Malcolm Douglas was one of the first to create outback adventure films in Australia. He had a deep connection with the Aboriginal people and has been documenting their traditional life since the early 1960s.
Following a 4-year journey through the Australian wildlife, Malcolm Douglas turned this adventure into his first documentary film "Across the Top". For the next 40 years he made numerous other documentaries and dedicated his life to environmental protection and the preservation of the wildlife.
Walkabout With Malcolm Douglas (also known as In The Bush With Malcolm Douglas) is a 44-episode TV series where he explores Australia with his signature kelpie dog Boondie.
DF = Double Feature, TF = Triple Feature.
Places named in the episode descriptions refer mainly to the Kimberley region of Western Australia which is between 430 kms and 1,100 kms west of Darwin, Northern Territory.
Across The Top (DF, 90 min, 1969)
Made in 1967 it has become a classic Australian adventure film. The film shows Aboriginal life in Arnhem Land and an incredible journey through the Gulf of Carpentaria and up Cape York.
Follow The Sun (DF, 110 min, 1972)
A journey by lugger along the north-west coast and by 4WD vehicle into the rugged Kimberley. A classic adventure showing pearling, fishing, Aboriginal people and the rugged wilderness of the north west coast.
Beyond The Kimberley Coast (47 min, 1976)
With a small group of coastal Aboriginal people Malcolm travels in an open boat to Montgomery Reef and camps on the islands. An old Aboriginal man shows his grandson the ancient skills; hunting and cave painting.
The Last Of A Tribe (50 min, 1976)
Malcolm lives with Aboriginal elders of the Worora and Narinjin tribes at their bush camp in the remote Kimberley. Daily he films activities; collecting food, hunting and ceremonial life. An important film showing a culture rapidly changing.
[The Last Of A Tribe is] the finest Australian made documentary which I have yet seen. — Romola Costantino, Sun Herald
North To Niugini (47 min, 1978)
From Sydney (NSW) to Port Moresby (QLD), up the east coast of Australia and across Torres Strait. Travelling up the mighty Fly River, Malcolm camps with the Bagwa Aboriginal people, recording their traditional ways. After 84 days they reach Port Moresby.
Return To The Desert (47 min, 1979)
With a group of Kukadja Aboriginal men, Malcolm travels into the remote Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia. The desert Aboriginal men teach him their skills of survival, hunting and collecting. The amazing wildlife in the film includes rare footage of the tiny marsupial mole.
Land Of The Long Canoes (DF, 90 min, 1980)
Malcolm lives with the coastal people of Papua, accompanying them on their long hunting trips in Torres Strait on big sail-powered canoes. He travels up the Fly River and camps with the fierce Suki people. He reaches Kamoola, a village of great hunters and dancers.
Islands Of Arnhem Land (47 min, 1980)
A journey from Darwin to the Wessel Islands in a small boat along the coast of Arnhem Land. The men visit the islands, remote Aboriginal settlements and barramundi fishermen. They fish the rivers and bays and observe the abundant wildlife.
One Summer (47 min, 1981)
With his family Malcolm travels to Tasmania to fish for giant trout at Lake Pedder and the lakes of the beautiful high plateau, returning by five metre boat from Hobart up to Sydney.
A Season Of Snow (47 min, 1982)
Malcolm spends the winter in the mountains of southern New South Wales and Tasmania, cross-country skiing and developing survival techniques.
Canoes In The Kimberley With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1982)
In this classic adventure Malcolm travels with his Aboriginal companions in two Canadian canoes down the Charnley River gorge in the Kimberley. They are the first people to traverse this spectacular river chasm.
On reaching the sea they fit out-riggers to the big canoes to complete the journey down the rugged coast to Derby.
North From Broome With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1982)
Malcolm travels again to his favourite place on the coast, the north west Kimberley. He reaches the Lacepede Islands, Montgomery Reef, the island of the dead, the mighty Prince Regent River and the amazing tidal gorges (horizontal waterfalls) of Talbot Bay.
