A guide to the Queensland filming locations of Ticket to Paradise

idyllic queensland beach location

Academy Award winners George Clooney (David) and Julia Roberts (Georgia) reunite on the big screen for Ticket To Paradise as exes who find themselves on a shared mission to stop their lovestruck daughter from making the same mistake they once made. Cue epic backdrops filled with Balinese beach bars, romantic waterfalls and forest bathing in Ubud, downtown street bazaars, plus endless blue ocean vistas peppered with luxe resorts.

That’s the hype reel. The real hype, and the biggest surprise for movie fans, is that Ticket To Paradise was filmed on location in Queensland, Australia. The movie is peppered with Whitsunday Island panoramas, lush rainforests in the Gold Coast hinterland, and secret beaches off Brisbane.

Here are some our favourite scenes straight from the movie reel, with the real locations to help you design your own Ticket To Paradise.

Reel: pre-wedding icebreaker in Bali

Real: destination wedding at Hamilton Island

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Are you planning a wedding (or elopement) of your own? Say hello to one of the most popular residents of the Whitsundays region, Hamilton Island Resort. The island played backdrop to a number of scenes in the movie, including the famous pre-wedding party around the Bougainvillea Pool and an impromptu soccer match at Catseye Beach.

With natural wonders as abundant as its accommodation offerings, plus its own picture-perfect chapel, this tropical haven continues to tempt leisure and wedding travellers in their droves. But there is more than one island in the Whitsundays. There are 74 of them, and accommodation to suit budgets great and small.

Read: Five romantic movie locations

Reel: arriving on Bali by boat

Real: escaping to Katie’s Cove, Haslewood Island in the Whitsundays

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Katie’s Cove may be a secret spot on the northern tip of Haslewood Island in Queensland’s Whitsundays, but this arc of brilliant white sand is no stranger to Hollywood with the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 also using it as a quintessential beach backdrop.

Located opposite its more famous big sister, Whitehaven Beach, (incidentally named TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Best Beach in the World 2021), Katie’s Cove was the backdrop for a classic scene in Ticket To Paradise where David and Georgia reunite with their daughter Lily in Bali.

Create your own Hollywood style experience in the Whitsunday Islands – and charter a yacht or take an ocean rafting day drip from nearby Airlie Beach to experience this little piece of paradise.

Reel: jungle trekking in Ubud

Real: hiking to Curtis Falls, Mount Tamborine National Park

Photo credit: Paul Giggle Tourism and Events Queensland

Sure, Ubud has its mysterious green panoramas that are hard to beat, but in Queensland there are plenty of comparable alternatives. Take a scenic drive along the heavily forested winding roads from the sky-high towers of the Gold Coast to the crest of Tamborine Mountain. Here you can find vineyards, walk along cooling trails, hang glide off the side of the hill, or mosey through the pretty art and curio shops on Gallery Walk.

In Ticket to Paradise, Georgia and David are whisked off to the edge of the Indonesian jungle for their daughter’s impending wedding celebrations. The scene was filmed on a private property just off the Gallery Walk tourist precinct not far from the stunning Curtis Falls. Keen to know more? Pack an overnight bag and make a weekend of it; check out this 48-hour guide to Tamborine Mountain.

Photo credit: Paul Giggle Tourism and Events Queensland

Read: Great Queensland getaways give couples food for thought

Reel: swimming with wild dolphins

Real: hand-feeding dolphins at Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island

It’s one of the most memorable scenes from the movie, but if you really want a one-of-a-kind experience with dolphins in the wild, then Tangalooma Island Resort off the coast of Brisbane is the place to head. Since 1992, Tangalooma has notched up global acclaim for its nightly dolphin feeding of about 10 wild bottlenose dolphins that pop up near the jetty in front of the resort at sunset.

Guests who sign up for the experience can wade into the water to hand-feed the dolphins, while a dedicated team of eco rangers educate guests and ensure best-practice management for the feeding. (Incidentally, Tangalooma Island Resort played backdrop to some of the most glorious wedding sunsets featured in the movie, while all the in-water scenes were filmed just south of the resort at Lucinda Bay on the stunning western beaches of Moreton Island).

Reel: working at an Art Gallery in Los Angeles

Real: cruising through the HOTA Gallery at Bundall, Gold Coast

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Using a little artistic licence, the Los Angeles Art Gallery scene with Georgia was captured at HOTA, Home of the Arts at Queensland’s Gold Coast. Opened in 2021, HOTA is noted for live performances, lakeside strolls, stargazing, cinema watching, art and new ideas.

Keep your eyes peeled for special concerts at the jumbo outdoor stage that hosts live events for up to 5000 people, or just head there any day to relax and connect with the world from the fifth level bar. Discover art – indoors and out. HOTA is the kind of place where art meets life.

Reel: staying with your ex at a Balinese resort surrounded by island vistas

Real: chilling at qualia, possibly the most luxurious resort in Australia

Photo credit: Sharyn Cairns

Offering 60 individual pavilions, qualia’s secluded yet central location on Hamilton Island means guests can relax in the privacy of their own villa on a breathtaking promontory overlooking the Whitsunday Passage. Since its inception in 2007, qualia has won dozens of accolades for consistently setting the benchmark in understated elegance and exceeding guest expectations.

A handful of scenes in Ticket to Paradise were filmed at qualia, including the long pavilion, which is featured in a scene where David is lamenting life, Spa qualia and the resort’s own Beach House. This exclusive hideaway offers jaw-dropping views of the Whitsundays Coincidentally, the two main stars of the movie stayed in private holiday homes just footsteps from qualia during the filming process. One of these was the grand waterfront haven Aquila.

Photo credit: Sharyn Cairns

Read: Unexpected rainforest experiences in North Queensland

Reel: standing on the cliffs of ‘Bali’ watching a boat float away

Real: playing a round of golf on Dent Island near Hamilton Island

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

According to at least one avid golfer, the floating boat scene is thought to have been filmed near the 16th hole of the Hamilton Island Golf Club at Dent Island. Designed by five time British Open champion Peter Thomson, this 18-hole championship golf course is touted as Australia’s answer to Pebble Beach. It offers 360-degree views of the Whitsunday Passage and ruggedly beautiful fairways. The spectacular escarpments and endless views create a captivating backdrop for the scene. Meanwhile, the Club House at Dent Island was reputed to be a favourite lunch venue for the lead star.

So there you have it. The reel verses the real. Both are easily obtainable.

Don’t miss George Clooney and Julia Roberts in the ultimate feel-good movie of the year. Ticket to Paradise, showing now and only in cinemas. For more inspiration to book an air ticket and plan a getaway to Queensland, check out the trailer and discover Queensland’s laid-back, natural beauty for yourself.

Have you watched Ticket to Paradise? Did you know it was filmed in Queensland? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Shelley Winkel

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