church and other facilities on its grounds
  • The Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council is very film friendly and welcomes emerging as well as seasoned filmmakers
  • The prison site offers a vast amount of storage and onsite and street parking
  • The site can also be used as a production office during filming.

For additional Information on filming in New South Wales contact:

The Screen Destination Attraction Team

[email protected] or telephone +61 2 8289 6443

The team can assist with information on locations, technical and creative talent, studio space, post production and VFX facilities, and on all aspects of filming.

For additional images of Parramatta Correctional Centre and other Sydney and regional NSW locations please see: www.screen.nsw.gov.au/reel-scout. You can also download the Screen NSW Film Scout iPhone app for free on iTunes.