The Big River Adventure (47 min, 1983)
Malcolm journeys deep into Papua along the Strickland and Eimer Rivers. The swamp people help Malcolm construct a massive dug-out canoe and they travel upriver making contact with remote tribes.
Over The Range With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1983)
The stockmen of the bush had a hard life. Malcolm journeys on horseback with a group of these men into the rugged Kimberley Ranges, looking for wild scrub cattle, cave paintings and Aboriginal burial grounds.
Men Of The Desert With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1983)
Another journey with the Kukadja Aboriginal people into the Great Sandy Desert. The men take Malcolm to the water holes and hunting places where they survived in their younger days as nomads.
One Wet Season With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1984)
The annual monsoon season in the north floods the country. Malcolm spends three months filming the wet, travelling by 4WD and boat. It is a classic adventure taking the viewer from the barramundi fishermen of the Roper River to the Aboriginal out-stations of Arnhem Land.
The Wild North West With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1985)
A boat journey from Wyndham to Derby in the wet season showing the spectacular waterfalls of this rugged and virtually unknown coast. The barramundi fishing, crocodiles, coastal whirlpools and giant tides make this a magnificent wilderness.
Journey Into Yesterday With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1985)
Set in the Kimberley, an old Aboriginal man, Jomery of the Narinjin people, teaches Malcolm about 'my country', as the men live off the land and travel deep into the bush to retrieve tribal artefacts and re-paint, for the last time, the caves of Jomery's people.
Travelling True North With Malcolm Douglas (48 min, 1985)
The ultimate journey along the Kimberley coast in a luxury charter boat. Visit the scenic gorges, Montgomery Reef, the waterfalls and rivers.
Catching Crocodiles With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1985)
The story of the establishment of Malcolm's crocodile park in Western Australia with dramatic captures of huge crocodiles and the dangers of handling these massive reptiles.
Bass Strait Adventure With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1986)
From Melbourne to Hobart in an inflatable boat. Along the way he shows the life of fishermen, mutton-birders and abalone divers and the famous Killicrankie diamonds. The rich history, fascinating wildlife and unique coastline are also featured.
The Canning Stock Route With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1986)
Malcolm explores the 2,000 kilometres of this historic cattle route of WA, from Wiluna in the south to Halls Creek in the north. Highlights are the Bungle Bungle massif, the Wolf Creek meteorite crater, the old wells and a visit to the Kukadja Aboriginal people.
The Pearling Coast With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1986)
The history of pearling, from its early days in the 19th century (with rare historical footage) to the modern techniques used by today's fleet.
Kakadu To The Kimberley With Malcolm Douglas (DF, 92 min, 1987)
Malcolm travels to Kakadu National Park at the end of the wet season. From a helicopter he films the teeming wildlife. After reaching the Mitchell Falls on the Kimberley Plateau, Malcolm surveys the crocodile population along the coast.
The Macquarie Marshes With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1987)
Malcolm follows this elusive river through the unique wetlands of the Macquarie Marshes in western New South Wales. In two Canadian canoes they push through the lush swamps and film the abundant wildlife.
Journey To Bigge Island With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1988)
Malcolm and his mates journey by boat to a remote island off the Kimberley coast looking for Australia's smallest rock wallaby, the Warabi or Munjon. This is the first film of the shy little marsupial.
Across The Top Again With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1989)
Twenty five years on, Malcolm retraces his first journey from Darwin to Arnhem Land, across the buffalo plains, through the gulf country and up Cape York to the top of Australia.
Crossing The Bar With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1989)
Eden to Southport along the east coast. Great yarns and spectacular footage about the dangerous bars and dramatic boating accidents.
West Of The Rock With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1989)
A journey with the last Aboriginal people to 'come in' from the desert. They take Malcolm to their traditional lands and show him how their people lived for over 50,000 years in this harsh environment.
Life In Broome With Malcolm Douglas (47 min, 1989)
Malcolm lives at his crocodile farm in the north west of WA. He reveals his favourite places around historic Broome and along the wild and lonely coast.
