COAST AUSTRALIA Episodes
Each episode will showcase a different strip of Australia’s spectacular coastline, as Neil Oliver and his team of co-presenters gather stories about the history, the people, the archaeology, the geography and the marine life, investigating interesting and little known facts along the way.
Episode 1 – WA – Albany to Esperance
In the opening episode of the third season of Coast Australia, Neil Oliver heads offshore and ticks a big one off his bucket list. He’s on the trail of that most majestic marine creature – the mighty Orca. Neil also examines the notion that the ANZAC spirit was forged – not on the beaches of Gallipoli – but in the port of Albany where Australian and New Zealand troops gathered for their departure to World War One.
Brendan Moar reimagines the night Skylab fell to earth in Esperance in 1979.
Marine Ecologist Dr Emma Johnston investigates the now politically incorrect industry of whaling in the Western Australian town of Albany. Dr Alice Garner travels to Lucky Bay to test whether it can legitimately claim the title of ‘whitest sand in Australia’. And Professor Tim Flannery makes the journey offshore to Bald Island in search of an endangered marsupial with a taste for truffles.
Episode 2 – NSW: Hawkesbury to Lord Howe Island
A journey through the meandering waterways of Sydney’s Hawkesbury River system to the sublime wilderness of Lord Howe Island. Neil travels to the Heritage-listed treasure of Lord Howe Island in search for the world’s rarest insect before meeting some curious sea birds endemic to the island. Back on the mainland – he digs deep to find the true history of coal in Newcastle.
Distinguished scientist Tim Flannery unleashes his inner fly-boy in the plane that was to Australia what the Spitfire was to England.
Marine Scientist Dr Dean Miller puts his body on the line at Merewether Surf Lifesaving Club. Brendan Moar cruises the Hawkesbury River on the wartime boat that became a leisure-time icon. And Marine Ecologist Emma Johnston tattoos a seahorse for science near Nelson Bay.
Episode 3 – WA: THE NORTH KIMBERLEY
Neil and the team reveal fascinating tales from the inspiring and remote North Kimberley. Neil visits Australia’s secret wartime airbase on the remote Anjo Peninsula before joining the traditional owners there to fight fire with fire.
Tim Flannery travels to the iron islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago and back into deep geological time. Marine Ecologist Emma Johnston examines how tidal pull is pivotal in the Kimberley’s biggest aquaculture venture.
Landscape Architect, Brendan Moar visits the most enchanted corner of the Dampier Peninsula – where oysters grow on trees and mud crabs are served for lunch. And marine scientist, Dean Miller discovers how local fauna are adapting to survive the inevitable march of the dreaded cane toad across the Kimberley.
Episode 4 – VIC: PORT MELBOURNE to PORTLAND
A journey along Victoria’s fabled shipwreck coast to discover a diverse collection of stories from the deep – and shallow. Neil Oliver joins the Port Phillip Pilots to navigate the bay’s treacherous entrance – ominously known as ‘The Rip’.
Emma Jonshton discovers a mirrored coastline – under the sea. Brendan Moar meets the Penguin Protectors of Warrnambool while Dean Miller learns a heartbreaking personal history associated with one of the coast’s worst shipwrecks.
And Tim Flannery finds evidence of giant, native marsupials in the cliffs at Portland.
Episode 5 – QLD: TOWNSVILLE to COOKTOWN
Neil Oliver examines James Cook’s run of luck on the Great Barrier Reef.
In this episode, Neil Oliver finds out how Captain James Cook resolved the crisis for which Cape Tribulation is named. And then, the indigenous story of his ‘lucky landing’ on sacred ground.
Emma Johnston dives for a natural treasure beneath the Great Barrier Reef – while Brendan Moar simulates a cyclone – to test how this coast withstands the ferocious tropical storms that frequent it. And Dean Miller storms the beaches with an elite army unit that’s the eyes and ears over 640,000km2 of Northern Australia.
Episode 6 – NSW – Botany Bay to The Shoalhaven Coast
This episode documents the industry, ingenuity and beauty of the coastline south of Sydney to the Shoalhaven.
From the engineering wonder of Seacliff Bridge to pivotal moments in the aviation history, this episode charts a densely populated coastline with stories that brim with new insights and captivating natural beauty. Neil Oliver examines a 18th Century close encounter in Botany Bay – before following the footsteps of legendary Australian aviator, Charles Kingsford Smith at Seven Mile Beach.
Brendan Moar hits the sandhills at Kurnell to reimagine a seminal Australian film from the 1940s.
Alice Garner visits an isolated – but innovative coastal community in Sydney’s Royal National Park and Dean Miller learns the art of survival in a naval rescue exercise.
Episode 7 – TAS – The North Coast & Bass Strait Islands
Neil and the team examine creativity and the art of reinvention along Tasmania’s northern coast and offshore islands.
Neil collects some of the cleanest air in the world in the name of science. On King Island, he examines the worst maritime disaster in the history of Australia before swinging back onto the mainland for a round of golf on a legendary links course.
Emma Johnston joins a scientific team on Albatross Island to track the magnificent bird for which the island is named.
Alice Garner examines the changing fortunes of industrial Burnie. And Tim Flannery follows in the footsteps of a legendary scientist at Fossil Bluff.
Episode 8 – SA – Adelaide to Port Lincoln
Neil and the team embrace the rich colours and stories from where the desert meets the sea.
Neil Oliver tries fishing with a pole and a line – and meets the pioneers who began the industry that made Port Lincoln rich. On the Spencer Gulf, distinguished scientist Professor Tim Flannery finds food to feed the world in a horticultural experiment powered by the sun and the sea.
Brendan Moar champions the camel’s role in Australian exploration at Port Augusta. Historian Alice Garner travels to the Copper Triangle to unearth the intriguing Cornish history associated with the precious metal mined there.
Dean Miller joins the tuna Cowboys on a wet-ranch. And Marine Ecologist, Professor Emma Johnston has an intriguing visit to a whale-sized morgue.