Press Centre

Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears

  • Episode: 

    2 of 7

  • Title: 

    Kakadu Wetlands
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Fri 20 Oct 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 8.30pm
  • Week: 

    Week 42 2017 : Sat 14 Oct - Fri 20 Oct
  • Channel: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 10 October 2017.
Episode 2 - Kakadu Wetlands
Ray travels by boat and truck through the wetland wilderness of Kakadu, in Australia’s Northern Territory, to meet an aboriginal clan who farm this land by fire.  Kakadu is a 20,000 square kilometre Word Heritage Site, and it’s one of Ray’s favourite places.  He travels in a flat-bottomed boat up the Yellow Water billabong and sees a masked plover chase off a white bellied fish eagle.
Kakadu is home to one third of Australia’s bird species…but the real star of this wilderness is the giant salt-water crocodile.  It’s the world’s largest reptile, and one of the fiercest and most successful predators.  Ray watches a rufous night heron escape the jaws of a crocodile, and then journeys on by truck into the heart of Kakadu. There are no roads where he’s going; the truck gets stuck and Ray has to manoeuvre it out. 
He arrives at Mandy Muir’s camp, and meets her and her nephew Selone.  They are part of the Murrumburrah clan, who have lived in Kakadu for countless generations.  Ray is welcomed with a special smoke ceremony and, after a night camping in the bush, he goes out with Mandy and Selone to learn some wilderness skills. 
The clan manages the land with fire.  Selone rubs sticks together to create a blaze which rips through the dry undergrowth without damaging the big trees.  Ray learns that this makes it easier to hunt, and encourages strong new plant growth.  But the fire gets too close!  Ray and the team have to move out quickly. 
Moving through the burnt bush, Selone and Ray find bush carrot to eat.  Then together they find water in a paperbark tree .  It’s back to the billabong with Mandy for some edible water lilies and some fresh water mussels to make a bush meal.
For Ray, the way the people here live in harmony with nature rather than exploit it is one of his deepest experiences in the natural world.
Series overview
This brand-new seven part series sees renowned bushcraft expert Ray Mears delving further into the outback. 
Ray travels across Australia to discover how the wildlife and people thrive and adapt in some of the planet’s last great areas of wilderness. 
In this series Ray ventures through turquoise waters, across majestic mangroves, high above mountain ranges and deep into pre-historic forests. In each episode Ray journeys through Australia in search of its remarkable landscapes, the extraordinary wildlife and the people who have survived this  wilderness.