Filmed on location in the north of Western Australia on the Dampier Peninsula, and in Esperance in the south, the film adaption of Tim Winton's critically acclaimed novel Dirt Music opens in Australia on October 8 2020.
Take a look behind the scenes, and read on to follow the Dirt Music journey through the Kimberley with our itinerary.
In late 2018 a talented crew, including actors David Wenham, Gareth Hedlund and Kelly Macdonald, director Gregor Jordan, producers Finola Dwyer and Angie Fielder, and cinematographer Sam Chiplin arrived in Broome and headed north to the remote coastal locations of the Dampier Peninsula, the setting for the novel's 'Coronation Gulf', a little known archipelago in the north of the state.
Depicted incredibly beautifully in the novel and movie, these much loved and recognised landscapes are a character in the story itself, and made a lasting impression on the Dirt Music crew.
"Tim's an icon in this country. And yeah, he's the Australian writer who can capture first of all the landscape, what the landscape is. Tim, this is his home, Western Australia, and he writes about it so brilliantly, he knows exactly how to paint a picture of the landscape."
David Wenham (Jim Buckridge) on Tim Winton.
“The landscape and what we’ve captured is kind of even more powerful than I could have hoped for really. It’s very hard to describe till you see it. It’s a combination sometimes of the heat, the colour of the water, the trees, the red dirt, it’s kind of so vibrant and loud at times, and then other times it’s very soft. It’s like nowhere else I’ve been.”
Finola Dwyer, Academy Award nominated Producer of Dirt Music
"We found these places with huge tides, and where's waterfalls in the middle of the sea and whirlpools, and it's a very, very magical place."
Michael Carlin, Production Designer on Dirt Music
"To have one man, or one character in a landscape, and that landscape is remarkable, it was seriously a dream to shoot that kind of imagery."
Sam Chiplin, Cinematographer on Dirt Music
"WA is from top to bottom extraordinary. It makes you feel so alive being in these places that are so remote."
Kelly MacDonald (Georgie Jutland)
"Land is the greatest, greatest character of Australian storytelling, and it always will be, without a doubt."
Aaron Pederson (Beaver)
Proudly supported by Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund
Your Dirt Music Experience
Cape Leveque Road
Drive to the Dampier Peninsula via the Cape Leveque Road. From Broome, the turnoff is located approximately 20 kilometres along the Broome Road.
While the Cape Leveque Road will be fully sealed from November 2020, high clearance 4WD vehicles are still recommended for access roads to campsites and other attractions. Alternatively, you can join a 4WD or scenic flight tour from Broome.
Car, campervan and camper trailer hire is available in Broome.
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque
Set at the northern tip of the Dampier Peninsula, Kooljaman at Cape Leveque is an award-winning remote wilderness camp owned and run by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities.
Enjoy stunning waterviews from the beachfront shelters and safari tents, or stay in the shaded campground, ensuite cabins or log cabins. Raugi's Restaurant overlooks the red cliffs and white sands of Western Beach, where you can walk, fish and take in the incredible sunsets.
Take a dip, snorkel and fish at Eastern Beach, and you can also join a range of guided tours, from bush tucker, coastal and cultural walks, to 4WD tagalong tours and trips to the Horizontal Falls and the Buccaneer Archipelago.
Lombadina Aboriginal Community
On the shores of beautiful Thomas Bay, Lombadina Aboriginal Community offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the local way of life. With cabin accommodation on site, you can enjoy the white sandy beaches, take a guided fishing, whale watching or heritage tour, and discover the range of locally produced arts and crafts. You can also visit as part of a day tour from Broome, or a self-guided trip.
Note: Lombadina Aboriginal Community is currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Gumbanan Bush Camp
The location for some stunning shots from the movie, Gumbanan Bush Camp offers camping and safari tent accommodation, as well as cultural tours and story telling. Spend some time exploring the surrounds, including the large rock fish trap 'Mayoorr' which captures fish on the outgoing tides, and discovering the local bird- and wildlife.
Stretching from the coast at One Arm Point, across the King Sound and towards the Horizontal Falls, the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago are often called the 'Thousand Islands'. Seen in the movie as 'Coronation Gulf', visitors can experience the islands on boat tours or scenic flights from Broome, and from the Dampier Peninsula (Kooljaman and Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm). Guests on Kimberley cruises will also explore the islands as they make their way along the coast.
Home to some of the world's largest tides, visitors all along the Kimberley Coast are treated to a twice-daily show as the 10m+ tides ebb and flow. From waterfalls that flow horizontally to reefs that appear in the middle of the ocean, you'll want to take a tour to experience the tidal trickery! Fly from Broome or Derby, take a boat tour from Kooljaman or Cygnet Bay, or a cruise along the coast to experience the rush of these giant tides.
As the characters Lu, Georgie and Jim fly to the 'Coronation Gulf' in the movie, the spectacular coastline and the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago provide a stunning backdrop, with colours that have to be seen to be believed. Experience this for yourself with scenic flights departing from Broome, Derby and the Dampier Peninsula.
It's not just Barramundi you can catch in the Kimberley, and whether your preference is for land or ocean based fishing, you'll find plenty of opportunities to cast a line on the Dampier Peninsula. You'll can also share a cultural experience with the local Bardi Jawi people - learn traditional fishing and hunting techniques, or head out on a fishing charter from Kooljaman or Lombadina!