Great Australian Railway Journeys
"Australia is a wonderful country to explore by train, offering epic journeys across the continent on the Indian-Pacific and Ghan railways". Michael Portillo
Michael Portillo ventures 'down under' to ride some of the world's most spectacular railways, steered by his 1913 Bradshaw's Guide. His rail journeys take him to Australia's most impressive, must-see locations: Sydney and the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Alice Springs and the Red Centre, the tropical rainforests of Queensland, historic Victoria and the Great Barrier Reef. On his travels, Michael uncovers great feats of engineering, hears Dreamtime stories from the Indigenous Arrernte people and encounters the country's most emblematic and endearing wildlife, the kola and the kangaroo.
EPISODES: PORT AUGUSTA TO DARWIN: THE GHAN: Michael uncovers the history of the legendary Ghan Railway, shares 'bush-tucker' with the Indigenous people of Alice Springs and helps to care for orphaned Joeys at a kangaroo sanctuary.
SYDNEY TO BROKEN HILL: Michael explores Sydney's origins as a penal colony and bravely climbs the famous "Coathanger" bridge before striking west into the Blue Mountains to travel 570 miles to the mining city of Broken Hill.
ADELAIDE TO PERTH: From the vineyards of South Australia, Michael heads to the city of Adelaide to travel 1,700 miles through the desert and goldfields of Western Australia aboard the luxurious transcontinental Indian Pacific Railway.
CANBERRA TO MELBOURNE: From Australia's Bush Capital, Canberra, the nation's cultural hub, Melbourne, Michael discovers the origins of the outlaw, Ned Kelly and the opera star, Dam Nellie Melba and learns the history of the Ashes at the MCG.
KURANDA TO TOWNSVILLE: Michael travels from Queensland's tropical rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef, encountering deadly wildlife, harvesting sugar cane and feasting with Indigenous cattlemen before swimming among the coral reefs.
NEWCASTLE TO BRISBANE: From the coal mines to Newcastle, New South Wales, to Brisbane, Queensland's capital, Michael crosses the mighty Hawkesbury River, tends to an injured koala and rides a solar-powered train.