So, how come they’re filming this in Bowen?

Sunday, 3 June 2007


Parts of the following entry may be based on hearsay or on inaccurate recollections of conversations over a period of twenty-three years where alcohol may or may not have been consumed.

The standard version of the Baz Comes To Bowen story is pretty straightforward. It goes something like this:


In the course of his travels around Australia in search of a wharf that could be used in some sequences of the film, Baz Luhrmann visited Bowen, and, in the process of buying lunch became interested in the historical photographs on the wall of Jochheim’s Pie Shop. Following a conversation with Merle Jochheim, a descendant of Captain Sinclair, who discovered Port Denison, Baz was sufficiently interested to conduct a further investigation  and eventually decided to use the area around the Bowen Jetty to shoot a substantial part of the movie.

Anyone who wanted to go into a little more detail might possibly consider the role of Bowen’s high-profile and media-savvy Mayor, Mike Brunker, in the process.

When the movie Volunteers were called together for an orientation session, we were told that the set was the largest outdoor on-location set ever used in Australia, and obviously the size of the set that could be built at the Front Beach was a major consideration in the decision to film Australia here in Bowen.

There’s about three hectares on the site, and, as I’ve previously mentioned, one of the most common questions from out-of-town visitors during the first week of filming has been What was there before?

Which brings us to the infamous Hole In The Ground

Quite simply, as far as I can see, if there had been any sort of major construction on the site, the movie would not have been filmed in Bowen at all.


© Ian L Hughes 2021