The F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby is the tale of a reclusive millionaire in search of a lost love and an aspiring writer trying to understand him. The book is set in suburban New York, but for the 2013 film version, eccentric director Baz Luhrmann filmed it in Sydney, Australia. This incarnation was nothing like what audiences had seen before, bringing Gatsby’s lavish parties to an entire new level. Visitors to Sydney can check out some of the places where stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan filmed as well as experience the luxury of Sydney that even Gatsby would have appreciated.
The Valley of Ashes
Photo by Newton Graffiti
The land between West Egg and the city is known as the Valley of the Ashes, a dark and undeveloped area where George and Myrtle Wilson own their garage and gas station. The Balmain area was used as a backdrop for these scenes, as was Rozelle’s White Bay Power Station, where the gas station was built for the production.
Gatsby’s Grandiose Mansion
Photo by the author
In order to capture the size and style of Gatsby’s estate, the producers used Centennial Park, at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Sydney’s Manly area, for exterior shots. It was stylized during editing and the interior party scenes were shot in studio. Among the other filming locations you can visit are the Cliffside Waverly Cemetery, where the funeral scenes were filmed, the Sydney Polo Club in Richmond, which served as the Buchanan house, the campus of the King’s School in Parramatta as young Daisy’s house and Nick’s sanatorium as Rivendell School in Concord.
Live It Up Like Gatsby
What would Gatsby do with his time in the famed Australian metropolis? The more over-the-top the better and there are plenty of places to flash your money and have an amazing adventure.
Photo by Sinead Friel
Get your photo added to the wall of fame alongside Oprah and Nicole Kidman with a twilight climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Or take a private helicopter ride above the city’s most iconic sights, like the bridge and Opera House and finish the afternoon with a proper high tea at the Queen Victoria Building.
Eating and Entertaining Rich
Photo by Giovanni Portelli
Sydney has a thriving fine dining scene, with plenty of places to see and be seen or to find privacy from the paparazzi lenses, depending on your preference. Icebergs at Bondi Beach attracts the rich and famous for the delicious food and incomparable views of the beach.
Photo by SukkhaP
Quay, which overlooks Circular Quay, is consistently rated as the best restaurant in town for its rare ingredients, presentation and price tag. Rockpool is another dining spot with many accolades sure to impress your dining companions.
Photo by matthewwu88
When the nightlife beckons, those with Gatsby’s money and reputation won’t go just anywhere. Exclusivity is key and the more difficult to get in, the better. Start at Establishment, where the young and chic go for high priced cocktails at the marble bar. From there, hit up the Ivy Pool, where Sydney’s elite mix and mingle and some even swim. If you have money to burn, you’ll need an invite to Ivy Level 6, a private membership club that costs nearly $6,000 per year. For drinks with a view, check out Opera Bar, located under the Sydney Opera House, or Blue Bar 36 on the 36th floor of the Shangri La Hotel.