Australia: The Wild Top End, is an amazing documentary about the Northern Territory’s wildest inhabitants and incredible natural wonders.
Originally released in 2019 as a 3D-IMAX event, ABC iview has it available to watch on the small screen now. Taking viewers on an epic journey through the ancient home of one of the world’s ultimate predators - the saltwater crocodile - Australia: The Wild Top End is a thrilling exploration of a land that time forgot.
Readers need to be aware that in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, seeing the names and photographs of deceased people may cause sadness and distress, particularly to relatives of those people.
Australia: The Wild Top End puts a spotlight on the Northern Territory's amazing natural wonders. Credit: Wild Pacific Films
Featuring the best of Northern Territory wilderness, director Nick Robinson takes us underwater and gets us eye-to-eye with a number of adult crocodiles, massive amphibious dinosaurs otherwise known as ‘salties.’ Following them from hatchling to ‘alpha boss croc’, the documentary also explores the 50,000 year-old culture of the First Nations people of the region and is narrated by now deceased Arnhem Land actor Balang T.E. Lewis.
Be warned! Giant saltwater crocodiles feature heavily Credit: Wild Pacific Films
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2019, Robinson described a moment that almost saw production come to a stand-still - when a massive adult male crocodile turns to the camera and appears to swallow it whole!
“The camera was attached to a pool-cleaning pole from Bunnings - not exactly croc-worthy. The croc grabbed it, broke the pole and swam off down the billabong with $120,000 worth of camera in his mouth.”
Worried about the camera - not to mention the footage they’d lose - Nick and his crew were able to retrieve it by tapping the giant croc on the back of the head, waiting for it to open its mouth, then reaching in and grabbing the expensive piece of equipment.
“It was a slick operation.”
Stay in the Top End
Credit: Wild Pacific Films
If you’re too late to catch that one, the ABC has another series that is definitely worth a watch. Australia Remastered was released in 2020, and explores some of the country’s most unique wildlife, landscapes and oceans.
Utilising the ABC’s vast archive of 16mm and 35mm film, Australia Remastered is literally a digitally enhanced monument to this footage, narrated across 15 individual episodes by well-known Arrenente and Arabana actor Aaron Pedersen.
Australia Remastered explores wildlife, landcsapes and our great oceans. Credit: ABC
Taking in everything from orca pods and wombat kingdoms, to Kakadu’s wet season and the rugged Red Centre, each episode weaves together this amazing film with the latest scientific research. The result is a timely reminder of the immense value of Australia’s wild heritage.
Check out both of these incredible programs on ABC iview now.