Surprise location where hit celebrity TV show is filmed


Faced with cold, rugged and gruelling conditions, celebrities taking part in Channel 7’s hit new show SAS Awustraliahave experienced no holiday – despite the hit show being filmed on the outskirts of a popular tourist town.

The 17 celebrities, who face the toughest physical and mental challenges of their lives, are being pushed to their limits in an “undisclosed” location in NSW.

But it turns out that the base camp and challenge location of the hit new reality show is actually in the foothills of the popular Snowy Mountains region.

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The recruits, who include former Bachelor Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins and convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby picked up filming of the hit show in Jindabyne, otherwise known as snow-lovers hideaway during Australia’s winter months.

The climate in Jindabyne, where temperatures rarely reach double digits in winter when filming took place, was the perfect location to add another element to the challenge.

“After production was shut down in New Zealand in March due to Covid 19, we looked for a location in NSW to ensure the production would go ahead considering travel restrictions,” a spokesperson from Channel 7 told news.com.au.

“We were looking for a similar climate and terrain to New Zealand. The base was located at Bobundara, which is 40 minutes from Jindabyne [20 minutes from Berridale]. The terrain is harsh and rugged, and the surrounding areas provided a variety of picturesque backdrops for tasks, including spectacular snowscapes, all within a short drive of the base.

“A secluded farm and shearing shed was converted into the remote training compound.”

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With no access to hot water or flushing toilets, and minimal bedding during -5°C overnight temperatures, contestant Ali Oetjen said the wind chill that typically fans snowfall for ski-lovers caused “physical pain” for the recruits.

“We were issued a backpack with everything we needed. No hot water, no showers, no flushing toilets. Sleep & food deprived, riddled with adrenaline, fear & exhaustion,” the former Bachelorette told Who magazine.

“The physical pain like cuts on my throat, hands all cut up, blistered feet, black & purple bruises which covered my legs and arms weren’t the worst thing. The WORST thing was the cold & calming my mind to keep going!”

Chief Instructor Ant Middleton said the terrain and freezing temperatures at the Snowy Mountains provided “brutal” conditions for the recruits.

“From ice cold lakes to beaches just two hours away, the conditions at the Snowy Mountains were brutal!,” he told news.com.au.

“We used these drastic changes in the environment to our advantage when designing the course.”

Fellow Directing Staff Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham agreed, saying the picturesque Snowy Mountains was the perfect challenge in every way.

“The scenery was second to none and the ground allowed some of the most brutal challenges over hills and through water including above and below the snow line,” he said.

“Freezing temperatures ALL the time with no respite, being wet with the chill winds made it so much worse. -5 to 8 degrees!”

Each recruit is issued a Bergen, which is essentially a backpack containing every item recruits need to survive their stay in Australia’s wilderness.

From a helmet, chest harness, sleeping mat, tarp, towel, water bottle, knife, mess kit, mug, toilet roll, sanitising wipes, sunglasses and even a head torch, each recruit is issued a bed which is a simple camp cot with one sleeping bag and an army blanket to keep warm during subzero temperatures.

With local water temperatures hitting just 4°C on average, the actual filming location is on an isolated sheep station on the outskirts of Berridale in the Snowy Mountains of NSW, according to Channel 7, with the crew staying locally in Jindabyne while filming. It is understood the show’s base camp was erected for the show.

Jindabyne is the closest town to the ski fields of Perisher and Thredbo, and in the months the show was filmed (July-August) the region is typically filled with school holiday-makers on skiing holidays.

Despite the family-friendly appeal, Jindabyne is a very up market place and is much more expensive than the other towns like Berridale (near to where the base camp was actually built) or Cooma.

Berridale, while a popular hub for skiers in winter, is also a popular summer base, being close to Lake Jindabyne and Lake Eucumbene and the magnificent landscapes of the Monaro Region for swimming and hiking.

SAS Australia continues Monday & Tuesday 7.30pm on Channel 7.



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