Six hours out of Adelaide, the Home and Away cast and crew set up camp in Parachilna, to film a massive storyline which starts soon.
Steve is quite comfortable swapping the sand of Summer Bay for the red dirt of the bush, having grown up in the country town of Dubbo. He's as laid back as the locals, "They are the best, we were all very well fed and very well watered here at the pub," he said with his trademark grin. "It was good to see such a classy family running this beautiful pub (The Pairie Hotel) with awesome accommodation, and the food was unreal."
However, filming conditions were as harsh as the landscape. With 5am call-times in freezing temperatures and a gazillion flies to contend with, the cast and crew had to dig deep. "I've lived in the bush for a long time, but I have never seen that many flies" he laughs.
The scenes are intense and were made even more dramatic by the backdrop of the Flinders Ranges. They shot a staggering 44 scenes with some crew working an 85 hour week. Steve reckons he had it easy, but his co-star Lincoln Younes was under the pump and his reactions in the shots were very real. "Linc had a bit of sniffle, so was feeling crook and on top of that had the elements and flies all over his face." Lincoln agreed "It was remarkable and it was worth it...it was the hardest week I have ever worked but hopefully it pays off and the audience really loves it."
Ditching the typical Y Generation profile, Lincoln said he was glad to get away from technology, "None of our phones worked and even though people brought laptops to watch movies, everyone ended up sitting around the fire just talking." Steve agreed saying "it was the best way to unwind at the end of the day with a couple of beers around the fire and a bloke in the corner playing the guitar."
By the end of they week, they were tired and apart from the Linc now having a chronic fear of flies, felt enriched from their experience.
Steve's parting message:- "I hope you enjoy all the episodes because there is some exciting stuff, amazing landscapes, and if you want any of the goss on what went down here, come to the Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, they will look after you, just don't ask them anything about me, because if they tell you anything about me, it's probably a lie!!"
If you would like to visit Parachilna, go to the Prairie Hotel website for more information.
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