First Review: Bluelist Australia

Get ready for 20 to 1 meets Getaway with a dash of the offbeat.

Bluelist Australia is a travel guide put together by Lonely Planet, who asked Australians to nominate their favourite and best-kept secrets.

Hosted by actor Samuel Johnson, this half hour show isn’t as traditional as the popular commercial offerings. For starters they’re only travelling around Oz, so the budget feels decidely more modest. And the presenters aren’t as Colgate perfect (and that’s a good thing) as we’re used to.

They’ve managed to throw in HG Nelson, Susie Porter, Jesse Martin, Marieke Hardy and Robbie Buck.

It also doesn’t feel like there’s quite so much product placement going on. You know that trick, “here we are from some tropical locale which just happens to be a destination of one of our show’s sponsors.”

So it’s all fairly unassuming, and that’s also a good thing.

Lonely Planet had thousands of Aussies logging on to its website to nominate their favourite travel experiences in Oz.

So I must admit I was a little disappointed to see what made the final cut.

The Yarra Valley? Kakadu? Margaret River? Kangaroo Island? Sure they’re all perfectly lovely. But I was hoping for some undiscovered gem. At least HG Nelson in Mildura managed to entertain me.

And the MCG? Sydney Harbour. Yawn. C’mon guys, surprise me.

Marieke Hardy’s urban tour of Canberra also missed its two biggest exports: Politics and Porn.

Don’t get me wrong. Bluelist Australia is a diverting, colloquial, upbeat slice of Australiana.

If we’d had a few more of the closing videos sent in by viewers this would be a more interesting itinerary of hidden secrets.

Bluelist Australia premieres 8:00pm Wed June 6 on SBS.


  1. Hey Guys, I just stumbled onto SBS telecast of ‘Bluelist’ this arvo, wasn’t taking much notice to start with, but now wish I’d been aware of the other episodes. Great job, I’ve got me maps of all the states out right now and surf the net checking out all the great places I will be going soooonnnnn. Thanks

  2. Dear Sir,

    Watched with great interest your first episode in 2009 about the top 5 travel/adventure experience in australia e.g. quadbike riding in Newcastle nad salt lake gokarting, can’t remeber where !!

    Would you kinly be able to emai me some information about that fantastic episode ? Would be much appreciated.

    Mged Ghabriel

  3. i agree with Jack, Samuel Johnson was so overexposed with his overrated “hungry jacks” voice and his ‘look at me i’m acting’ role in Secret Life Of Us, that i don’t think i could watch anything he was on..

  4. Sam Johnson … another face and voice that i cannot stand … add him and Molloy to Eddie and O’Keefe and they are the ones I will NEVER watch any show that they are on!

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