Call of the lit­tle wild crit­ters

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

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.

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