H is for Happiness A film location guide to the motion picture H is for Happiness, filmed in Albany, Western Australia.

The H is for Happiness film location guide

Welcome to this interactive film location guide that showcases the landscapes and locations used in the film H is for Happiness that was released in cinemas February 2020. Filmed in and around the city of Albany, in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia, the story and cinematography combine to showcase the region and its many and varied attractions.

Table of Contents

(please click or tap on the headers below to be taken to that section)

  1. The Film
  2. Synopsis
  3. The Cast and Crew
  4. Welcome to Albany
  5. Getting There
  6. Albany - Some History
  7. The Locations in downtown Albany
  8. A Little Further Afield
  9. The Regional Locations
  10. Even Further Afield
  11. In Closing

The Film

H is for Happinesss is based on the internationally beloved young adult novel My Life As An Alphabet, by Australian author Barry Jonsberg, adapted for the screen by writer/producer Lisa Hoppe.

A is for Albany

Welcome to Albany in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia. The area offers some of the most stunning scenery in Australia set in a colour palette that can seem other-worldly, as if every tint and hue in existence have been mixed and then sprinkled on the land. Throw in a generous scattering of small town friendliness, history and stunning architecture and you have just some of the delights of Albany.

The colours of Albany.
“I would say Albany is a really significant character in the story and, for want of a better term, the innocence and the charm of the place is a character in the story,” (Richard Roxburgh - Dad).


H is for Happiness tells the story of Candice Phee – a 12-year-old girl with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world. Set in a small coastal town, it’s about an unflinchingly honest girl’s determination to bring her family back from the brink. Candice is an unforgettable heroine whose exploits will inspire and delight anyone who has faced the trials of adolescence and family heartbreak.

Mum and Dad celebrate Candice's Birthday. Photo by Dave Dare Parker

The novel was adapted by Australian screenwriter Lisa Hoppe, whose credits include the award-winning short “Heck.”

“I have always admired films such as ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ ‘Pretty in Pink,’ ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and most Wes Anderson films and it is the influence of these filmmakers and styles that will help me create a film that will be truly unique and full of quirks, pathos and humour,” (Director John Sheedy)

The Cast

  • Miriam Margolyes (Miss Bamford)
  • Emma Booth (Claire Phee)
  • Richard Roxburgh (Jim Phee)
  • Deborah Mailman (Penelope Benson)
  • Joel Jackson (Rich Uncle Brian)
  • George Shevtsov (Gavin)
  • Daisy Axon (Candice Phee)
  • Wesley Patten (Douglas Benson)
  • Ali Jayne Tognini (Jen Marshall)
  • Cath Moore (Miss Cowie)

The Director

Director, John Sheedy
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with producers Julie Ryan of Cyan Films, Tenille Kennedy and screenwriter and producer Lisa Hoppe who has constructed a hilariously quirky and moving script that is sure to resonate with any child or family that feels different. I look forward to re-engaging in the assembly of local talented actors and creatives and spending time in Albany which is the perfect backdrop to bring this story to the screen."

The Producers

Producer, Julie Ryan photograph by Sam Oster
“Albany has been a perfect shooting location, mainly because it has everything we need in one small city. We always needed a marina in the script, we needed a fantastic looking school, we needed a mansion, and we needed a yacht. Albany really just had everything. We always try and find a place where we don’t have to move, because moving’s costly so apart from being beautiful, it was very convenient, and well serviced. A very good place to shoot..” (Producer Julie Ryan).
Producer, Tenille Kennedy
“We started location scouting in February 2018, and Albany was the very first town that we came to and we knew instantly that it was A for Albany - it's just so beautiful and so cinematic. It looks amazing on the screen, and it creates this beautiful world for the story that we’re telling.” (Producer Tenille Kennedy).

Welcome to Albany

Natural wonders abound in this historical coastal city. Albany’s dramatic coastline is dotted with white sandy coves and clear blue waters perfect for swimming, surfing, diving and whale watching. With granite hills, limestone cliffs and rolling green paddocks making up the landscape of the city and its surrounds.

As the final departure point for the first ANZAC troops, Albany offers visitors a deeply personal connection to the ANZAC story at the National Anzac Centre.

