Wavell Heights Queenslander One of the Key Filming Locations for Netflix’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe’

The recent Netflix adaptation of the bestselling Australian novel Boy Swallows Universe has brought 1980s Brisbane vividly to life on screen. Did you know that a Wavell Heights Queenslander served as the home of one of the main characters in the film?

Read: Wavell Heights Property Market Nearing the Million-Dollar Median Price Mark

In the book, Eli Bell’s estranged father Robert lives in a rundown but charming Queenslander. For the adaptation, the filmmakers found the perfect home on a corner block in Wavell Heights, with a beautiful mature Royal Poinciana tree out front. 

This quaint property, which producers deemed perfect for the requirement, was located at Thornton Parade. Its general look and ambiance helped transport viewers back to the 1980s.

Photo credit: Google Street View

Robert Bell (played by Simon Baker) is the alcoholic father of Eli (Felix Cameron) and Gus (Lee Halley). He loves his sons deeply, but his drinking prevents him from being a consistent presence in their lives. Robert is a flawed yet caring father, inspired by author Trent Dalton’s own relationship with his dad. 

Photo credit: Netflix

Though absent for stretches of time, Robert’s sporadic reappearances in the boys’ lives have a profound impact. Like Dalton’s father, Robert in the book represents a parent unable to overcome their demons yet still devoted to their children. 

The Wavell Heights Queenslander makes up just one part of Boy Swallows Universe’s diverse Brisbane filming locations. Other shoot sites included Beenleigh, Darra, Greenslopes, Chelmer, South Brisbane, Pinkenba and more. Together, they showcase Brisbane as it was in that period – a grittier, less developed city than today.

Photo credit: Netflix

The coming-of-age story follows Eli as he deals with his dysfunctional family and gets caught up in Brisbane’s criminal underworld. Author Trent Dalton’s vivid descriptions of real Brisbane suburbs and landmarks help ground this captivating tale.

For locals, seeing these familiar places faithfully recreated on screen adds an extra layer of enjoyment. Wavell Heights plays an important role in bringing Eli’s complicated homelife to the screen. It’s a testament to the care taken by the show’s creators to authentically capture the book’s sense of place. Boy Swallows Universe is proving a hit with audiences worldwide. 

Read: The Grand Kedron Lodge in Kalinga Defined the Beginnings of North Brisbane

Its Brisbane filming locations take viewers back in time, whilst offering locals a nostalgic glimpse of their hometown in decades past. Wavell Heights’ starring role connects it to this hugely successful Australian story.

Published 22-January-2024

Wavell Heights Property Market Tipped for 4-Year Growth Amidst Infrastructure Projects

A number of middle ring suburbs, including Wavell Heights, are going to benefit from the Cross River Rail and the Brisbane Metro infrastructure projects in the next four years, according to industry experts.

Whilst Albion, Woolloongabba, Yeronga, Nundah and Clayfield stand to gain the most from the ripple effect of these projects, Wavell Heights and Virginia have also been seen as potential hotspots because of the increased infrastructure and access to train lines.

CoreLogic property research director Tim Lawless said that the appeal of detached houses in these suburbs bolstered a strong performance in the market in recent months, compared to apartments, because its land value has “development potential.”   

The transport improvements are expected to spark soaring house prices as the liveability in these sleepy pockets will increase as well. By 2025, homeowners and investors should reap the full benefits of the market’s growth.

Currently, Wavell Heights has been enjoying an active auction market with record-breaking sales and more clamour for supplies. 

The biggest sale, so far, has been a five-bedroom designer house with an amazing view on Zeehan Street, which went for $1.88 million at a January 2021 auction. This broke the suburb’s sales record of a house sold in July 2020 for $1.78 million. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Analysts said that Brisbane is on its way to a major property boom. Demand for houses in the middle ring has been underpinned by factors like relative affordability, low-interest rates, favourable rental returns, and migration from Sydney or Melbourne. 

Lovelea Designs In Wavell Heights Turns Trash Into Treasure

Dive into the world of upcycling in Wavell Heights. Lovelea Designs offers a variety of workshops for locals who want to learn how to turn scrap into furniture pieces.

Owned by Lea, the workshop is located at the bottom floor of her home. All of the tools that you’re going to need are here – from chainsaws, to upholstery, to paint.

The owner’s mission is to find preloved furniture and turn it into a beautiful work of art. They scour city streets during the Brisbane City Council’s kerbside collection and pick up pieces of furniture.

There are so many things to do here. You can learn how to upcycle furniture, or if you wish to learn how to do upholstery, they have workshops for that as well. The workshops teach basic skills such as painting, stenciling and basic decoupage.

Photo credit: Lovelea Designs / Facebook

Lovelea Designs also conducts workshops for kids during the school holidays.

The workshops take three hours and happen during the weekends. You will be provided with everything that you need here. The items that will be used came from kerbside collections, council top shops, garage sales, and even from existing customers.

Photo credit: Lovelea Designs / Facebook

The place is also open for private events. So, if you feel like doing something different for your family gathering or birthday, this is a great spot.

They also offer repair or furniture refurbishing should you have any pieces of furniture you want to put to good use in your home.

The cost of the workshops is $60 for three hours.

Address: 16 Highlands Street, Wavell Heights