We’re all familiar with the catchphrase and big-budget global TV series ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ After all, it’s made (and broken) celebrities from the UK and US shows. In fact the series spin off now airs in India, France, Sweden, Germany and beyond. But in between watching celebs munching kangaroo’s unmentionables and facing disgusting bushtucker trials, the Australian setting for I’m A Celebrity is all real.
All of the UK and German versions of the shows (and the US 2003 series) are filmed at a permanent bush camp in the northeast region of New South Wales, Australia. The small town of Murwillumbah is used for both filming and producing various versions of the show. The location is perfect as its set within the foothills of the McPherson Mountain Range within the volcanic Tweed valley and just 13km south of the border with Queensland State. The capital of the state of NSW is Sydney which lies 848km away.
The actual bush camp that you see on TV is the permanent establishment situated on the fringe of a sub-tropical rainforest that runs from the Numinbah Nature Reserve through to the Springbrook National Park.
Numinbah Nature Reserve
The Numinbah Nature Reserve was created in 1981 and forms part of the Mount Warning caldera. Located in the Border ranges of NSW, the Reserve, which covers 858 hectares, is also a part of the Shield Volcano Group. In 2007 Numinbah was added to the Australian National Heritage List, thanks to the sheer variety and diversity of birdlife. The Nature Reserve plays an important role in the conservation of several endangered bird species. Visitors can experience the natural treasures of Numinbah; drive through the reserve, try bushwalking, hiking and climbing, snap volcanoes, marvel at the mighty waterfalls, enjoy a picnic and camp out under the stars (bush tucker trials are optional!)
Springbrook National Park
The Springbrook National Park is located about 100km south of Brisbane and offers incredible waterfalls, deep rainforests and spectacular views coupled with huge ecological importance. Springbrook is also listed under the protectorate of Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and is also a recognised World Heritage Area.
The Springbrook National Park is spread over some 6725 hectares and is categorised by four key sections; the Springbrook plateau, eastern region Mount Cougal, Natural Bridge and western region of Numinbah. Travellers can hike the temperate rainforest, stop off at the Springbrook plateau for a fantastic view over the park and try camping under the eucalypt forest canopy.
There is a rich and varied flora and fauna to be found in the park such as pademelons (wallabies), brushtail possum, quoll and over 100 different bird species including black cockatoo with yellow tails, cuckoo-dove, fairy-wren and bowerbird. There are also an abundance of reptiles living in Springbrook such as lace monitors, land mullets and carpet pythons. There are frogs, crayfish, eels, treefrogs, and platypus. And watch out for the glow-worms which congregate at Natural Bridge; tiny bright bluey-green lights that punctuate the night sky, although not actual worms these are fly larvae.
One word of warning is to keep your eyes peeled for the enormous spiders and deadly snakes that live here… I’m scared; get me out of here!