There’s nowhere quite like Broome.
If there was an Oscar for best location, the Kimberley would no doubt have a swag of the iconic statuettes to its credit and earned many standing ovations.
The dramatic Kimberley landscape has taken centre stage in both blockbuster movies and popular television mini-series over the years.
It was the star of the big screen in the Baz Luhrmann blockbuster, Australia, along with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
The 2008 movie became a huge international success exposing the magnificent scenery around Kununurra that doubled as the sprawling property, Faraway Downs.
The Kimberley gained world-wide notoriety as one of the planet’s most breath-taking and unique places and enticed many to head that way.
Luhrmann spent almost a decade searching for the ultimate Australian landscape that would etch itself indelibly into the public imagination and he found it, in the Kimberley.
“What’s so exciting about the Kimberley landscape is on the one hand, it is harsh, brutal and unforgiving – but at any given moment it can become the most awesome, majestic, inspiring, poetic and lyrical place to be,” Luhrmann said at the time.
Kidman also thought the landscape was very special and has been a great advocate for the region.
She revealed she bathed in sacred fertility springs while she was filming and ended up pregnant – but added husband, musician Keith Urban also visited.
Another movie, the musical Bran Nue Dae starring Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins and Geoffrey Rush, was filmed around Broome in 2009.
Based on Jimmy Chi’s stage play of the 1990s it is the story of the coming of age of an Aboriginal teenage boy on a 2000-kilometre road trip between Perth and Broome in the late 1960s.
Director Rachel Perkins chose Broome because “it is so distinctive – the reds, the blues, the corrugated iron and the old pearling masters homes.”
The award-winning ABC’s riveting six-part series Mystery Road staring Judy Davis and Aaron Petersen was filmed near Kununurra last year and the cameras rolled again in October for the filming of Tim Winton’s Dirt Music.
The gritty love story, due for release at the end of the year or early 2020, was partly filmed at Cape Leveque on the northern most tip of the Dampier Peninsula.
As well as the A-list stars, Broome and Kununurra locals are pretty good at stepping up as extras in crowd scenes or taking on minor roles.