‘Faraway Downs’ Recap & Ending Explained: Did Sarah And Drover Find Each Other?

Faraway Downs is an Australian period drama about a certain lady who visited the land down under seeking to finalize a sale of her husband’s ranch and bring him back to the UK. Her situation changes when she learns of the politics of the country and the kind of rampant racism that goes along with it. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this six-episode show was based on the film Australia, which was released in 2008. There is no reason for this film to be re-released by Hulu.  This article will take the readers through the journey the woman took and how it changed her perspective on life.

Spoilers Ahead


Why was Lady Sarah Ashley in Australia?

Lady Sarah Ashley was the wife of Lord Maitland Ashley. He was in Australia running a cattle ranch and reaping profits from it, and Lady Sarah was frustrated with her husband’s unwillingness to leave Australia. As a wife, she believed he ought to stay next to her, and she began questioning his loyalty. Lady Sarah had heard of rumors of infidelity, and she wanted to quash them. It was her need that made her go to Australia.

Lady Sarah reached Australia even though she was asked not to, and the situation in the land down under shocked her. Sarah was probably not used to long travel and the kind of atmosphere she was walking into. She was helped by Drover, a man hired by her husband to help her, and their journey towards Faraway Downs had just begun. On learning of her husband’s murder at the hands of a local aboriginal man named “King George,” as stated by the local police, Lady Sarah was ready to sell the property and move back home.


What did she find out about Neil Fletcher, and from whom?

Neil Fletcher was looking after things at the Faraway Downs ranch. Since Lady Sarah had never set foot in this part of the world, she was unaware of the politics of the cattle rear-ers and ranch owners. She was very close to selling the property at a reasonable price to one Mr. Carney without realizing how powerful that man was or what his plans were. Sarah came across Nullah, who was half white and half aboriginal. The child was due to be sent to the church convent as per government rules, and he was not keen on abandoning his mother. Sending children of the indigenous community to the church convent was a norm that was mainly enforced to make the younglings forget their roots and embrace the life the white community was leading.

Nullah’s mother was working with Lord Maitland, and the kid had managed to hide around the house to avoid being taken away. He referred to Sarah as ‘Mrs. Boss’ and was the first person to inform her about the embezzlement taking place on this ranch. Sarah was able to confirm Nullah’s words by confronting Neil. Neil had secretly been working for Mr. Carney, the competitor ranch, and the man had been planning to get rid of Maitland for some time to form a monopoly over cattle sales. With Maitland out of the picture, the team figured their path to getting hold of the ranch would be easy until Nullah revealed the scam. Sarah suspected that the police and Neil falsely accused the aboriginal of her husband’s death. Neil was fired from the job, but Sarah was aware more troubles were awaiting her.


What is Lady Sarah and Drover’s plan of action?

Lady Sarah and Drover come up with a plan to walk the cattle to Darwin to make a sale before Carney plans to overpower them. Amidst all their planning, Nullah loses his mother to a drowning incident, and Sarah comforts the child as her own. Sarah also learns that Neil is all set to marry Carney’s daughter and was Nullah’s father as well. Disgusted by his selfish motives, she decided to stay back in Australia and save her ranch. Sarah could not keep herself from being affectionate towards Nullah, and the young kid also saw a motherly figure in her. Their bond was pure, and it was getting stronger as the days went by. Drover and Sarah, after a long and strenuous journey, reached Darwin and made a successful sale. Sarah, Drover, and their team were being stopped by Carney and the gang of police and government officials who were playing favorites. The officials were on Carney’s payroll, but all their plans to shut down the Faraway Downs ranch were foiled.


Can Drover, Sarah, and Nullah ever be one family?

Much before the sale of the cattle took place, Drover and Sarah had proclaimed their love for each other and decided to stay in love despite their sorrowful past. Both were being shunned by the Australian white community for various reasons, which brought them together and made them willing to look beyond the color politics in the country. Despite everything, they lived together on the ranch for two years with Nullah by their side. It was perfect until Nullah wanted to pursue a walkabout with “King George,” a ritual of their culture. Apart from that, Drover was also asked to sign up for the draft. Sarah was vocal about not wanting either of the men around her to go away. Since she was raised in England, she was slowly getting accustomed to the aboriginal customs, thanks to Nullah and the people working on her ranch. Sarah had intended Drover, Nullah, and herself to be a family, but unfortunately, that did not happen.

