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Where Was The Original Mad Max Filmed? All Filming Locations Explained – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Where Was The Original Mad Max Filmed? All Filming Locations Explained



Mad Max stands as a highly influential action film that has left an indelible mark on the history of cinema. Director George Miller and his team took advantage of the stunning state of Victoria, Australia to create a truly unforgettable experience. In 1979, Miller made his directorial debut with Mad Max, a dystopian action film that introduced audiences to the iconic character of Max Rockatansky, played by Mel Gibson. Max is an officer of the Main Force Patrol (MFP), and his journey captivated audiences, leading to a movie saga that includes two sequels, a reboot, and a spin-off centered around the character Imperator Furiosa, aptly titled Angry.

Mad Max takes viewers to a dystopian Australia on the brink of collapse, plagued by a shortage of oil and rampant ecocide. When a motorcycle gang led by the ruthless Toecutter arrives, chaos ensues as they vandalize property, steal fuel, and terrorize residents. Max and his team do their best to stop them, but when the gang makes it personal, Max embarks on a mission driven by rage, earning him the title of “Mad Max”. Despite its modest budget, Miller and his team made the most of their resources, filming in various locations across Australia, many of which can still be visited by fans of the film.

The scene depicting Toecutter’s arrival was filmed in Clunes, a town located in Victoria, Australia. Clunes holds historical significance as the site of Victoria’s first registered gold discovery in 1850, sparking a gold rush. While it may be described as a quiet town, Clunes attracts significant tourism through events such as the Clunes Booktown Festival, which began in 2007. The town has been featured in other films, including Ned Kelly, but it is most renowned as the setting of Mad Max.

Toecutter and his gang waste no time wreaking havoc in Clunes. After parking their bikes, they proceed to steal, vandalize, and intimidate the townspeople. However, one of their most heinous acts occurs near the Clunes railway station, where they sexually assault a young couple and destroy their car. The Clunes railway station, situated on the Mildura line, opened in 1874, closed in 1993, and was reopened in 2011. While it has undergone refurbishment since its appearance in Mad Max, the station remains functional and can be visited by fans of the film.

Max’s family home, where he resides with his wife Jessie and their son Sprog, is located in Fairhaven, a coastal locality in the Surf Coast Shire of Victoria, Australia. Fairhaven is a popular vacation spot and a paradise for surfers, boasting Fairhaven Beach, the longest beach along the Great Ocean Road. Max’s house provides a stark contrast to the apocalyptic world outside, offering a glimpse of normalcy and tranquility amidst the chaos caused by Toecutter and his gang. Although the house has undergone extensive renovations since its appearance in the film and is now known as Max’s Beach House, visitors can only admire its exterior.

After the tragic death of Max’s colleague, Jim “Goose” Rains, Max contemplates resigning from the MFP. He embarks on a trip with Jessie and Sprog in their panel van, stopping at Avalon Beach to fix a flat tire. It is there that Jessie takes Sprog to get some ice cream, only to be found by Toecutter and his gang. Fortunately, Jessie manages to defend herself and escape with Sprog. The scene was filmed at the eastern end of Avalon Beach, although the ice cream shop no longer exists. Travelers interested in visiting this area can make their way to Werribee from Melbourne and then follow the coastal route to Avalon Beach.

In a pivotal moment, Max’s world is shattered when Toecutter and his gang run over Jessie and Sprog, resulting in Sprog’s death and Jessie falling into a coma. This tragedy ignites Max’s thirst for revenge and propels him back into action, but first, he must retrieve his gear and car. The scene where Max acquires his Pursuit Special was filmed at the South Lawn car park of the University of Melbourne. Designed by Jan van der Molen and built in 1971-1972, the car park remains open to visitors.

Mad Max concludes with Max exacting his revenge on Toecutter’s protégé, Johnny the Boy. Max handcuffs Johnny’s ankle to an overturned vehicle, creating a crude time-delay fuse with leaking petroleum and Johnny’s lighter. Max drives away as the vehicle explodes, leaving Johnny with no escape. The final scene, featuring Max driving off into the distance, was shot at Emu Creek Bridge in Victoria, Australia. This location perfectly encapsulates the desolate, apocalyptic world of Mad Max, cementing its place in cinematic history.

Mad Max is one of the most influential action movies in film history, and director George Miller and his team seized the state of Victoria, Australia, to make Mad Max truly memorable. Back in 1979, George Miller made his feature-length directorial debut with Mad Maxa dystopian action film that introduced the audience to Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), an officer of the Main Force Patrol (MFP). Mad Max’s success made way for a movie saga, with two sequels, a reboot, and a spin-off focused on the character Imperator Furiosa, simply titled Angry.



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Mad Max took the audience to a dystopian Australia facing a breakdown of civil order due to widespread oil shortages and ecocide. When a motorbike gang led by Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) arrives to create chaos by vandalizing property, stealing fuel, and terrorizing the residents, Max and company do what they can to stop them. However, when it gets personal, Max goes after them driven by rage, earning the title of “Mad Max”. Mad Max had a small budget, but Miller and his team made the best out of it and shot the movie in different parts of Australia, of which many can still be visited by fans of the movie – and here are all the filming locations of the original Mad Max.