Getting There

Albany is a scenic 413 km (5 hour) drive south of Perth. This scenic drive crosses the ranges of the Darling Scarp before descending to the wheatbelt region of rolling hills and pleasant farmland. The route passes through a number of farming towns that service the wider community and all feature some charming village shops and plenty of choices for en-route refreshments.

Albany – Some History

Albany is the oldest settlement in Western Australia. Home to the Menang Noongar people, who called the area Kinjarling (the place of rain), there is archaeological evidence the area has been inhabited for over 18,000 years.

The first recorded European sighting of King George Sound was in 1627, and the following year the first map of the south coast was produced showing a bay and islands that were possibly King George Sound. It was another 164 years before Commander George Vancouver on board Discovery sailed into the sound and named it for King George III.

In 1826 Major Edmund Lockyer arrived abroad the Brig Amity to establish the first settlement in Western Australia. On the 27th of January 1827 a ceremony was held celebrating the founding of the settlement. In 1832 the Governor of the Swan River Colony, Sir James Stirling visited the settlement. With the possibility of moving the Western Australian Capital to King George Sound he renamed the town Albany after the Duke of York and Albany. Albany became an important port for ships travelling from Europe to the Eastern States and for people travelling to the West Australian gold rush. By 1898 500 passengers a week were disembarking in Albany form the Eastern States.

This full scale replica of the Amity, which sailed from Sydney in 1826 was completed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the brig's arrival. Situated near to the city centre, it provides a fascinating insight into the harrowing six week journey beset with heavy weather and scorching heat. The brig is open daily from 9-30am to 4-00pm.

Due to the King George Sounds strategic importance and the threat of War between Russian and Britain in the mid 1880s an agreement was reached in 1889-1890 to build a defensive position in Albany. The position was completed by 1892. Due to the poor opportunities for farming and lack of minerals for mining the whaling industry was born. Whaling continued in Albany until 1978.

Evidence of the defensive positions built around Albany can be found still dotted on the coast line. The Ellen Cove to Port Albany walk passes examples such as this alongside beautiful panoramic views of Middleton Beach.

The Locations

“We are so thrilled with the inimitable cast and creative crew set to bring this vibrant world to life. Coupled with the unique vision of our talented director John Sheedy, and the beautiful locations in Albany WA, we know we’re making something special for family audiences and anyone who enjoys a uplifting film experience.” (Producer Julie Ryan).

Finding the Locations- an interview with Location Manager Crystal Munitich

The original location scout for this film, Mike Montague searched a number of places in this part of Western Australia and came back with the vision of Albany. He believed the magic it held worked perfectly with John's (Director) vision of an enchanted world full of colour and vibrancy along with the stylised look of the city itself.

What is special for you about Albany and the locations? What is your favourite?

For me personally, Albany has such beautiful clear water and the beaches are just amazing. The locations themselves have a character about them along with a quirkiness like white picket fences from the 1950's. My favourite place has to be the Phee house I guess because it just suits her character so perfectly. When we walked in there for the first time we knew it had the right bones. An established mystical garden, big trees, wooden floors, beautiful furnishings. It is just a magical place. We could picture her on her bicycle riding through the gardens, down the path, around the trees.

When we first arrived we noticed the chooks would sometimes fly over from the next door property. It was so funny. The Art Department decided to add some themselves just in case they came from next door during filming. It just created a touch of rural to it even though the house is in the city.

What memory will you personally take away from being part of this film?

Complete happiness. It has been such a happy hardworking crew and everybody at every location that I have worked with are just so thrilled that we are showing off Albany. The community support has been phenomenal for our industry and the town has such a diverse group of artists here that so many people are so enthusiastic about the film and what it means for Albany.

Stirling Terrace

Over four days in late 2018 Stirling Terrace, York Street and Grey Street were all closed at various times to allow filming to take place in downtown Albany. A major star of the film is the Argyle Buildings on Stirling Terrace and whilst the music store and the cafe were temporarily transformed they are now back in their former glory. Kates Place allows you to sit a while and enjoy coffee and food in the actual film location. Whether it be a piece of their award winning carrot cake or famous vanilla slice make sure you visit and spend some time either outside watching the world pass by or inside on their comfortable couches.

