Call of the little wild critters
SORREL Wilby sounds exhausted. She’s just spent the night in the Lamington National Park in Queensland, filming nocturnal rainforest animals including brush-tail possums and tree frogs, or, as she says, ‘‘little critters in the wild’’ for her doco-travel show Best of Australia.
The show was originally created by Wilby (left), a former Getaway regular, as a series for Australian Geographic magazine subscribers.
So successful was the venture that a second series was commissioned.
‘‘Everything I learnt from nine years on Getaway and everything that I held previously with my documentary background, I just found a way to make something new, make a new genre if you like,’’ Wilby says.
‘‘There’s room for solid documentary and there’s room for a classic Getaway travel show, but I think what I’ve tried to do in creating this series is bridge the gap between the two.
‘‘You kind of create a really accessible, user-friendly sort of documentary. I’ve tried to create something that inspires you to travel to a particular region or an area.’’
Wilby, 47, visits a different region of Australia in each episode and weaves in her passion for conservation and science into a travelogue.
Among her many travelling feats, Wilby has traversed the Himalayas and ridden 17,000km through Asia on a bicycle.
‘‘It’s just unbelievable. Because there’s the strength of the Australian Geographic brand, we get access to the best scientists and the best researchers out in the field. Everyone was just so willing to share their story and their knowledge with us,’’ she says.
‘‘People (viewers) are becoming more interested in the back story when they travel, rather than just go and take a picture of it, tick it off a list and stay in a nice hotel.
‘‘I think people want to learn something about where they are. There has been this shift in a traveller’s psyche. People are trying to get more from the actual experience,’’ she says.