Category Special Place of the Month

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“AUSTRALIAN WALKABOUT”

Posted by scarlsson at 09:39, December 12 2012.

The Chauvels’ career took a totally different direction with their last venture, “Australian Walkabout”. Before leaving London, after post-production work on “Jedda”, the BBC had interviewed Charles and Elsa on television, with excerpts from the film. They had a huge public response to the interview, with viewers asking to know more about outback Australia. The BBC had run a series of wildlife adventure films in South Africa with a husband and wife, Armand and Michaela Dennis, but the couple had recently deserted BBC for a more lucrative offer with a commercial station. Charles received a cable from the BBC asking them to return to London and discuss the making of a similar series in Australia.

Charles was in his element, filming do...

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The Northern Territory and JEDDA

Posted by scarlsson at 10:00, September 14 2012.

The settings for JEDDA were eclectically-chosen from many beautiful parts of the Northern Territory, from The Centre to Mataranka, the Roper River, Beswick, Kakadu and Marrakai. Two key locations were Katherine Gorge and Ormiston Gorge, both extremely difficult to reach in the fifties, long before organised tourism. The homestead used for exterior shots was Coolibah Station, near Victoria River, with interiors replicated at Avondale Studios, Sydney. Crocodile scenes in Jedda were filmed on the Roper River near Mataranka. Rosalie Kunoth from Alice Springs (Ngarla Kunoth on screen ) played Jedda and Bobbie Wilson from Darwin (Robert Tudawali) was cast as the charismatic Marbuk...

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CANUNGRA AND THE SCENIC RIM

Posted by scarlsson at 10:00, June 28 2012.

We’re in Queensland! No other town in Australia has featured as much in Charles Chauvel’s films as Canungra. The little town tucked into the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, in the Gold Coast hinterland, was the location for scenes in his 1935 film “Heritage”, his second war film, “Rats of Tobruk” and then the epic “Sons of Matthew”. Canungra was first established by timber-cutters, but today is a hub for The Scenic Rim, an area of tourism, wineries and horse studs. It is the gateway to the Lamington National Park and Mt. Tamborine – two of Chauvel’s key locations for his pioneering drama, “Sons of Matthew”...

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Currans Hill, Narellan NSW

Posted by scarlsson at 10:00, April 24 2012.

Currans Hill today is deemed a suburb of Camden. In 1942 it was a bare hill surrounded by farmland. Chauvel found it the perfect location for his ‘town’ of Tobruk, a portion of which was reconstructed on the hill according to official war photographs.

Excerpt from biography:

“There were unexpected diversions for farmers in the Narellan district, early in 1944. On Currans Hill, normaly a quiet, rural location, war suddenly and noisily erupted. Bewildered residents watched as the Hill was invaded by truckloads of equipment and people – some in uniform with weapons, others with cameras.

A sealed road was laid. On either side of it carpenters erected white-painted buildings and what appeared to be ruins of a church...

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CRONULLA/KURNELL, SYDNEY

Posted by scarlsson at 10:00, February 8 2012.

What a difference between Kurnell today and the sweeping sand dune country that we saw in 1938.

The sandhills of north Cronulla/Kurnell stretched for about 250 miles and provided a convincing stand-in for the Sinai Desert. The ravages of sand-mining and landfill operations, 4WD driving and horse riding have since reduced them to a small area used today for fitness training.

Excerpts from biography:

“The men were in the saddle at 3 a.m., waiting for the dawn shots Chauvel wanted. The sky was overcast and a slight drizzle began, filling Charles and Elsa with apprehension. These sand dunes, with their shifting shadows and wind-tossed crests, seemed to embody all Charles’ hopes for the film.”

“The horsemen milled about in the dawn light, sil...

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Great Mackarel Beach – Pittwater, Sydney

Posted by scarlsson at 10:00, December 5 2011.

Sydneysiders: Do you recognise the same beach in the second photo?

It depicts a key scene in Charles Chauvel’s award-winning 1935 film “Heritage”. The peaceful, uninhabited cove at Great Mackarel Beach was used to depict the first settlement at Sydney Cove in the early days of the colony. Discover More…

I have never been to Great Mackarel Beach at Pittwater but I believe it is still reached chiefly by boat. I would love to hear from someone who lives there and recognises the setting.

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