Drover was also not keen on anyone dictating his life, which made him leave the ranch. Sarah’s dream of having a family was never fulfilled. She had revealed to Drover about her body’s inability to have biological children. Nullah brought out her maternal instincts. Her happiness was under threat because of her Nullah’s interest in pursuing the rituals of his culture, something Sarah never understood.


What happens after the bombings?

The world was on the brink of the Second World War. Australia’s proximity to the Japanese mainland led to Darwin becoming the main target of bombings. Before the bombings, Neil had visit Sarah’s ranch to inform her about “King George” being arrested, and with him, they got hold of Nullah as well. With Nullah being caught by the authorities, he will be sent to a convent on Mission Island, something he always feared.

The young boy was living his worst nightmare. Nullah was generally aware of what the convent was up to, and he did not want to expose himself to brainwashing. He wanted to stay close to “King George,” which sadly did not work as planned. Horrified after witnessing Nullah leave for Mission Island, she promised she would come back for him and fight all the courts to take him back to England. Sarah was adamant about fighting for the people she loved. As a part of the war effort, Sarah and Neil’s wife joined the radio communication team, and she was friendly with her former boss’ wife. Sarah’s only wanted to bring Nullah back, but all her plans were hampered due to the Japanese bombings. 


Were Sarah and Drover able to find each other?

As the bombings of Darwin and Mission Island had begun, many of them were relocated to a makeshift hospital, including Sarah. Captain Dutton was the bearer of the bad news regarding the Mission Island bombing. Everyone was under the assumption that no one survived the bombings. With the news of the Mission Island bombing, Sarah had lost hope and was probably on the verge of leaving the country since Drover could not be found.

Drover was informed about the army headquarters being bombed, and of Sarah’s presence was in the building. Distraught with the news, Drover tried to rescue her. Just as Sarah had lost hope of ever being able to find Nullah, Drover had given up on ever finding Sarah alive in the burned-down headquarters. Drover’s dreams were combusted by fire. He was also informed about the Mission Island bombing, and he reached the spot to rescue children from the convent at the behest of the priest.

Drover had some hope of finding Nullah, hoping he could raise the boy as his own in the memory of Sarah. Nullah and his friends were rescued from the Japanese invaders by Drover and headed towards Darwin. The bombing led to the children, like Nullah, being freed from the brainwashing they were subjected to. Drover reached just in time to rescue them. The Japanese would have taken the kids as prisoners or mercilessly killed them. Freedom was in their destiny, and it happened to be Drover, who delivered it to them. Sarah witnessed Drover bringing back Nullah and other kids from Mission Island, and suddenly she regained her hope in life. Neil was livid at his wife’s death and blamed Sarah for it. He was consumed by the hate for Sarah and was unwilling to understand that many, along with his wife, were killed by the brutal bombings. A rage-filled Neil sees Nullah alive and happy with Drover and Sarah and aims to kill the child to bring down misery upon her.

Drover saw Neil aiming at Nullah, and in a bid to save him, he took the bullet. Drover had already become a father figure for Nullah, and he could not bear the sight of a child so dear to him as a lifeless body. Drover was able to save him, but the bullet wound was deep, and he had to bid goodbye to Sarah and Nullah. At the same time, Neil was killed with a glass spear by “King George,” who admitted he was Nullah’s grandfather. The glass-headed spear was symbolic because Neil had claimed that the weapon killed Sarah’s husband, Lord Maitland. It was ironic for Neil to have died the same way and at the hands of the man who was wrongfully accused of murdering Lord Maitland.

Sarah was bereaved to have lost Drover to a tragic accident, and the man had revealed his real name before breathing his last. He was Jack Clancy, and Sarah was happy to have let him go from the pain he was in. With Jack gone, Sarah and Nullah move back to the ranch in the hope of living a peaceful life. Nullah was not forced to join the convent. Faraway Downs ends with Sarah finally coming to terms with the fact that Nullah needs to stay in touch with his roots. In a bid to accept Nullah as a whole, she lets him go on the walkabout with “King George.” Sarah had come a long way since her journey from England. She became sympathetic and genial during her stay in Faraway Downs, Australia.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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