Canberra's Namadgi National Park stars in new Netflix documentary
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Netflix documentary starring 'Mala' a young kangaroo puts a spotlight on the Namadgi National Park and Canberra's unique natural beauty.
'Kangaroo Valley', a documentary film produced by Los Angeles-based AMPLE Nature, a division of Emmy Award-winning AMPLE Entertainment, exclusively for Netflix, premieres Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Telling the coming-of-age story of a young kangaroo joey called Mala, 'Kangaroo Valley' shows what it takes for her to survive her incredible first year. The odds are not in her favour: only one in five joeys make it to their first birthday. Mala's greatest enemy is the dingo pack that stalks her family. Among them is the young dingo, Miro, who turns out to be her greatest mentor.
The other star of the documentary is Canberra's Namadgi National Park.
Just a 45-minute drive south from the Canberra city centre, Namadgi National Park is a cinematographer's dream, with incredible natural beauty the setting and a cast of native animals that call it home. The park's location at the foothills of the Australian Alps includes the Valley of Gudgenby, where Mala's mob makes their home. A world of breathtaking vistas and granite outcrops, the Valley is divided into two main areas: the wildflower-cloaked plains where the mob grazes during the day, and the snow-gum woodlands which were severely burnt in Australia's 2020 bushfires.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: VISITING NAMADGI NATIONAL PARK
The Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre, is open and welcoming visitors. act.gov.au has the most up to date information on accessible areas, including walking tracks, camping grounds and cultural sites.
It is a short 45 minute drive from Canberra city. It offers visitors remote wilderness experiences, a wide range of natural environments, an abundance of native wildlife, and Aboriginal and European cultural sites.
Canberra is renowned for being a 100% renewable energy city with approximately 70% of the ACT dedicated to nature parks.
Even in Canberra's city centre, a walk up Mount Ainslie, Mount Painter, or Black Mountain will give you Australian bush scenes and views over this planned city.
Here's ten iconic outdoor experiences that locals love and no trip to Canberra would be complete without.
Namadgi is a natural stage with a vast open expanse of grassy fields where the kangaroo mob feed, ringed by dramatic mountains. And it's from these mountains that the dingo pack emerge each day to hunt. It's all a potent combination that makes Namadgi a magical place to film and visit.
Over a year, the talented team filmed more than 300 hours of footage to capture the story of Mala. Lead cinematographer, Tom Crowley (Planet Earth II, Seven Worlds One Planet, Hostile Planet, Earth at Night) was enamoured with what he witnessed and filmed.
"There's two places with incredible natural beauty that I've wanted to return to film in again. One is Tanzania, the other is Namadgi National Park," he said.
Kylie Stott, director and SVP of Ample Nature, was pregnant with her first child during the filming of 'Kangaroo Valley' and gave birth to her very own joey just before the completion of the film.
Stott adds: “Eastern grey kangaroos are Australia's best examples of megafauna and, as the film unveils, they have surprisingly fascinating and complex social lives. Namadgi is definitely one of the best places to see wild kangaroos up close.”
Watch the documentary, narrated by Succession's Sarah Snook and soundtrack by Sia, to find out what makes Namadgi National Park so exceptional - a place to reconnect with nature, learn about local Aboriginal culture, explore the walking tracks, and see native wildlife up close.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: THE MAKING OF KANGAROO VALLEY
All the names of the animals in the film are drawn from Australian indigenous languages.
Mala is derived from the Ngarigo word "malaŋan" which means "girl."
Buru is Ngunnawal for "kangaroo."
Ngarigo and Ngunnawal are both local Indigenous languages from Kangaroo Valley's main filming location Namadgi National Park.
The team captured several scenes never before caught on camera, including:
The magical night-time sequence is the first time biofluorescence has ever been captured on such a large scale. It's only been recently discovered that Australia's marsupials transform their colours under ultraviolet light and that biofluorescence is found so extensively throughout the Australian landscape.
a kangaroo mating train with over 30 males that turned into a frenzy.
a wombat territorial showdown
the mutually beneficial relationship between Willie Wagtail birds and kangaroos