Debra Lawrance replaced Vanessa Downing as Pippa Fletcher in 1990, but to this day, the show continues to use both actresses' likeness in flashbacks and photographs throughout the series, possibly the only television serial to do so.
Ray Meagher remains the only original cast member still on the show since its premiere in 1988. Costars Kate Richie (Sally) and Norman Coburn (Fisher) received a Guinness World Record along with Meagher for being the longest-serving actors in an Australian serial in 2001. Coburn left in 2003 after fifteen years, while Richie left in 2008 after twenty years on the show. Both have since been eclipsed by Lynne McGranger who has held the role of Irene Roberts since 1992, and is now the second-longest serving actor in the same role (and longest-serving actress) in Australian television history behind costar Meagher. Ada Nicodemou has also been on the show continuously for seventeen years, since 2000, also overtaking Coburn.
Of all the houses, shops, clubs, and other locations that have featured in the show since its inception, as of the 2008 season, the Summer Bay Caravan Park residence, officially known as Summer Bay House, is the only set that still remains, and maintains more or less the same appearance from when the show premiered in 1988. The only other location that has also been used throughout the series is Summer Bay High School, however it has undergone extensive set redesigns over the years. The Summer Bay Diner was introduced at the very end of the first season, and had also been a mainstay of the show, but has had three separate incarnations following a fire (2000), and land subsidence (2008), while the Summer Bay Surf Lifesaving Club made its first appearance in the middle of the second season, and likewise has undergone significant changes over the years, some reflecting the actual filming location, which has remained the same since 1989.
Sheila Kennelly and Frank Lloyd, who played original characters Floss and Neville McPhee, were let go from the show when their contracts expired at the end of the first year, because the producers felt more time needed to be focused on the younger cast members. The producers did not tell them until the last minute, but both had already found out by reading about their character's departures in a television soap magazine. The Executive Producer at the time, said he hoped they could be brought back in future episodes as special guests, but this never occurred, with them only being mentioned by other characters from time to time. Ultimately, Sheila Kennelly did return in 2000, and has returned a few more times since. However, by this time Frank Lloyd had passed away, so the decision was made to kill his character off, and not re-cast (off-screen). The same thing happened to original cast member Helena Bozich, who after just four months was let go, because the producers wanted to focus more time on the other younger cast members. It was planned, however, that she would make a dramatic return some weeks later, but this never eventuated.
The reason Tasha only spoke pig Latin was that Isabel Lucas who played Tasha, had been spotted on a street and, lacking acting experience, was slowly introduced into the action by not having to say much.
Of the seventeen original cast members (one still remains today), all but four have reprised their roles on the show since their initial departures. All have reappeared at least twice, except for three (Ailsa, Bobby, and Tom) who came back as "ghosts" after their characters were killed-off. The original characters who have not returned, are Neville McPhee and Lynn Davenport, as well as Justine Clarke as Roo Stewart (the character returned twenty years later, played now by Georgie Parker), and Vanessa Downing, who played Pippa (the role was re-cast after her departure, and her successor has reappeared as the character, following her own departure, since). Neville McPhee was killed-off off-screen in 2000. His portrayer, Frank Lloyd, passed away in 1995, and the decision was made not to re-cast him. The producers attempted to bring back Helena Bozich (Lynn) several times starting in 2000, but they have never been able to locate her.
In July 2009, the Mayor of Sydney's Pittwater Council presented the cast and crew with the keys to Palm Beach, in recognition of the series' 21st Anniversary (the beach being a major shooting location). At the Cargo Bar celebration, Ray Meagher declared, tongue-in-cheek: "Home and Away is the most financially successful product in the history of the Seven Network. Artistically, some people might argue."
After the successful introduction of Cornelia Frances as Morag Bellingham shortly after the show started, plans were made to have Rowena Wallace also guest star, in an effort to reunite the two actresses, who were a smash hit as clashing sisters Barbara and Patricia Hamilton on the earlier Channel 7 soap Sons and Daughters. Wallace however was busy at the time, and despite producers holding on to the idea for another year, the plans never eventuated. The possible role for Wallace at that time was never revealed. Eleven years later, Wallace finally joined the cast as recurring character June Reynolds, who went on to marry Donald Fisher, himself having had a long and bitter history with Morag since the show began.
When the recurring character of Alan Fisher (Simon Bossell) was killed-off, the producers later regretted their decision, due to a fan backlash. Several ideas were penned where the actor could make a believable return, including one where a movie was made of Alan's novel, "The Crest of a Wave", which was published posthumously, and Simon would show up as another character "with a mustache" to audition for the lead, stunning other cast members with his resemblance to the dead Alan. These ideas however never came to fruition, as new permanent characters were being introduced at the same time.
Jackie Woodburne, who currently plays Susan Kennedy on Neighbours (1985), auditioned for the role of Pippa Ross, when the character was re-cast in 1990. She lost the role to Debra Lawrance, who she was shortlisted with, the two became good friends, and are still friends.
Summer Bay resident Mrs Peters, played by Gwen Plumb, only appeared in the pilot episode. By the time the green light was given for a full series, she had elected instead to become a founding member of Ten's Richmond Hill (1988) cast, as Mum Foote; the series ran a year. Mrs. Peters was re-worked into the much younger Celia Stewart.