The Southern Fleurieu Through the eyes of Storm Boy
See the world through Storm Boy’s eyes when you book a stay on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula – Natures slow lane.
The tale of a boy and his pelican best friend remains as touching as ever in Storm Boy, the second adaptation of Colin Thiele’s Australian children’s book of the same name. It is a beautiful movie. The scenic cinematography of the rugged coastline of South Australia’s Coorong National Park, its sand dunes, beaches and stunning sunsets all look devastatingly gorgeous on screen. However, did you know that although Storm Boy is set in the Coorong, much of the Storm Boy movie was filmed on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula, particularly in the towns of Goolwa and Port Elliot? So many of those magnificent landscapes are probably more accessible than you think. Why not take in the Storm Boy movie this weekend, then really capture the essence of this heartwarming tale, by following the footsteps of the lovable cast, all while staying in some prime Storm Boy country!
Watch the official trailer
The first ‘hero’ location where part of the movie was filmed is where the mighty Murray meets the ocean; Hindmarsh Island and surrounds, including Mundoo Island, Bakers Knoll and Godfreys Landing. Hindmarsh Island is the perfect spot to stay if you want to get the most out of your Storm Boy inspired holiday. From the Island you can:
CANOE THE COORONG – The Storm Boy Inspired Tour
Canoe the Coorong Tour offers participants an all inclusive relaxing day on the water exploring the Coorong, Murray River Mouth and Goolwa regions. The tour takes you to the location where many of the scenes from Storm Boy were shot. It cruises along at a pace that allows guests to take in the natural wonders and wildlife that the Coorong has to offer and which inspired the original Book Storm Boy written by Colin Thiele. Included in this adventure is a bush tucker walk through the sand dunes, Cockle (Pipi) catching and cooking lessons. This relaxed 6 hour experience is fully catered with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. More info…
MUNDOO ISLAND TOURS
Mundoo Island, where part of the original Storm Boy was shot, is a privately owned cattle & sheep station in the Coorong. If you’re looking for something a bit different to experience on your holiday to the Southern Fleurieu, head to Mundoo Island. Enjoy a personalised scenic tour of the operating cattle station in the heart of the Coorong country.
This is a wonderful opportunity for those nature lovers to enjoy the environment, birdlife, fishing, kayaking (available for hire), paddock picnics and Coorong vista. It is a magnificent ecotourism experience! The tours take you from Hindmarsh Island through the privately owned property across the barrages onto Mundoo and Ewe Islands. There are Historic station tours, bird watching tours and Storm Boy photographic tours available, catering to all tastes and interests. More info…
At this beautiful property located right on the Coorong with its own jetty and boat ramp, you are in the perfect position to soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the stunning Coorong.
Another town which features in the film is Goolwa. The main street of this historic town, Cadell Street, was the setting for many of the street scenes in the movie. The two boats from the original movie and the remake are still housed in the town and are available for viewing. You can also visit the Goolwa wharf precinct, Storm Boy’s home port. Go for a wander and check out the many Pelicans while you’re near the Goolwa Wharf (if you’re lucky, you might even catch them being fed by local fishermen). Then hop on board the P.S Oscar W for a cruise down the Murray River old fashioned style.
ARMFIELD SLIP WOODEN BOATS
The boat that featured in the movie, HideAway II, was beautifully restored in record time for the production, by the passionate volunteers of Armfield Slip and Boatshed in Goolwa. You can visit Armfield Slip Wooden Boats on Tuesdays and Fridays to see ‘Hideaway’ the and other interesting projects currently underway. Both the original and current Hideaway boats are now on display at Armfield Slip Wooden Boats.
P.S OSCAR W
The Oscar W is a steam driven wood fired authentic working paddle steamer which offers people the opportunity to cruise down the Murray River on this fascinating historic vessel. During the cruise you will travel downstream to the Goolwa Barrage then back under the bridge to Hindmarsh Island and travel up river a short distance before returning to the historic Goolwa Wharf.
SPIRIT OF THE COORONG CRUISES
Coorong Adventure Cruise – 6 hours
Cruise to the Goolwa Barrage, through the lock, across the Murray Mouth into the Coorong National Park. At Barkers Knoll take a guided walk through dune vegetation to a Southern Ocean beach. Lunch on board cruising into the Coorong before mooring among the sand dunes at beautiful Cattle Point. Another guided walk to visit a significant old Aboriginal midden site. Enjoy afternoon tea while cruising back to Goolwa.