When we filmed in the hero street downtown we used stop/go people to halt everything else during takes. Logistics meant that we had to keep the car parks clear from the night before so nobody parked there. We had our special picture cars – you can't have modern cars anywhere in the scene. We were overwhelmed with the support from all of the business owners who were so pleased that it was happening in their town. (Crystal Munitich)

Moving further down Stirling Terrace is the quirky Gourmandise and Co and another opportunity for refreshment and sustenance.

The film wouldn’t have happened without the local Albany people. From the vendors supplying the crew with equipment, through to our locations, to the support we’re getting from the council and the development commission, and the chamber of commerce, and through to you our interns, our local crew that we have working on the film, and of course the local cast and extras. (Producer Tenille Kennedy)
Gourmandise & Co is a coffee house, wood-fire bakery, communal table and store watched over by its ebullient owners Xavier and Janette Poupel.

A Walk up York Street

The next location provides the perfect opportunity to take a walk through the historic centre of Albany. Walking down Stirling Terrace, turn right on to York Street and take the pleasant 700m walk up the main street.

On the corner on your left you will see the London Hotel, the oldest licensed hotel in Western Australia. First built in 1856, the London was rebuilt after a major fire in 1909. On the same corner notice the red phone booth, the location where Candice and Douglas are caught kissing.

A little further up York St you will discover St John's Anglican Church, the oldest in Western Australia. Built by the people of the town, construction was commenced in 1841.

Just before arriving at the location you will pass the Visitors Centre on your left at 221 York St. This is the perfect place for advise, information and detailed brochures on all the attractions that the region offers.

Alison Hartman Gardens

As you approach the gardens a striking statue is immediately apparent at the entrance.

Mokare (c. 1800 - 26 June 1831) was a Noongar man, an Aboriginal from the Albany region who was pivotal in aiding European exploration of the area. He was well known in his short life for being a peacemaker, and an effective mediator between black and white communities.

The area here was originally a vegetable garden for the old state school and the gardens are named after a long-serving teacher at Albany State School, Alison Edith Hartman (1906-1978). Situated towards the rear of the park is a very large Common Oak (Quercus robur) that dates back to the 1890's. It was this tree that was chosen for Candice and Douglas first kiss.

Mike found all these places and when he showed the director this tree and John just said – I love it and we can use it perfectly. We were looking for a tree that gives a little magic to showcase this classic little romantic kiss that happens there, its absolutely gorgeous. (Crystal Munitich)
John Sheedy directs Wesley Patten (Douglas Benson). Photo by David Dare Parker

Further Afield

Vancouver Arts Centre

Two other locations were used in Albany. The Phee Family home is private property and not available to visit. Nearby, however is the fine Vancouver Arts Centre. Based in a historic building (the original Hospital) the venue features touring, private and curated exhibitions and is an active community arts centre and home to many local arts and crafts groups. It is well worth a visit.

Albany Senior High School

The grand buildings of Albany Senior High appear in the film as Candice's School. Established in 1918 and relocated to the current site in 1924, the buildings were designed by the principal architect of Western Australia, William Hardwick.

The Pines Lake Park

It's at Pines Lake Park where the biggest tallest tree in town can be found and also where the mysterious white horse lives. The location is close to the main South Coast Highway and provides the opportunity to walk through the large stands of radiata pines as well as a great place for a picnic beside a small lake. There are even barbecues and table provided!

The Regional Locations

There are also locations that are a little further from downtown Albany. These places are gems, allowing you to not only see places from the film but discover the beauty of the Albany region.

Albany has very particular kinds of natural environments, these whacky granite balls everywhere scattered across the landscape. They make no sense, but are just majestic. There is obviously the aquatic environment which is so beautiful, it's glorious and then there’s forests as well. There’s a lot going on here. (Richard Roxburgh - Dad)
Stunning views of the calm waters of Frenchman Bay belie the history and drama that occurred here during World War I.

Middleton Lookout

Situated a short drive (or brisk walk) from Albany, the Middleton Lookout is part of a board walk that was used in the film as part of a montage sequence which marks Candice’s transition to teenage-hood. The Middleton Beach Board Walk will take you from the port of Albany around the coast to Middleton Beach. In addition to the stunning views of the harbour you will also see signs of the deep historical aspects of the region and its direct links to the rest of Australia, New Zealand and further afield to the beaches of Gallipoli and the trenches of the Somme.

