Scrublands: Exploring All Filming Locations of the Show

One young Priest. Five Shots. Five Kills. Directed by Greg McLean, Stan Original’s ‘Scrublands’ revolves around a mass shooting that shook the small country town of Riversend in rural Victoria, Australia, a year prior. Presently, investigative journalist Martin Scarsden digs to find the truth behind that massacre that took the lives of five parishioners. However, no resident of the town wants to talk about it. But why? The 4-part mystery series is based on Chris Hammer’s 2018 award-winning novel of the same name.

Premiered in 2023, the ‘Scrublands’ cast includes Luke Arnold as Martin Scarsden. Arnold is known for portraying John Silver in the historical adventure series ‘Black Sails.’ Jay Ryan, of the Australian soap opera ‘Neighbours’ and ‘It Chapter Two’ fame, plays the role of priest Byron Swift. Alongside Arnold and Ryan, the cast includes Bella Heathcote, Adam Zwar, and Victoria Thaine. The show’s rural setting, which adds to the plot, can make many want to discover the locations where the series is filmed.

Scrublands Filming Locations

While the novel is set in New South Wales, the series is set in Victoria, where the filming takes place, mainly in Maldon, Castlemaine, and Melbourne. Effort was taken to find locations to help provide a rustic tone to the story. Production of season 1 began in February 2023 and wrapped up the same year. For the filming of the second season, which took place in 2024, the cast and crew settled with Western Australia as the shooting site.

Victoria, Australia

Maldon was established in 1853 during the gold rush era. It is located around 85 miles from Melbourne and is known for its 19th-century architecture, including buildings, railways, museums, and gold mining signs that remind of the bygone era. Richard Roxburgh’s highly acclaimed 2007 film ‘Romulus, My Father,’ set in the 1950s, was shot in Maldon too. St Brigit’s Catholic Church on Chapel Street opened in 1891, serves as St. James Catholic Church in Riversend. The Maldon Hospital serves as The Riversend Hospital, The Book Wolf bookstore is used as Oasis Bookshop & Cafe, the shop run by Mandy Bond (Heathcote).

Production also occurs in Maldon’s High Street, Robert Cox Motors, and other locations along the Loddon River. The dry salt lake seen at the show’s beginning is in Towan Plains Nature Conservation Reserve, approximately 26 kilometers west of Nyah West. The Gisborne Motel is used as The Black Dog Motel in Gisborne, around 50 kilometers northwest of Melbourne. The character Harley Reagan’s Springfields estate is in Baringhup. An abandoned railway bridge over Joyces Creek in Newstead is also used.

The team also took to other locations like Little River, Mount Rothwell, Newport, and Truganina to broaden the terrain. Each of these locations allowed them to diversify their backgrounds and establish the setting better.  Little River, close to Mount Rothwell, has an aboriginal history. It is also home to the Mount Rothwell Homestead, a heritage site. Newport is a Melbourne suburb that boasts diverse ethnic groups. Truganina is supposedly named after the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian woman who visited the place. Such connections add to the fabric of the story’s setting.

Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, is famous for the Melbourne Cricket Ground, aka the MCG, Arts Centre Melbourne, and the Eureka Tower, which boasts the highest observation deck in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Castlemaine, a primary gold rush town, is famous for the Castlemaine Town Hall, the Imperial Hotel, the Castlemaine Art Museum, the Castlemaine Market building, and the Castlemaine State Festival, one of the state’s most popular arts events. Castlemaine and Melbourne were also chosen for various scenes across the first season, especially the Goldfields region. The production team opted for heritage buildings and wide streets in the area.

Read More: Scrublands: Is the Show Inspired by True Events?