It’s the romcom trifecta we needed: Julia, George, and some of Queensland’s most spectacular locations (we’re sharing six of our faves below).
When we were lucky enough to score a glass of bubbles and a sneak peek at Ticket to Paradise including a chat with Supervising Location Manager Lauren Cooper, we knew we had to share the raft of locations perfect for a Queensland wedding. From dreamy tropical islands to iconic Brisbane buildings, the film is peppered with local highlights that work perfectly for “we do.” So, if you’re planning a Queensland wedding or honeymoon, this is 144 minutes of feel-good fun you can totally pass off as research!
Star power pairing
In case you missed the trailer, here’s a super-quick look at the film before we reveal the backdrops.
Hollywood royalty landed in Queensland when Julia Roberts and George Clooney arrived to play divorced couple Georgia & David who reluctantly join forces to sabotage the wedding of their lovestruck daughter Lily (Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) in Bali.
Cue the barbed one-liners and feel-good laughs as the pair navigates difficult conversations within an irresistibly romantic tropical idyll. After previous matchups in Money Monster and Ocean’s Eleven, the Academy Award® winners seem to have a hoot playing sparring exes in paradise. Side note: look out for Lucas Bravo of Emily in Paris fame in a very amusing supporting role.
While Ol Parker (Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) brings the directing chops, Queensland brings the jaw-drop backdrops. Okay, so much of Ticket to Paradise is technically set in Bali. But it’s primarily shot in Queensland, bringing the spirit of Bali to the sugary beaches and lush rainforests of the Sunshine State.
6 Queensland destination wedding locations for a cinematic celebration
The film’s Supervising Location Manager Lauren Cooper grew up in North Queensland, so she was well-equipped to source the state’s dreamiest locales, including a few hidden gems. Add these to your Queensland wedding shortlist or file under #honeymooninspo.
1. Tangalooma Island
When Lauren was imagining the perfect translucent waters for the movie’s memorable swimming scenes (filmed during November/December), Moreton Bay’s Tangalooma Island jumped to mind. Just 40 minutes from the Brisbane mainland, wild dolphin feeding, world-class snorkelling, and sand tobogganing are just some of the adventures on offer here in real life. And lucky for us, Tangalooma also specialises in island weddings!
2. Tamborine Mountain
When you see a rainforest, it’s actually the Gold Coast Hinterland on show! Filming took place among the wet eucalypt forests, subtropical rainforests, and misty waterfalls of the Tamborine Mountain National Park, not far from the Gallery Walk. We love a GC Hinterland wedding because you can either immerse yourself in the greenscape or combine a beach/hinterland vibe for your wedding album.
Access our Australian honeymoon guide here
3. The Whitsundays
The glorious tropical islands and hidden coves of The Whitsundays take a starring role. This region is a certified wedding wonderland, and it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to beautiful backdrops. Boutique retreat Palm Bay Resort, located on Long Island and perfect for a barefoot luxe wedding, also makes an appearance, reimagined as a Balinese family compound. Eagle-eyed cinephiles may also recognise gorgeous Katie’s Cove, a secret spot on the northern tip of Haslewood Island, from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Discover why The Whitsundays is perfect for a destination wedding here
4. Hamilton Island
When searching for the most luxurious address to base some of the film’s ‘resort’ scenes, Lauren couldn’t go past Hamilton Island’s six-star qualia. An icon for good reason. And if you’re partial to a private pool, the Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort also makes a brilliant base for a sophisticated island “I do” on nearby Hayman Island. One Tree Hill on Hamilton Island also served as a key location that you can make your own — head up via the island’s zippy little rental buggies for epic vistas and dramatic sunset scenes.
5. The Gold Coast
From the walls of HOTA (Home of the Arts) Gallery to the colourful bustle of the Carrara Markets, the Gold Coast makes a noteworthy cameo in Ticket to Paradise. If you fancy this coastal region as your base, look to specialist vendors and stunning locations (think JW Marriott Surfers Paradise, Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast, and The Island to plan the perfect Gold Coast wedding or honeymoon.
Check out 3 one-of-a-kind Gold Coast venues here
6. Brisbane City Hall
This one was a bit of a surprise, but we adore the inclusion of City Hall in one of the early scenes. Lauren was drawn to the heritage splendour of this Brisbane beauty, opened in 1930 and an elegant choice for a classic CBD celebration.
For those planning a Queensland wedding or even a honeymoon in the Sunshine State, get yourselves to a cinema stat to see Ticket to Paradise, now showing.
We’ve rounded up 8 top spots to honeymoon in Australia here