Filming Motherhood

Tuesday 21st March 2000 Page 6 of 12


Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000 Bethells Beach is only a short distance away from the Lake Wainamu Reserve and upon arrival it was immediately obvious that my suspicions had been correct. The various production vehicles were parked on the land adjacent to the entrance and as my car drove in, I was stopped and asked whether I was part of the film crew! Had I not been so surprised, I should have said yes!

When I replied in the negative, I was gestured past and headed on towards the car park, where I turned a corner and was confronted by the sight of Tilly and Gabrielle's horse right in front of me! Trying not to look too surprised, I found a space out of view, parked and then headed towards the estuary and Bethells Beach itself. As I was walking around, a lot of vehicles passed me - cars, beach buggies, jeeps and pickup trucks, including one with wranglers sat on the rear tailgate, leading the two horses around. Having visited many locations before and been struck by the rugged nature of the terrain, as well as the thought of how impractical it must be for a full-scale film crew to gain easy access to them, it was very interesting to see first-hand how Renaissance Pictures made their lives easier with the types of vehicles they used.

There is a small lifeguards' hut on Bethells Beach, which must be a bane in the lives of the Flat Earth effects people judging by the amount of times it must have had to be CGI'd out of Xena: Warrior Princess episodes, but I was certainly glad of it that day, for it gave me a good vantage point to be able to watch from a respectful distance without becoming a distraction to the crew or attracting too much attention myself.

They were setting up for filming in the grassy dunes behind the beach, very close to the site of Xena's crucifixion in Destiny and I was able to watch the various vehicles arrive at the camp and people gather in the dunes, making preparations.
Bethells Beach, looking north

This area of the beach was where Gabrielle
was washed up on shore in Tsunami


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Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Setting up for filming

Gabrielle's horse can be seen
between the red and white vehicles


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Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
The production camp on
Bethells Beach, looking south


This filming site was very near to the spot
where Xena was crucified in Destiny


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Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Setting up for filming

Tilly - Xena's faithful horse Argo - can be
seen standing next to the nearer white vehicle


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Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Another shot of the production camp

The site being set up for filming is the only
area of the dunes accessible to the public


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