It might look like it’s set in a post-apocalyptic United States, but ‘Sweet Tooth’ was filmed entirely in Aotearoa New Zealand.

About Sweet Tooth

Central Otago
Sweet Tooth, Central Otago

At its heart, the Netflix series ‘Sweet Tooth’ is about celebrating nature. The show follows the adventures of Gus (Christian Convery) – a part-deer, part-human boy – who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravished by a mysterious disease. The central idea is that nature is reclaiming the Earth in response to environmental damage caused by humans. And although it's aimed at children, the story resonates with a wide audience because of its universal themes – namely, hope, resilience, and the importance of nature.

Filming in New Zealand

Central Otago
Sweet Tooth, Central Otago

The show’s executive producer Amanda Burrell says New Zealand was the perfect filming location. Its endless mountains and valleys naturally suggest a fantasy world, but it was fortuitous on a practical level, too. Because New Zealand was relatively free of Covid-19 at the height of the pandemic, filming was able to continue when most productions were shutting down.

Filming locations

Central Otago
Sweet Tooth, Central Otago

Starting from the top of the North Island and working down to the lower South Island, here’s some of the show’s most iconic filming locations. 

Warkworth Cement Works, Auckland

Ruins are always fascinating, and the the former Warkworth Cement Works is more picturesque than most. Here you'll find disused buildings that have been reclaimed by nature and now house trees instead of cement.

Adrenalin Forest, Auckland

Adrenalin Forest, a high-wire adventure park in the Bombay Hills, Auckland, was closed at the time of filming, so the film crew had free reign of the park. As you’d expect, an adventure park with its treetop constructions and endless ropes naturally lends itself to action sequences. Plus, the low-tech vibe of ropes and planks was the perfect aesthetic for an encampment belonging to The Animal Army.

Te Henga Bethell’s Beach, Auckland

Te Henga Bethell’s Beach, where the cabin scenes were shot, is not known for its golden sand, lapping waves and gentle sea breezes, but for their opposite. It’s an area of wild beauty, with choppy waters, rugged headlands, and dark volcanic sand. In fact, it’s the sand that gives the beach its name, Te Henga – which means ‘the sand’ in te reo Māori.

Note: the precise location for the cabin is on private land and is not accessible to the public. But you can still visit Te Henga Bethell’s Beach. 

Tasman Glacier, Otago

Season two’s opening shots show Birdie, the woman Gus thinks is his mother, walking through an Artic blizzard. This scene was filmed on Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest glacier, which is roughly the size of Florence in Italy.

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