Candice and Douglas hold hands while looking out to the ocean. Photo by Bonnie Elliot ACS

Albany and World War I Heritage

It was from Albany that the first convoy, carrying 30,000 young Australian and New Zealand troops, horses and supplies to the First World War, left on 1 November 1914. Albany was the last Australian port of call for Australian servicemen sailing from the eastern states to join the Allied forces in Europe and Africa. Sadly, it would be the last sight of home that many would ever see. The ANZAC legend wasn’t even born as the 38 ships steamed out of the whaling port bound for Alexandria in Egypt, but just six months later on April 25, 1915 that legend would be forged on the beaches and rocky hillsides of the Turkish coast at a place called Gallipoli.

Troops march down Stirling Terrace in Albany (L) and walk around the foreshore with some of the convoy ships visible in the background.

The convoy carrying the first Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force included the cruisers HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney as well as the Royal Navy’s HMS Minotaur. It was joined at sea two days later by ships carrying troops from WA and South Australia under escort by the Japanese cruiser HIJMS Ibuki.

Mount Clarence

Mt Clarence, home of the Desert Mounted Corps memorial, is part of the 260-hectare Albany Heritage Park in the heart of Albany, offering a unique blend of natural, cultural and historical attractions.

It was also in Albany that the first ANZAC Day service in Australia took place at St Johns. After the service the padre and some members of the congregation climbed to the summit of Mount Clarence as it was from this viewpoint that the people of Albany had gathered in 1914 to look at the great convoy of ships that had gathered in the Sound. It has been reported that as Padre White looked over Princess Royal Harbour, he said we should commemorate them this way every Anzac Day.

The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial

The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial stands at the summit of Mt Clarence. It is a recast of the original statue erected at Suez in 1932. The granite blocks are the originals from Suez and bullet marks can still be seen on them. The statue is a copy of one originally forming part of a memorial which was erected at Port Said, Egypt and unveiled on 23 November 1932 by the rt. Hon. William Morris Hughes. It was irreparably damaged during the Suez Crisis in 1956. The masonry was salvaged and brought to australia for re-erection on this site which, for many troops who sailed from King George Sound in 1914, was their last glimpse of Australian soil. It was unveiled by rt. Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia on 11 October 1964.

The statue shows a mounted Australian Light-Horseman defending a New Zealand Mounted Rifleman standing beside his wounded horse. It is said to be based on an incident in the charge at El Arish in 1917.

Erected by their comrades and the Governments of Australia & New Zealand, the memorial commemorates the members of the Australian Light Horse, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, the Imperial Camel Corps & the Australian Flying Corps who lost their lives in Egypt, Palestine & Syria 1916 - 1918.

The National ANZAC Centre

Opened on the 1st of November 2014 by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, The National Anzac Centre is an award-winning facility that uses multimedia, interactive technology and historical artefacts to create a deeply personal connection with the past, as well as pay tribute to those who served.

The interpretive content that forms part of the interactive experience was developed by the Western Australian Museum and the Australian War Memorial and is delivered via a series of interactive visual and audible displays. The experience delivered at the NAC is known for commemorating the war through the stories of the Anzacs as opposed to telling its own story via pro-war or anti-war sentiments.

The symbolic location of the centre, selected for its strong sense of place as it looks out across King George Sound, forms an important part of the interpretation. The dramatic architecture, featuring spectacular vistas of the Sound, purposefully enhances the narrative and creates a contemplative space. The building design lends itself to a telescopic view overlooking the location from where the convoys gathered and then left.

Special mention should be made of the immersive art installation that was installed on the nearby Avenue of Honour in homage to the ANZACS and the 100th Anniversary of WWI. Created by Bruce Munro, it was removed in April 2019.

Other Place to Visit – Mt Clarence

The National Anzac Centre is located within the grounds of the heritage listed Princess Royal Fortress which was one of two pre-federation fortresses built to protect intercontinental trade routes. The Fortress is of exceptional significance for its key role in the first national strategy to defend Australia. As well as the Princess Royal Military Museum there are gun emplacements, a naval gun collection and underground magazines to explore.

The Convoy Walk connects the parade ground of Princess Royal Fortress to the Convoy Lookout at the summit of Mt Adelaide. Both the Walk and Lookout feature interpretive markers bearing detailed information about the ships of the first and second Anzac convoys.

Upon returning to the carpark take a visit to the excellent gift shop that features a great collection of WWI books before retiring to the cafe for a well-earned refreshment.

