Where is SAS: Australia filmed? Inside the surprising location

Freezing temperatures and a bleak atmosphere make GREAT television.

By Tina Burke
If you thought Australian Survivor looked tough, military-style reality show SAS: Australia will be a shock to the system.
As the harrowing reality TV show returns for a second season, 18 celebrities are set to face the toughest physical and mental challenges of their lives while deep in the Aussie wilderness.
The recruits, who include former Neighbours star Bonnie Anderson and ironman Jett Kenny, will say goodbye to their creature comforts and be pushed to their limits by a team of elite ex-Special Forces soldiers.
But where is the mystery "undisclosed" location where the recruits will be put to the test?
In 2020 the show was initially due to film in Queenstown, New Zealand, but made the move to snowy Jindabyne in NSW when filming resumed in July/August due to the pandemic.
This year, the show was filmed in the Capertee Valley near the Blue Mountains - with production making a change following last year's freezing conditions in the Snowy Mountains.
"This year's location is more isolated. It's so vast, so open, so mountainous, that recruits think to themselves 'there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide'. And that can be a very intimidating place to be," Chief Instructor Ant Middleton revealed.
The 2021 SAS camp is based in Capertee Valley. Image: Channel Seven
Conditions on the set of SAS: Australia are not for the faint-hearted - as the new contestants are sure to find out.
Temperatures ranged between 1-23°C during filming, with the recruits stationed in a remote lot in the valley. And the conditions were not ideal, with more than 345 mouse traps being used at Base during the 14-day shoot, which took place during the mouse plague of 2021.
The recruits sleep on camp cots with one sleeping bag and an army blanket, and in 2021 their rest was made difficult by mice nibbling on their feet! Averaging just four and a half hours of rest per night, the contestants faced a harsh reality during the shoot.
No personal items are allowed, but the recruits are given a "house on your back", also known as a Bergen, that contains every item they need.
This includes a helmet, chest harness, sleeping mat, tarp, towel, water bottle, knife, mess kit, mug, toilet roll, sanitising wipes, sunglasses, head torch, notebook, pencil, toothpaste, toothbrush, belt, armband, whistle, watch, sleeping bag, compass and two sets of kit (clothing).
There's zero-comfort to be found here! Image: Channel Seven
One of the season one recruits, Ali Oetjen, revealed exactly what it was like filming the intense series.
"We didn't take anything in apart from the clothes we were wearing. We were issued a backpack with everything we needed. No hot water, no showers, no flushing toilets. Sleep and food deprived, riddled with adrenaline, fear & exhaustion," the former Bachelorette explained.
"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 and calming my mind to keep going!"
"Freezing temperatures ALL the time with no respite, being wet with the chill winds made it so much worse."
The recruits are each given the same set of supplies. Image: Channel Seven
The recruits are under the eye of the directing staff (DS) led by the formidable Ant Middleton who admits he doesn't feel sorry for any of the recruits.
"I don't care if recruits pass the course – I am not there to be friends with anyone," he revealed in an official statement.
"I am there to make sure the participants overcome their fears and drive them to push themselves to develop the attributes necessary to pass the course."

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