Faraway Downs is a rather unusual expansion of a 15-year-old film into a new six-episode series. Was it truly filmed in Australia, and when?
In 2008, Baz Luhrmann released Australia, which was meant to be his big epic. Beginning in 1939, it focused on an Englishwoman (Nicole Kidman) who comes to Australia to oversee her late husband’s ranch. She’s aided by one of the local cowboys known only as the Drover (Hugh Jackman). The pair fall in love while protecting their ranch from a rival rancher and handling the outbreak of World War II.
The movie had a lot of hype but ended up being a box-office disappointment. However, Luhrmann has come up with the wild idea of taking scores of unused footage and transforming the film into a six-episode Hulu series called Faraway Downs. This will expand on the film’s story and themes while standing as its own project.
That sounds fun, but was this film-turned-series really shot in Australia?
Where was Faraway Downs filmed?
Of course, Luhrmann couldn’t handle just soundstages but shot Australia in 2007 in the actual country. According to “Between Naps on the Porch,” the movie was mostly filmed across several different territories across the country. Mostly it was filmed in Bown in Northern Queensland, whose waterfront could stand in for the Darwin of the 1940s.
The Faraway Downs ranch was actually built in Sydney and shipped to Kununurra, whose vast open areas were perfect for the tale. There were also some famous locations like the King George Falls and the Purnululu National Park, while the Fox Studios at Centennial Park were utilized for Kidman’s home in England and Strickland House was used for the Darwin Government House.
It is interesting that all this filming was done 16 years ago, yet several of the areas used could still easily stand in for the same locations today. So be sure that Faraway Downs, like Australia before it, was filmed in the real Down Under to make it look authentic for its adventures.
Faraway Downs premieres Sunday, Nov. 26, on Hulu. Australia is also streaming the series on Hulu.