OUTBACK is a new three-part series that explores the people and animals of Australia’s Kimberley region in North West Australia, a vast, rugged and remote wilderness bursting with character. As large as California, Kimberley has a population of only about 40,000 people, who live alongside animals that have superbly adapted to the harsh and beautiful extremes of their habitat.
Airing Wednesdays, August 1, 8 and 15 at 7pm on PBS North
Repeats at 10pm on PBS North
From the Outback’s red-hot heart, to its spectacular and pristine coastline, a particular breed of people also inhabits this land. OUTBACK is their story – past and present, tough and compassionate. They are the indigenous custodians whose understanding of the land, its animals and its seasons harks back to the oral storytelling and dreamtime of ancient generations.
August 1 - Episode 1: “The Kimberley Comes Alive”
The Kimberley region in North West Australia boasts some of the most spectacular wilderness — and tough characters — in existence. As the wet season comes to an end, the humans and the creatures begin their adventures across this diverse and surprising landscape. From tiny, orphaned joeys to majestic ospreys, survival takes guts (and sometimes even the huge hearts of humans to care for them). It’s a land where humans and animals live in dangerous, and exquisite, proximity.
August 8 - Episode 2: “The Dry Season”
It might be the dry season but there’s no rest in the Outback: There are turtle eggs to be laid, saltwater crocodiles to dodge and young birds on maiden flights. Cattle must be mustered from the far corners of vast cattle properties and, when that is done, rodeos spring into action. More quietly, archaeologists are led through remote wilderness by traditional owners, revealing breathtaking galleries of ancient rock art. Out at sea, elite athletes dive the ocean depths in the name of the world’s most spectacular pearl, risking dangerous encounters with curious giants. While mother to marsupials, Mandy Watson, sets her babies free.
August 15 - Episode 3: “Return of the Wet”
Inland Kimberley is now so stiflingly hot, everything and everyone moves with caution — with the exception of gold diggers Honest John and Steve. The region’s remaining waterholes are packed with animals, forced dangerously close together. Windjana Gorge is a prime example – a pristine oasis where brave humans wade into crocodile-infested water in the name of science. The coast is also a place to congregate. Thousands of shorebirds arrive from the world’s longest single migration, only to be blasted with nets by crafty bird lovers. The humidity builds until the skies finally explode with thunder and rain. Nyul Nyul ranger Albert Wiggan sings a welcome to the life it brings and arrival of a new season in his ancient land.