We've unconsciously had a bit of a tradition going on this trip. As we travel around the country and visit varies towns and locations we've been remembering great movies that were set or filmed there, and taking the time to watch them again. And it's so fantastic to sit down and watch a classic Australian film, while recognising all the stunning scenery, iconic pubs, and interesting towns the movie is set in. So we thought we'd share some of our favourite Aussie movies, with their associated locations. What are you faves?
BRAN NUE DAY
We just so happen to be in Broome at the moment, and it keeps bringing up memories of this fantastic feel good film/musical. You'll love spotting iconic Kimberley locations like Sun Pictures, The Roebuck Hotel, and the Beagle Bay Church, particularly once you've seen them all for yourself. This movie is light hearted and hilarious, with some very serious themes thrown in for good measure, and paints a beautiful picture of Broome, it's people, and the local area. We love it.
Oh god, do Aussie movies get any better than this one? Based on a true story and set in Dampier and the surrounding Pilbara area, this movies is an absolute classic. You'll laugh, you'll most definitely cry (unless you've got a heart of steel) and you'll have a sudden urge to head west to where the dust is red. No lap of Australia is really complete without visiting the famous Red Dog statue on the way into Dampier (WA),and the surrounding Pilbara region has gem after gem of fantastic things to see and do.
Look, I know this movie isn't to everyones taste, but I love it (and not just because of that scene with Hugh Jackman having a bush shower, although it's definitely a highlight!). It's a big budget Holywood number, sometimes likened to Australia's answer to Gone With The Wind, and perhaps the reason I love it so much is that we first saw it at a cinema in Finland, in the middle of a Scandinavian winter, and it gave me a sudden desire to be back home where the sun is hot and the dirt is red. There's a couple of great locations depicted in this film, with some beautiful shots filmed around Kimberley scenery. But we recommend watching it when you visit Darwin as much of the film is set in wartime Darwin and it shows the bombing of Darwin, one of the few times in Australia's history that we've been attacked by a foreign power.
The ultimate iconic Australian film about Darryl Kerrigan whose home is his castle and which spawned the classic line 'tell him he's dreamin'. Why is it in this list of Australia film destinations? Because I can guarantee you if you even so much as see the town of Bonnie Doon listed on a road sign, you'll be singing 'We're all going to Boonie Doon' together in the car, just like the Kerrigan family.
I did not give this movie the credit it deserved back in the day. When we passed through Parkes (NSW) and visited 'The Dish' itself, I knew we had to dig out this film and re-watch it. Sure, it may be a slightly embellished version of events (what movie isn't?) but it's based on the true events surrounding Australia's involvement in the Moon Landing. And in true Australian style it's a little bit bogan, and a whole lot of funny.
If you're lucky enough to travel through Arnhem Land then this movie should definitely be on your lists. The first movie ever to be shot entirely in an Australian Aboriginal language (yes, you'll need to read subtitles!), and not only tells a fantastic story but gives an insight into the local cultural while also showcasing the stunning Arnhem Land scenery.
Look I'm not sure this is Australia's greatest movie achievement, but it's definitely iconic, and if you're a fan then you'll be wanting to check out a couple of the locations found in the film, like Kakadu National Park, NT and the Walkabout Hotel in McKinlay, QLD. The pub very much trades on it's Crocodile Dundee fame so you'll find plenty of memorabilia, and a chance to recreate that 'this is a knife!' line.
This story is phenomenal. The true story of Robyn Davidsons solo trek in the late 70's from Alice Springs to the West Australian coast with 4 camels and a dog. We've red her memoir, and we've watched the movie, and for anyone who thinks what we're doing is adventurous I can tell you it's got nothing on this! It really is a much watch, particularly if you're passing through Alice Springs, or venturing out into the desert yourself.
THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER
This movie actually came out 2 years before I was born, and while I love the original Banjo Patterson poem that the movie is based on (Check it out here if you've never read it), I had never seen the movie. That was until we were living in Darwin and they had a special screening of it at the Outdoor Cinema, which was absolutely the best way to the watch it! It's a such a gorgeous depiction of the NSW & VIC High Country so is well worth a watch if you're passing through that area.
LAST CAB TO DARWIN
Not very well known, and relatively recent compared to a lot of movies on this list. This movie tells the story of a taxi driver in Broken Hill who discovers he has a terminal illness so decides to drive his cab to Darwin in order to make use of their newly enacted Euthanasia laws, and die on his own terms. As you can imagine the journey itself brings up it's own adventures, and if you've travelled along the route you'll recognise many of the locations depicted in the movie. This is an interesting and thought provoking film, regardless of your stance on Euthanasia, with a hint of (often black) humour thrown in, in true Aussie style.
RABBIT PROOF FENCE
This unbelievable true story tells of 3 young mixed-race aboriginal sisters who are stolen from their parents and their community and sent to a mission in Perth. They escape and over 9 weeks walk 2,400km home along the rabbit-proof fence in outback Western Australia. Our travels through outback WA have got me thinking about this story again, so this is definitely on our list to re-watch, as it tells an important but dark part of our collective Australian history.
PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT
Australian road trip movies don't get any better than this one. I mean if a bunch of drag queens in a bus driving from Sydney to Alice Springs doesn't entertain you, what will? And with scenes set or filmed in Sydney, Alice Springs, Broken Hill, Coober Pedy and Kings Canyon (to name a few!) you're bound to find a destination you recognise and love. And if you're a die hard fan you too can get dressed up in drag and relive the 'cock in a frock on a rock' scene!
Ok, I'll admit, I haven't actually seen this movie (!!). But I have travelled through Coober Pedy and Broken Hill (Silverton) where the movie was filmed, and you can't help but be aware of it. You'll find plenty of memorabilia at both places as well as recognise a lot of scenery from the movie (so I'm told!) And yes, I've got it on the list to watch.. eventually.
Can you think of any we've missed? Let us know, and happy travels!