Coorong Discovery Cruise – 3.5 hours
Lunch is served on board as you cruise to the Goolwa Barrage and through the lock. Continue cruising down to the Murray Mouth and into the Coorong National Park. Stop for a guided walk across the peninsula through dune vegetation to a beach on the Southern Ocean. Afternoon tea is served cruising back towards the lock at Goolwa.
Murray Mouth Cruise – 2 hours
Cruise to the Goolwa Barrage, through the lock, and down to the Murray Mouth. There is an opportunity for a short walk around the Murray Mouth before cruising back through the lock to Goolwa. No meals or drinks are included on this cruise.
We have five Goolwa holiday homes ranging from a budget two bedroom just near the wharf through to an executive property nestled in the sand dunes. You can view all our Goolwa holiday rentals on our website.
Our very own coastal town of Port Elliot was another significant filming location and was transported back to 1959 for the shoot. The Strand’s shop fronts were redecorated and vintage cars lined the streets. Some of the filming was done at the Jelly General Store and owner Brent Tamblyn and staff Freya and Georgia even scored roles as extras! Take a stroll down the Strand and revisit some of the shops from the movie, the old Schoolhouse on the corner of Frederik St and maybe stop off at arguably the best bakery on the Southern Fleurieu, Port Elliot Bakery for something deliciously tasty.
We have a lovely 3BR renovated property just a few hundred metres from The Strand (21 Rosetta Tce). You can walk from your accommodation to the location of filming in Pt Elliot and then have lunch at the Hotel Elliot! We also have another property about 10 mins walk away (1 Gregory St).
Now the most famous of all the filming locations is undoubtedly the Coorong National Park. This is where a lot of the magic happened! The film was set in the Coorong and much of the film was shot there too. However, the Coorong isn’t just famous for being the stunning backdrop of the Storm Boy movies. It is also one of Australia’s most environmentally significant areas and one of the most popular spots for tourists too. Bird watching, boating, kayaking, fishing, camping, walking, 4WDriving and cultural history are just some of the draw cards of this internationally important wetland.
If you have seen Storm Boy, you can’t help but fall in love with Mr Percival. So, when you are at the Coorong, you just have to admire all the pelicans who call it home. Although you can see pelicans all over Coorong National Park, Jack Point is the best spot to see the birds’ breeding colony. To get there, follow the Princes Highway until you reach the Jack Point turn-off. From the carpark, it’s a 10-minute walk to the bird viewing area, which overlooks a cluster of small islands where pelicans, terns and seagulls have established breeding colonies. As this is a natural habitat, the birds come and go as they please. For your best chance of seeing a large array of birds visit during spring.
Coorong National Park
The Coorong is also a favourite destination for four-wheel drivers. It runs for almost 100 kilometers and much of it is remote, so make sure you come fully-stocked with water, food and fuel. This is the best way to experience the Coorong through Storm Boy’s eyes. If you would love to go four-wheel driving but don’t own a 4WD, then you can hire one!
We have a property right near the Coorong national park, on the waterfront at noonameena. Such a fabulous spot to enjoy the wilds of the Coorong!
Storm Boy Discovery Trail
The Alexandrina Council has also put together the ‘Storm Boy Discovery Trail’ flyer which can be downloaded here. It is a quick and easy way to get the most out of your Storm Boy inspired holiday around Goolwa and the surrounding areas.
As some of you may already know, we at Pet Let won’t promote anything which may involve any form of animal cruelty, so rest assure no animals were harmed in the filming of Storm Boy. Nothing restrained the pelican birds on set, so at unexpected moments, they would fly away. They would either return fairly quickly unprompted or pelican trainer Paul Mander would use a red bucket as a visual encouragement.
“The red bucket was a very strong visual sign that they were going to get more than one fish,” explained Paul Mander. “Pelicans are very visual creatures, so, even from a long distance, the bucket was a really strong draw card to bring them back.”
Also for the film, five birds were found and reared, some of them rescuees. Since the filming of the movie was completed in September last year, Salty (Mr. Percival) and Sky, who are two of the pelican stars featured in the film, have called Adelaide Zoo, home. Adopted by the Zoo and now thriving alongside their new family of pelicans, Salty and Sky couldn’t be happier!
We acknowledge the traditional owners of Hindmarsh Island, the Coorong and surrounds, the Ngarrindjeri and pay our respects to their elders past and present.