St. John's art dealer Emma Butler went looking for directions in Sydney, Australia, and ended up meeting famous Australian actor, and Newfoundland and Labrador fan Russell Crowe.

Butler was in a public park in the Australian city recently with her two grandsons, looking for directions to a well-known sandstone rock called Mrs. Macquarie's Chair.

She looked around, and the first person she saw nearby was Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe, who was running by.

Butler wrote in an email, "I saw Russell Crowe and blurted out to him 'You'll never guess where I'm from!!!!!'"

Crowe and Doyle longtime buddies

New Zealand-born Crowe has been a friend and musical collaborator with Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle, a St. John's resident, for years. Crowe has visited Newfoundland twice, most recently in 2011, when he shot an guest-starring role in the popular CBC television series Republic of Doyle.

Butler said they spent most of their short conversation talking about people that they both knew in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Butler said the conversation never turned to the actor's work, "But only about how wonderful it was that I was from Newfoundland. All about me — not the world-famous movie star!"

News of Crowe and Butler's encounter travelled quickly on social media after relatives of Butler published a photo of the two on them on Facebook.

Doyle, an active Twitter user, tweeted to Crowe, "Thanks for hosting Newfoundlanders in Aus."

Crowe tweeted back, "You know that Newfoundland is always in my heart."

Butler did not say whether Crowe was able to give her directions to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair.