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8 Best Travel Documentaries on Netflix in 2019

We've picked out the highlights on Netflix for fans of outdoor and adventure travel. First published: March 2019

Where would we be without Netflix? Remember when we all used to sit watching countless episodes of Ice Road Truckers and The Long Way Down in order to get our ‘adventure’ fix? God forbid you ever found yourself ill at home during daytime TV hours.

Thanks to the instant video streaming service we’re now able to follow along on the adventures of some of the world’s most inspirational people whenever we want to, whether that’s on our laptops, TVs, phones or tablets, and with minimal effort.

While there are certainly some quality adventure travel documentaries on Netflix at the moment, just like with mainstream TV, there are a few duff ones knocking about that’ll be best avoided. So, to save you browsing for an hour trying to separate the wheat from the chaff we’ve done the work for you, rounding up our pick of the best travel documentaries on Netflix right now.

Our roundup covers stories ranging from the ‘Fishpeople’ of ocean communities, the original climbing dirtbags of Yosemite to surfing beneath the northern lights.

Valley Uprising

If you’re into multi-pitch trad climbing, or any climbing at all for that matter, then you’re going to love Valley Uprising. Whilst this is a climber’s documentary, those of us who are new to climbing or have never climbed before will also love the stories interspersed between the climbing clips – everyone will love Valley Uprising one way or another.

The documentary looks back on a motley crew of self proclaimed dirtbag hippy climbers in the Yosemite Valley in 1970. Expect stories of the dirtbags pushing themselves to their physical limits as they conquer the seemingly impossible heights of the surrounding mountains. This success also sees their counterculture being monetised into the type of mainstream sport they once resented.

Watch Valley Uprising here.

National Parks Adventure

Keeping up the Yosemite Valley / National Parks theme is National Parks Adventure. This documentary film was first featured in IMAX theatres, so expect the usual stunning cinematography that comes along with this type of film. National Parks Adventure introduces you to the history of the National Parks of the U.S. whilst also joining legendary climber Conrad Anker as he cycles, walks, paddles and of course climbs his way around America’s National Parks.

Watch National Parks Adventure here.

Expedition Happiness

Third in the list is a German documentary that follows a couple (Felix and Selima) and their dog on an epic road trip. The couple manage to convert a whopping 40ft U.S. school bus into what they call a luxurious ‘loft on wheels’ and set out on a journey of discovery from Alaska all the way to Mexico. Be prepared for shots of jungles, waterfalls, wilderness and mountain roads as Felix and Selima bring you along on their ‘Expedition Happiness’.

Watch Expedition Happiness here.


This isn’t some sort of mutant superhero movie, as the name may otherwise suggest. No, this is a visually breathtaking documentary that follows the story of the ‘Fishpeople’ who have dedicated their lives to the sea.

From surfers to spear-fishermen, this documentary explores the lives of people who live on, off and alongside the deep blue, studying the transformative effect that it has had on them. Is the meaning of live found at sea? Perhaps. Trust me on this one, Fishpeople will be 48 minutes well spent.

Watch Fishpeople here.

The Green Way Up

The Green Way Up is a series that follows four men as they cross thousands of kilometres from Tasmania all the way up to Norway via car and boat. I know what you’re thinking, there’s nothing green about that. Well, actually there is, because their plan is to fuel the whole trip using biodiesel. Will they make it to Norway? Give the series a watch to find out…

Watch The Green Way Up here.


The late Shane McConkey inspired many through his unforgettable humour in an industry that was once very elitist and serious, ski BASE jumping. This documentary pays tribute to the pioneer and looks back on his legacy of not only inspiration, but also innovation.

Watch McConkey here.

Losing Sight of Shore

‘The Coxless Crew’ were a group of four women who set out to row the Pacific Ocean, from Antartica to Australia – completely unsupported. Losing Sight of Shore is a documentary that follows these four women as they attempt to make the 8,000 mile crossing. Expect them to face the mental and physical challenges you’d imagine comes along with completing a crossing such as this.

Watch Losing Sight of Shore here.

Under an Arctic Sky

Fancy surfing under an arctic sky up in Iceland as the worst storm in the region is about to come barrelling along the coast? No? Me neither, but it was good watching other people do just that while I was sat comfortably on my sofa.

This documentary follows six enthusiastic surfers (Sam Hammer, Heidar Logi, Elli Thor, Magnusson, Ingo Olson, Timmy Reyes and Justin Quintan) as they make a pilgrimage to surf where nobody has ever surfed before.

The storm ends up providing all the surfing goods, with the crew treated to some awesome waves alongside towering snowcapped peaks and with the Aurora Borealis dancing up above. A visually stunning watch.

Watch Under An Arctic Sky here.

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9 Best Adventure Movies On Netflix in 2018

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