Rich Uncle Brian's House

The beautiful home of Rich Uncle Brian is the Maitraya Private Retreat, situated a short distance from Albany. Idyllically positioned above the picturesque coastline, Maitraya is regarded by many as one of Australia’s most prestigious luxury retreats. Set amongst more than 650 acres of private and secluded bushland the retreat delivers the best of Western Australia’s world-renowned southern coastline and offers breathtaking views of the picturesque Southern Ocean, nearby islands and surrounding mountains.

My other favourite location is Maitraya. We have this rich uncle who suits the other characters perfectly and he has this upmarket and breathtakingly beautiful home. It really is like the haves and the have nots. (Crystal Munitich).
Maitraya was the obvious choice to be the location of Rich Uncle Brian's House. The view from the lawn is astounding.

Maitraya is offered as a self-catering residence, sleeping up to 16 people in complete comfort. The residence includes eight spacious double bedrooms with king or two single beds, 11 bathrooms, an indoor heated pool, spa, sauna, gym and also large centrally located glass-roofed atrium. Outside, the lavishly appointed and well maintained grounds include access to a safe swimming lagoon and local surfing beach, private gazebo, lake, tennis court, putting green and numerous nature walks.

Please note the lodge is closed to the public and only accessible to paying guests.

Maitraya has played host to many A-listers, including international superstar Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga is rumoured to have composed music while relaxing at Maitraya. She left a glowing tribute in the visitor's book and it's now framed above the very piano she is rumoured to have used whilst composing two songs.

Two Nearby Beaches

There are so many beautiful beaches and coves in the region that it is very hard to judge a winner. In this humble authors opinion, the accolade does have to go to Little Beach in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. But before visiting this gem, another beach nearby is also worthy of a visit. Both are close to Maitraya Private Retreat.

The colours of the water, light blue to turquoise that change and recede into the green hills. How can you describe that – no picture can portray that. You just have to visit and see it. (Crystal Munitich)

Nanarup Beach

Situated close to Maitraya, Nanarup Beach is approximately 4.2 km in length and a feature are the beautiful old trees at the western end where the Taylor Inlet discharges into the ocean. There are barbecues and shaded picnic areas. For those with correctly equipped 4WD vehicles it is possible to drive from here to my award-winning beach.

Little Beach

Voted in the top five of Australia's top secret spots and best beach in Western Australia, Little Beach is part of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. The reserve is perhaps most important for being home to the critically endangered Gilbert’s potoroo and the endangered noisy scrub-bird, both of which were presumed extinct until being rediscovered at Two Peoples Bay. An excellent visitor centre at Two Peoples Bay has lots of information about local history, wildlife and important recovery programs for threatened species.

With a combination of white sand, azure water, granite headlands & greenery, Little Beach easily surpasses some of the famous beaches around the world.

I’ve been staying in and around the Middleton Beach area and it’s just beautiful. I’ve been doing a lot of morning walks and swims in the ocean, it’s just glorious. The locals are fantastic, they’re beautiful and friendly, oh and the food’s amazing! (Deborah Mailman - Penelope Benson)

The Princess Royal Sailing Club

Situated on the foreshore of Princess Royal Harbour, a short drive from the heart of Albany, this sailing club was chosen by location scouts to be the place where Candice jumps into the ocean.

Filming was undertaken over a three day period in early December with all of the jetty's scenes being filmed as well as Candice's attempt to bring her family back together and the restaurant scene for Mum's birthday.

The other day when we went out in a yacht, we had this incredible day, and the water was the most unbelievable colour. I saw it in the rushes and I thought ‘people are going to think we like tricked that in the grade.’ It is unbelievable, amazing. (Bonnie Elliot, Director of Photography)

Nearby Attractions

Situated a little further along Frenchman Bay Road is the entrance to Torndirrup National Park and one of the most visited attractions in the Albany region.

The Gap and Natural Bridge

Here the mighty force of the Southern Ocean crashes on to massive granite outcrops and the result is simply astounding. Constant erosion has created The Gap, where the waves rush in and out with tremendous ferocity whilst at the nearby Natural Bridge this same force has created an arch that spans over the surging torrent below. Spectacular at all times, the peak flow in the face of a southerly storm is the true evidence of the sheer power of nature.