My Country The Kimberley With Malcolm Douglas (DF, 90 min, 1990)
Malcolm journeys deep into the Kimberley, a remote and beautiful wilderness. Here can be found the spectacular scenery, the beautiful waterfalls and the glorious colours of wild Australia.
Survival In The Outback With Malcolm Douglas (DF, 94 min, 1991)
Malcolm travels across inland Australia demonstrating survival techniques that he has learned over thirty years. Ways to make fire, to locate and collect water and what to do if your vehicle breaks down.
Kayaks in the Kimberley (47 min, 1991)
Malcolm Douglas travels along the remote northwest coast of Australia in seagoing kayaks.
Along The Tracks With Malcolm Douglas (DF, 95 min, 1992)
Malcolm travels the three famous outback tracks, the Birdsville, the Oodnadatta and the Strzelecki. He meets the amazing human and animal inhabitants and shows the brilliant colours of the outback.
Return To The Top (47 min, 1993)
Returning to the Top End Malcolm retraces his adventures of earlier years.
Around Australia With Malcolm Douglas (TF, 135 min, 1993)
Malcolm takes the viewer around Australia visiting his favourite places. Starting out from Sydney, he travels to Fraser Island, through the Queensland rainforest and across the gulf country to Kakadu, Northern Territory.
From the NT he goes down the Gibb River Road through the amazing Kimberley gorge country to Broome, Marble Bar and southern WA.
The journey follows the train line across the Nullarbor to the wild southern coast and back to Sydney through the Snowy Mountains. Malcolm talks to the locals along the way and films the spectacular countryside and the unique flora and fauna.
Kimberley Adventure With Malcolm Douglas (TF, 126 min, 1997)
Malcolm travels in his boat to the most remote parts of the Kimberley, camps for weeks at a time on pristine beaches, chases mighty barramundi and trolls for giant trevally.
Exploring remote inlets and Kimberley rainforest he records the first film of the rare rough-scale python. Filmed over twelve months this is a great Malcolm Douglas adventure.
Malcolm Douglas Living With Crocodiles (TF, 130 min, 1997)
A 12-month record of life on a crocodile farm; collecting eggs, caring for hatchlings, recording the habits of both wild and captive animals and trapping new breeding stock.
In The Bush With Malcolm Douglas And His Dog Boondie (DF, 92 min, 1998)
Malcolm shows many ways to cope and enjoy the bush, from changing tyres without a jack to catching enormous mud crabs. A film that should be seen by everyone before they set out on a journey around Australia - bush tips and survival hints.
In Search Of The Big Barra (DF, 90 min, 2000)
The ultimate fishing film. Malcolm searches the rivers and estuaries of the Kimberley and finally hooks his goal, a huge barramundi.
The Coral Coast With Malcolm Douglas (48 min, 2001)
Malcolm tows his boat from Broome to Steep Point on the WA coast, boating and fishing along the way. Swimming with the Whale Sharks and diving at Ningaloo Reef. The trip finishes at Dirk Hartog Island.
Broome And Beyond With Malcolm Douglas (45 min, year not available)
Fishing, boating and the people of Broome. The film shows you the magic little pearling town on Roebuck Bay.
In The Bush With Malcolm Douglas (part 1, 60 min, year not available)
Join Malcolm Douglas as he heads north to one of the most amazing natural features of the Kimberley region - the Horizontal Waterfall. A spectacular spot home to giant mackerels, hungry sharks and rogue crocodiles.
The Gibb River Road And Beyond With Malcolm Douglas (DF, 90 min, year not available)
An adventure 4WD trip from Broome up the last dirt road to the north of the Kimberley including helicopter flights, cave paintings, barramundi fishing and the magnificent gorges and waterfalls.
- Malcolm Douglas
- Release dates
- 1967 - 2001 approx.
- Video/DVD release date
- G - general
- Malcolm Douglas Films, www.malcolmdouglas.com.au
Find "Walkabout With Malcolm Douglas" on DVD or BluRay
Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through some of the below links.
Explore more Aboriginal movies
Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.
Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?