Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

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Travis M
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Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by Travis M » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:53 pm

Richmond Bay was featured prominently as the Robinsons beach (Richmond Island can often be seen in the background), while Mount Irvine Bay was used for the scene where the boys rescue Bertie from the pirates. The vine-swinging/waterfall scenes were filmed at the Craig Hall Waterfalls.

The treehouse was constructed in a 200-foot tall saman in the Goldsborough Bay area. After filming, the local Tobagonians convinced Disney, who had intended to remove all evidence of filmmaking, to let the treehouse remain, sans interior furnishing. In 1960, the treehouse was listed for sale for $9,000, a fraction of its original cost, and later became a popular attraction among locals and tourists, before the structure was finally destroyed by Hurricane Flora in September 1963.

However, the tree still remains, and is located on the property of the Roberts Auto Service and Tyre Shop, located in Goodwood, just off of Windward Road. Tobago resident Lennox Straker says, "The tree has fallen into obscurity; only a few of the older people knew of its significance. As a matter of fact, not many people know of the film ''Swiss Family Robinson'' much less that it was filmed here in Tobago."
Contrary to most reports, Bacolet Bay was not primarily used if at all. Now that we know this, are there any locals out there who can help pinpoint these other locations in the film?
swiss1.jpg
swiss2.jpg
I've heard the Green Hall Waterfall, but I can't get a clear perspective of it...
swiss3.jpg
swiss4.jpg
Somewhere around Mt. Dillon...? That's a wild guess.
swiss7.jpg

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Re: Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by Travis M » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:00 am

Pardon me for the double-post; a few more screenshots.
swiss5.jpg
swiss6.jpg
Possibly identifible given it's very different scenery?
swiss9.jpg
I've heard Pigeon Point, and the trees would incline me to believe so... but I can't make out what bay this would be... It was suggested elsewhere that it's a different island and possibly Trinidad in the background, but after rewatching the scene, I do believe it is indeed a bay.
swiss10.jpg
swiss11.jpg
Once again, I'd appreciate any help with this! I'd enjoy a comprehensive filming location list for the sake of future photo-opportunities, and I'm sure certain tourists would feel the same. I understand the lack of cinema being a contributing factor, but I am surprised more fanfare isn't given towards the film for its connection with the island.

I dream of the day the treehouse is built again for all to see, but I won't get my hopes up. [-o<

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Re: Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by Robert T » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:06 pm

Hi Travis

You are right about Pigeon Point but it isn't another island in the picture but Tobago itself with its hills around Grafton/Pleasant Prospect. It's pretty easy to recognise it. You can also see Buccoo Reef in the picture and the bay you mention is Buccoo Bay. They also show the back end of P Point for a few minutes/seconds. I am 100% sure that I recognised Bacolet Bay as well.

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Re: Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by GervaisAlkins » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:53 pm

Hey,
sometime in the early 2000's I was introduced to an elderly American gentleman who worked on the set of that film. He told me some fascinating tales about how the movie was made in Tobago. One fun fact was that the camera equipment weighed one ton! He also mentioned Walt Disney insisted on only live animals being used which unfortunately resulted in the death of a few sharks in the making of a scene.
I've seen the Samaan tree that was used for the treehouse and it's a shame the site wasn't preserved.
Anyways, the two first photo's could well be Craighall Falls but since the public isn't allowed to swim there I've never stopped to look at them close up.
The other two screen-shots are very interesting. You are correct in that it's in the area below Mt Dillon (Runnemede). I think they were taken near the home that was once owned by the famous british photographer Norman Parkinson. The property is still there but the original house was destroyed in a fire. If you find the house and walk down the driveway you can end up where u see the folks in the 3rd screenshot. That path used to go to Celery Bay as told to me by Parkinson's grandson.
Screen-shot 5 is Sister's Rocks as you already probably know.
#8 is northerly part of the beach at Pigeon Point.
I'm guessing the last pic is in the Goldsborough river area.
Thanks for posting these pics. They're fascinating!

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Re: Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by Travis M » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:09 pm

Interesting info guys, it's much appreciated! I'll keep a lookout for any scenes featured in Bacolet Bay.
I've seen the Samaan tree that was used for the treehouse and it's a shame the site wasn't preserved.
It is indeed quite a shame that nothing has been done on the island to commemorate the film since the treehouse's destruction. I've seen pictures of the Samaan tree and its surrounding areas... it didn't look too worse for wear, but I haven't traveled to Tobago yet personally. I hope it's still being kept up somewhat. Apparently the mechanic whose property the tree lies on has been fairly welcoming in terms of pointing the tree out to tourists and such... I'd personally be interested in a discussion with him regarding the future of the tree & land. I admitted my doubt in my earlier post, but I actually do still have hope that the site will be preserved one day! The interest is there, and I don't think it would overbear the island as opposed to increasing tourism just a smidge.
Anyways, the two first photo's could well be Craighall Falls but since the public isn't allowed to swim there I've never stopped to look at them close up.
Let me clarify, the waterfalls seen in the vine-swining scenes were the Craig Hall Waterfalls. The waterfalls featured in the above pictures were rumored to be the Green HILL waterfalls, not sure if you caught that. Anyone else in the know about what two waterfalls these are featured in pictures #1, 2, & 9?

It also a crying shame that you're not allowed to swim at the Craig Hall Waterfalls, although I did read John Mills almost cut his foot while dropping from his vine into the pool. I also read somewhere else that you'll actually often see swimmers in the pool just above the falls, but I guess that's not true? :(

As for the mountain, I actually found the location by looking at the coastline on Google Earth. Your input has reassured me though!
google.jpg
Someone also uploaded a pretty comparable shot taken back in 2010! Compared to the location in the film, probably one mountainside over, right before Castara and overlooking Celery Bay & King Peters Bay. Devestatingly beautiful.
bago.jpg
As for the river, in terms of the film, geographically speaking, it's supposed to be near Mount Irvine... but you know how filmmaking goes. It's possibly the Goldsborough River, although I can't find many pictures of it.

I was doing a little research on the Richmond River (near where the Robinson beach was filmed?) aka "The Great Dog River" The site mentioned: Park in the stand of cocoa trees and continue on foot to the river, carrying with you your food and drink. You can easily walk up the river here for some distance, shaded comfortably by the bamboo and with cool feet thanks to sloshing your way upstream!

Sounds similair... unless there are a couple of those around.

Any idea about the twiggy, sandy, grey rock area? This is apparently the base of the cliff/mountain that the oldest son stands on as seen above.
sdfgsdfg.jpg
You guys might also appreciate this. It compares and the contrasts some of the already known locations, including the Robinsons and pirates beach & the Craig Hall Waterfalls.

http://www.reelstreets.com/index.php/co ... y_robinson

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Re: Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by Hugh S » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:23 pm

Great info! Would love to see artist info/credit for the beautiful 2010 image included.

Thanks, Hugh 8)
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Re: Swiss Family Robinson Filming Locations

Post by GervaisAlkins » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:38 pm

OK here goes,
screen shot 1 & 2 could be Rainbow Falls in Goldsborough.
At the Craig Hall Falls there is a sign that says no bathing and that could do something with a government water facility located downstream.
I took this photo on a hike above Celery Bay looking north at the ridge where 3 & 4 was taken.
The 'Parkinson' house is the big white house near the top right of the pic. I think the Swiss family stuff was done lower down that ridge. The beach in my pic is Celery Bay.
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The Reel Street link you attached is amazing. If this helps- sfr013 is Grange Bay. The further headland is Buccoo Point and the rock off of it is known as Wolf Rock.

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