Australia is an island continent with a
breathtaking wealth of wildlife found nowhere else in the world.As the driest inhabited continent on Earth, it is a world apart, a place where successive invasions of people have made the greatest impact on its wildlife and wilderness areas.
Wednesday May 4 at 8:00 p.m.
This first program of the series is a sweeping introduction to the natural wonders of Australia and reveals why
its natural history has become so distinctive and strange. It features some of the most bizarre animals and evocative locations across the continent. When Australia first broke away from the rest of the world 45 million year ago it was a very different kind of place – lush, green and forested. And you can still experience something of that time by stepping into an Australian rainforest today. These are the oldest rainforests on earth, over 100 million years old, and those in Queensland and Tasmania look much as they would have done in the age of the dinosaurs.
Wednesday May 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent. Most of its center is desert, but far from being a scorched land of barren sand dunes, its arid heart is full of stunning landscapes with a surprising abundance of colorful life. In Desert Heart, we travel with the first European explorers who saw a ‘dead heart’, a bizarre, unforgiving world
they did not understand. It tormented them with mirages and threw up obstacles of impassable woodlands, 400km-long mountain ranges and towering red dunes. The center repelled the first Europeans – by 1860 most of it still remained unexplored, while its Aboriginal inhabitants lived as they had for over 40,000 years.
Wednesday May 18 at 8:00 p.m.
Australia may be famous for sun, sea and surf, but there’s so much more to the marine life in Australia than Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef. Beyond the busy east coast these southern seas break all the rules – they are stranger and more spectacular than anywhere else in the world. Mermaids and dragons glide through the clear blue water, bizarre fish ‘walk’ along the bottom and on tropical beaches crabs and seagulls have a tug-of-war for food. Even the sea lions here are weird. Southern Seas journeys around the dramatic coasts of Australia and New Zealand revealing the unique wildlife in these waters.
Wednesday, May 25 at 8:00 p.m.
Gum Tree Country
It’s a classic landscape – the great Australian Bush. Vast swathes of land, dominated by eucalypts, or gum trees, have become one of the most enduring symbols of the continent. In Gum Tree Country we take you on a journey ‘out bush’, from the shimmering heat of the north, through icy, snowbound woodlands, and misty forests where the tallest hardwood trees in the world grow to well over 100 meters. And in all these places, strange animals live …