The spectacular Gap is just a short level walk from the car park.

Located 10 kilometres south of Albany, this 3,906-hectare national park features wind-pruned coastal heathlands that put on a colourful display of wildflowers in spring. Thickets of banksia heath lie inland from the granite headlands, providing a year-round banquet for the park’s smallest marsupial, the honey possum.

Trails and Lookouts

There are a number of stunning lookouts and walktrails in the park, including Sharp Point, Jimmy Newells, Stony Hill, Peak Head, Salmon Holes, and Bald Head or you can visit secluded Misery Beach.

Frenchman Bay Road

There are a number of places to visit along this road, with good roads leading into the National Park to both sea viewpoints and trails leading through the heathlands amongst the granite rocks.

At the end of Frenchman Bay Road is Albany’s Historic Whaling Station which was the last operating station in Australia and provides a fascinating insight into Albany’s colourful past. Recognised as a heritage site, the whaling station is an engaging and educational tourism attraction for all ages to enjoy.

Albany Wind Farm

The Albany Wind Farm Situated high on the cliffs above the Southern Ocean. It features in the film as Candice & Douglas ride from town to the forest.

Escarpment where the turbines sit is windy every week but one, which is why they currently produce 80% of Albany's needs!

How It Works

The Albany wind farm consists of eighteen 1800kW wind turbines connected to the Albany electrical system and control network. The turbines are ENERCON E66 machines from Germany and were installed by Enercon Power Corporation, an Australian Company. The turbines have a 65m tower and three 35m long blades, making them one of the biggest available in the world at that time, and the largest to be installed in the southern hemisphere.

The turbines operate automatically, with the three blades adjusted to maximise power output from any wind direction or strength. They have been designed to withstand the strongest winds likely in Albany and incorporate special lightning protection. The Albany Wind Farm, which officially opened in October 2001, was ten years in the planning.

The wind farm is open to the general public every day of the year and you are free to visit when you wish. There is a large car-parking area, extensive network of boardwalks, artwork and information panels, plus a connection walk to the Bibbulmum track.

The location of the actual place where filming was undertaken is at Wind Mill 10. There is an unsealed road that will take you to this point. Google map directions from the main carpark are here. Once you have parked at this location there is also a short walk to a coastal viewpoint with stunning views of the sea as it relentlessly pounds the shore.

Wind Mill Ten

Even Further Afield

It would be remiss of this guide to not take you a little further afield and experience the drive from Albany to Denmark. Situated 51km east, the route can be completed directly in less than an hour if you travel direct. The scenic route outlined below is the only option and will take you to Australia's version of the Dark Hedges (if you watch Game of Thrones you'll understand), another fabulous beach, vineyards, chocolate and epicurean delights.

West Cape Howe National Park

Jutting boldly into the Southern Ocean, West Cape Howe is the most southern promontory of Western Australia.

The park’s exceptionally scenic landscape includes dramatic cliffs of granite and black dolerite, isolated golden beaches, rock islands, rugged limestone outcrops and complex patterns of vegetation including patches of karri forest, peppermint thickets and windswept heathlands. Nearly 500 species of plants are found in the park including banksias, trigger plants and more than 50 species of orchids.

The Karri Trees at the entrance to Shelley Beach are astounding and their shapes and colours portray natures sculptures at her finest.

Shelley Beach

Shelley Beach lookout is a prime launching site for hang-gliders. Two-wheel drive vehicles can reach Shelley Beach and the nearby lookout, but other sites within the park require fourwheel drive. Park features can also be reached by bushwalking along the sandy four-wheel-drive tracks. Dolphins, seals and sealions may be spotted from the coastal cliffs of either park. Humpback and southern right whales travel along the coastline during winter and early spring.

Camping is permitted at the beach and the area is presided over a very cheerful chap who takes his vacation here every year to oversee the basic facilities. Unsurprisingly, he has no plans of retiring!

Time moves slowly here, only the clouds and the sea provide motion.


Denmark is a charming town, located on the banks of the beautiful Denmark River. With its rugged coastline and towering forests, the town offers visitors unforgettable scenery, quality wineries and plenty of activities.

Denmark has a number of places to both eat and stay and few hours can easily be spent wandering the town centre. Make sure you take a walk down to the riverside for views of the Denmark River and verdant landscape that surrounds it.

