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Where is SAS: Australia filmed? Inside the brutal location the 2022 recruits will call home

Freezing temperatures and a bleak atmosphere make for 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 TV show returns for a third season, 17 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 Bachelor star Anna Heinrich and Home And Away heartthrob Orpheus Pledger, 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 are put to the test?
The new recruits will face a rude awakening when they arrive at base camp. (Image: Channel Seven)
The show's first season 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.
Then in 2021, the show was filmed in the Capertee Valley near the Blue Mountains - with production making a change following 2020's freezing conditions in the Snowy Mountains.
Now the production has moved to another new location, trading the isolation of the mountains for the rugged terrains of NSW's south coast.
Filming took place last October at an eerie abandoned coal mine just outside of Dapto, a few hours south of Sydney.
Filming took place at an eerie abandoned coal mine just outside of Dapto. (Image: Channel Seven)
Dense bush and rugged cliffs surround the abandoned buildings the recruits called home for 14 gruelling days, with temperatures dropping to the single digits overnight.
While we have yet to hear how the season three recruits handled the harsh conditions, previous seasons have shown that the locations are far from comfortable.
"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'," Chief Instructor Ant Middleton revealed of 2021's "intimidating" filming spot.
Conditions on the set of SAS: Australia are not for the faint-hearted - as last season's contestants learned, and the new contestants are sure to find out.
Photos of the DS on the new NSW filming location show eerie abandoned buildings and a red sunset. (Image: Instagram)
Temperatures ranged between 1-23°C during filming last year, 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.
There's zero-comfort to be found at the 2021 filming location. (Image: Channel Seven)
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).
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 recruits are each given the same set of supplies. (Image: Channel Seven)
"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 under the eye of the directing staff (DS) including new recruit Dean Stott and 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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