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Wednesday November 21st 2018

Alien: Covenant | 2017

Alien: Covenant filming location: Lady Bowen Falls (Hine Te Awa), Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand
Alien: Covenant location: the Covenant makes a landing on water: Lady Bowen Falls (Hine Te Awa), Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand | Photograph: Shutterstock / Steve Todd

Alien: Covenant was largely filmed at the Fox Studios Australia in Moore Park, near Sydney, New South Wales, but uses practical locations in New Zealand.

After the accidental death of the Covenant's captain (a brief appearance by James Franco) Chief Science Officer Oram (Billy Crudup) diverts the ship from its colonisation mission to Origae-6 to tack down a puzzling interstellar John Denver fan.

The surface of the Earth-like planet on which the craft lands is Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, on the southwest coast of New Zealand's South Island. Surprisingly, the peaks and waterfalls are just as seen, apart from the digital addition of those giant felled trees.

A working section of the Covenant was built on the Sound's foreshore with the Lady Elizabeth Bowen Falls in the background.

At at 162 metres, the Lady Bowen is the Sound's highest waterfall and, unlike some others which are dependent on the season, flows permanently. Named after the wife of one of New Zealand's governors, the original Maori name of the falls is Hine Te Awa, which means ‘the girl of the river’, after part of the falls that is supposed to resemble the plumage of the Kereru, the New Zealand Wood Pigeon.

Milford Sound will be familiar to film-goers from Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Alien: Covenant filming location: Sutherland Falls, Lake Quill, South Island, New Zealand
Alien: Covenant location: the crew of the Covenant looks for a place to land: Sutherland Falls, Lake Quill, South Island, New Zealand Photograph: Wikimedia / Ray Hayward

The falls seen in the flyover as the crew searches for a spot to land is Sutherland Falls, which plunges 580 metres in three cascades from Lake Quill, about 10 miles southwest of Milford Sound.

Nearer to the studio, the destroyed 'Engineer city' was a huge outdoor set built in the former Sydney Water Reservoir site, off Brunker Road in Potts Hill, a western suburb of Sydney. Part of 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road was also filmed here.

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