On this day tour we will travel out to Ocean Beach and its surrounding bays to take in the stunning views as well as taking in some lunch at The Lake House, located amidst the stunning Karri Trees that are a highlight.

At nearby Sinker Bay take some time to relax and watch the mesmerising beauty of the sea.

“Each kiss of an ocean wave is passed along, as long as there is life on and in the seas.” -Anthony T. Hincks

Another day in Paradise. People flock to the stunning Ocean Beach near Denmark.

The Lake House

When you visit The Lake House, it's all about slowing down, taking time out, laid-back lunches, long conversation, fine wines, homemade and handmade, wholesome food, picnics, friends old and new, delicious cakes, great stories, coffee, fond memories and warm hospitality.

The Lake House Denmark produces a range of premium, award winning cool climate wines from the Great Southern region. With superb fruit flavours that capture the character and richness of the region, attention to detail and exemplary wine making The Lake House Denmark has crafted four ranges — the quirky lifestyle label ‘He Said She Said’, The Postcard Series, the Premium Reserve Range and a Museum Range.

In Closing

This location guide just touches the surface of the activities and attractions, the people, the art, the community of Albany. Western Australia’s Great Southern region extends a few hundred kilometres along the south coast and stretches almost two hundred kilometres inland. There’s even more to explore out there, including:

  • Biodiversity hotspot flora and spectacular scenery in the Stirling Range, the Porongurup Range and the Fitzgerald River National Park,
  • Five wine sub regions to taste test, each with its own strengths and special qualities. A Great Southern Riesling was named the 2019 Australian wine of the year by the nation’s most respected wine critic!
  • A boutique hotel in Katanning’s former flour mill, with unique rooms featuring the mill’s machinery and structures,
  • Offshore tours to view orcas out of Bremer Bay in summer and early autumn,
  • A playground for all ages at Katanning with supersize slides, rides, swings and roundabouts.

We hope the film, and the locations encourage you to visit, enjoy, holiday and make up your own adventure. Can you match your journey with this alphabet?

  • A is for Albany
  • B is for Blow Holes
  • C is for Colours – every colour of the rainbow exists here in nature.
  • D is for Denmark
  • E is for Epicurian – fresh seafood, vineyards, cosy cafés.
  • F is for Farmers Markets
  • G is for Great Southern Seafood
  • H is for Happiness
  • I is for Idyllic Landscapes - there's beauty everywhere you look.
  • J is for Joel Jackson- Albany local
  • K is for Karri Trees
  • L is for Liberté
  • M is for Minang Boodja
  • N is for National ANZAC Centre
  • O is for Open-hearted Community
  • P is for Porongurup Pure
  • Q is for Quiet Nights
  • R is for Remembrance – the region is the birth of ANZAC in Australia.
  • S is for Stirling Range National Park
  • T is for Tree Tops
  • U is for Unique – there's no place quite like Albany
  • V is for Vancouver Art Centre – home to a thriving community arts centre.
  • W is for Wignalls Wines and Wilsons Brewing
  • X is for Xenia – did you know that's another word for hospitality!
  • Y is for Yankee Doodle the mini horse
  • Z is for Zest – for life. That's what people down here have.
The setting of this story is very important. It’s set in a small, charming, quirky seaside town. It had to be a place that could be picked up and placed anywhere in the world. I didn’t really want it to be geographically specific. What I love about Albany is it has a sense of that old world, and that charm, in its architecture, in its landscape, it has quirky hills and boulders, has a beautiful bay, and for me, I could be anywhere in the world, in this story. And that’s what I want, and that’s what I saw in Albany, and what I loved about Albany. I embraced it. Cinematically it is elevated and no matter where you go you are going to be able to frame something beautifully - no matter where you turn the camera in this landscape, in this town. (John Sheedy - Director)


The producers would like to thank the City of Albany and the Great Southern Region for their support.

H is for Happiness was produced with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screenwest and the West Australian Regional Film Fund, Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund, Film Victoria and Universal Pictures. It was financed with the assistance of Bonsai Films, Cyan Films, LM Hoppe, Marshalls+Dent+Wilmoth, Soundfirm, Sandbox and The Koop

The H is for Happiness Film Location Guide was developed for Screenwest by Ian Brodie. Images courtesy of Happiness Film Productions Pty Ltd & Ian Brodie.