Related: How The Original Mad Max Made Box Office History



Toecutter’s Arrival Was Shot In Clunes, Australia

Mad Max 1979 Toecutter gang arrives

Conflict in Mad Max is unleashed after the death of one of Toecutter’s gang members. Crawford “Nightrider” Montazano killed a rookie officer of the MFP and escaped with his girlfriend in the dead officer’s Pursuit Special. Nightrider eluded the MFP until Max broke his focus and steered him into a roadblock, resulting in a fiery crash that killed Nightrider and his companion. Sometime later, the rest of the gang arrived in town, ready to create chaos and panic among residents.

The scene of the arrival of Toecutter and company was shot in Clunes, a town in Victoria, Australia. Clunes is home to Victoria’s first registered gold discovery by William Campbell in 1850, which triggered a gold rush. Although Clunes is described as a quiet town, the annual Clunes Booktown Festival, which began in 2007, has been drawing significant tourism. Clunes has made an appearance in other movies, such as Ned Kellybut it’s best known for being the town Mad Max is set in.

Toecutter Destroys A Car Near The Clunes Railway Station

Mad Max railway station scene

Toecutter and his gang wasted no time terrorizing the town. Right after parking their bikes, Toecutter and company began stealing stuff, vandalizing different places, and intimidating the town’s residents, but one of their worst crimes took place after visiting a railway station. The gang was taken to the station to collect the remains of Nightrider’s body, and when a young couple tried to escape, the gang went after them, destroyed the car, and sexually assaulted the young pair.

This sequence took place at the Clunes railway station, located on the Mildura line. The Clunes railway station opened in 1874 and closed in 1993, but was reopened in 2011. The Clunes Railway Station has undergone refurbishment since its appearance in Mad Max in the late 1970s, but it’s still functioning and can be visited by fans of the movie.

Max’s House Is Located In Great Ocean Road, Australia

Mad Max Beach House 1979

Max was not just an officer of the MFP, but he was also a family man. Max lived with his wife, Jessie (Joanne Samuel), and their son, “Sprog”, in a shack that was far from the tough image Max gave while working. Max’s house was a lot more lively than the apocalyptic, dystopian world outside, giving an interesting contrast between the different and most important parts of Max’s life: his family and his career. Max’s house also had an excellent view of the ocean, giving the character and his family some peace amidst the chaos Toecutter and more caused in town.

Max’s family home is located in Fairhaven, a coastal locality in the Surf Coast Shire in Victoria, Australia. Fairhaven is a popular holiday and surfing destination, and it adjoins Fairhaven Beach, the longest beach on the Great Ocean Road. The once simple shack that served as the home of Max’s family went through extensive renovations in 2000 when it was sold, and unsurprisingly, it’s known as Max’s Beach House. However, fans of Mad Max can’t take a look around the house, so they can only get a glimpse of the exterior. In order to get to Max’s Beach House, fans can go on a road trip along Port Phillip or fly into Melbourne Airport, which is approx. 83 miles away from Fairhaven.

Jessie Buys Ice Cream In Avalon Beach, Australia

Mad Max 1979 ice cream scene

After Max’s colleague, Jim “Goose” Rains, was burned alive by Toecutter and his crew, Max was convinced by Captain Fred “Fifi” Macaffee to take some time off before making his final decision about resigning from the MFP. Max, Jessie, and Sprog went on a trip in their panel van, and when they stopped to fix the spare tire, Jessie took Sprog to get ice cream. Unfortunately, they were found by Toecutter and his gang, but luckily, Jessie defended herself and was able to escape from the gang with a crying Sprog.

The scene where Jessie and Sprog buy ice cream was shot at the eastern end of Avalon Beach in Victoria, Australia, but the ice cream shop is no longer around. The store is now a private residence, though the area is said to still be quite similar to how it was in the late 1970s. Those interested in visiting this area can get to it by traveling to Werribee from Melbourne and taking a coastal route toward Avalon Beach.

Max Takes His Gear & Car in The University Of Melbourne’s South Lawn Car Park

Mad Max 1979 garage scene

Unfortunately, while trying to escape from Toecutter and the gang, Jessie and Sprog were run over, with Sprog dying instantly, while a comatose Jessie was taken to the hospital. This is the event that made Max channel all his fury into his revenge against Toecutter and the gang, throwing him back into action – and for that, he needed his gear and car. The scene where Max takes his Pursuit Special (without permission) was shot at the South Lawn car park, the parking garage at the University of Melbourne, built in 1971-1972 and designed by Jan van der Molen. The car park is open to visitors.

Mad Max’s Ending Was Shot At Emu Creek Bridge in Australia

Mad Max 1979 final scene

Mad Max ends with Max finding Toecutter’s protégé, Johnny the Boy, stealing boots from a dead motorist. Max handcuffed Johnny’s ankle to the overturned vehicle of the motorist and created a crude time-delay fuse with leaking petroleum and Johnny’s lighter. Max gave Johnny a hacksaw to either cut through the handcuffs or his ankle, but as he drove away, the vehicle exploded, leaving Johnny with no way out. The final scene of Max driving away was shot at Emu Creek Bridge in Victoria, Australia. This was the perfect setting for Mad Max’s apocalyptic world, being key in giving the final scene that sense of a desolate future that made it so memorable.

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