Where was Sweet Tooth filmed? Essex Colorado & ALL the Locations: The Zoo Park House

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Now back for season two, this is the fantasy series where Mad Max meets Bambi. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, a 10-year-old half-human, half-deer boy embarks on an extraordinary adventure looking for his mother in a fictional location known as Essex, Colorado.

Sweet Tooth was entirely filmed in New Zealand, both on the North Island (Auckland, Waikato District) and on the South Island (Otago).

Sweet Tooth and Tommy

Based on the dark DC Comics series by Jeff Lemire, producers made extensive use of practical visual effects for the hybrids. On the other hand, most of the locations have an overdose of CGI.

However, Atlas of Wonders was able to locate most of the beautiful landscapes in the show, even if they are hidden under layers of digital effects.

Congratulations. You’ve made it to the ultimate guide to Sweet Tooth’s filming locations. You'll find the locations more or less in order of appearance, with the new season 2 updates very soon below in the report.


The Sweet Tooth Essex Colorado County Zoo

Sweet Tooth Zoo
In the first episode, "Out of the Deep Woods", Aimee creates a safe haven for hybrids called the Preserve in the former Essex County Zoo.

These scenes were filmed at the Auckland Zoo, the largest zoo in the country which opened in 1922 in the Western Springs neighborhood.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Glasshouse of the Essex County Zoo
However, the interior is inspired by the historical glass roof vaults at the Auckland Botanical Gardens.

It seems that no actual filming took place there (unless the film crews removed most of the delicate plants hosted in the glasshouse to make room for filming).

The song played at the end of the first episode is Dirty Paws from the Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Vicky’s Pines in Te Henga
The cabin in the Yellowstone National Park was a set built at Vicky's Pines in Te Henga, also known as Bethells Beach.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Sweet Tooth location
The epic landscape featured in the second episode, after Gus joins Tommy, is the section of the series that is more reminiscent of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogy landscapes.

This scene was filmed in the mountains around Glenorchy in New Zealand's South Island. The location pictured is the Rees Valley, with Mount Earnslaw and the glacier-fed Rees River on the left. Obviously, the giant antennas were added in post-production to achieve a more dramatic effect.

Also, many blockbuster productions including Chronicles of Narnia and Mission: Impossible Fallout were filmed in this spectacular area located just a few miles away from Queenstown.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Sweet Tooth house
The visitor center cabin at the top of a waterfall was CGI'd into footage recorded at Hunua Falls, located on the outskirts of Auckland at H┼źnua Ranges Regional Park. The interior of the house was filmed at the studios in Auckland.

In the park, there is a picnic area and a short path to see the scenic 30-meter plunge waterfall from every angle.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Colorado lookout peak gondola
The lookout peak gondola is also a digital creation. The scene was made using the same spot that appears at the beginning of the first episode, "Out of the Deep Woods", when Pubba is hiking from Colorado to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.


Animal Army headquarters
The popular theme park Rainbow’s End in Manukau City Centre (Auckland), announced via Twitter that the production filmed some scenes at the Corkscrew Coaster roller coaster.

This is the location of the Animal Army headquarters of the third episode, "Weird Deer S**t".
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Glenbrook Vintage Railway
The railway station with the vintage locomotive scene was filmed at Glenbrook Vintage Railway located in Glenbrook (Waiuku), south of Auckland.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Essex Colorado
This scene in Essex County from episode four, "Secret Sauce", was filmed in Auckland's downtown.

The building with a white exoskeleton is the luxury $250 million Princes St apartment complex, called The International. The edifice on the left, also covered with plants in real life, is The Northern Club.

Executive Producer Susan Downey told the New Zealand Film Commission that "unlike many post-apocalyptic stories where everything’s kind of gray and dusty with crumbling buildings, the central idea for Sweet Tooth was that nature was reclaiming the world". So New Zealand played perfectly into the look where everything had to be lush and green.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Essex Public Library
The Essex Public Library was filmed at Auckland's old railway station, The Strand Station on Beach Road.

From 1999 to 2008, this building was partly transformed into a student accommodation complex for Auckland University and named The Railway Campus. As of 2017, the site is called the Grand Central Apartments Auckland.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Fort Smith Scientific Research
The Fort Smith Scientific Research building in the seventh episode, "When Pubba Met Birdie", is the Manukau City Council administration building.

In the second season, the interior was filmed at the Park City in Auckland.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Maps: Manukau City Council / Park City


Sweet Tooth drehorte
The white church in the season finale, "Big Man", is St Matthew-in-the-City, an early 20th-century neo-Gothic temple located in the Central Business District of Auckland.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Locations in the second season

Essex County Zoo
The exterior of the Essex County Zoo in the second season is the Old St Stephen's Boarding School in the Bombay Hills in South Auckland.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Tasman Glacier in the South Island
As Netflix revealed, the scene at the Artic in the first episode, "In Captivity," was filmed on the Tasman Glacier in the South Island.

Nestled within the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, this breathtaking natural wonder is the longest glacier in the country.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Factory Town
The Factory Town was filmed at the Warkworth Cement Works.

Established in the late 1800s, the first cement manufacturing plant in New Zealand is today a glimpse into the region's industrial past.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Into the Deep Woods
The scene where Becky meets a convoy of refugees in the second episode, "Into the Deep Woods," was recorded on the Rountree Road between the towns of Ngatea and Mangatarata.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Air Lord airplane hangar
The Air Lord aircraft hangar was shot at the Museum Of Transport And Technology in Auckland.

The MOTAT boasts an impressive collection of exhibits, showcasing the evolution of New Zealand's transportation heritage.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Essex City High School
The Kingseat Hospital served as the Essex City High School.

Closed in 1999, this former Victorian mental health asylum now stands abandoned.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

Christian Convery plays Gus, the naive 10-year-old hybrid boy. Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones, RocknRolla) is the former Last Man, Tommy Jepperd. Stefania LaVie Owen plays Bear/Becky, the leader of the Animal Army.

Dania Ramirez is Aimee Eden, the creator of the Preserve. Adeel Akhtar plays Dr. Aditya Singh, the doctor who tries to find the cure for the H5G9 virus. Also, the narrator is American actor James Brolin.


We will soon update this list with the new second season locations.

Can you help to improve this article about the filming locations of Sweet Tooth? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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5 comments:

1- Anonymous - July 4, 2021 at 9:49 PM
I noticed while watching that all the railroad tracks appeared to be narrow gauge. The rails in the USA are four feet eight and one-half inches apart. In New Zealand, they are three feet six inches between the rails. I noticed this immediately and repeatedly. It does not detract from this fine production. I just found it puzzling until I found out where it was filmed.

2- Anonymous - July 17, 2021 at 11:50 AM
The locations were so stupid. There are zero fences around Yellowstone. There is no river on the border of Colorado and Wyoming. It goes on and on how nothing looks like it was in the mountains west of the United States.

3- Anonymous - Jun 3, 2022, 4:25 PM
Did you ever hear of the little snake river?

4- Anonymous - May 6, 2023, 12:05 AM
It's a TV show about mutant kids and people are worried about rivers in real life, this is excellent TV, simple as that.

5- Anonymous - May 12, 2023, 9:47 PM
I know some of the filming was done in the Waiuku forest.


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