Skip to content

10 Best Documentaries About Australia To Watch


These documentaries about Australia, often referred to as the “Land Down Under,” show a vast and captivating continent boasting a rich tapestry of landscapes, wildlife, and cultural diversity.

Documentaries about Australia offer you an immersive journey into this extraordinary country, where ancient indigenous traditions blend seamlessly with modern urban life.

From the rugged expanses of the Outback to the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s natural wonders are a source of endless fascination.


Documentaries About Australia

Whether you’re interested in its history, geography, wildlife, or vibrant cities, these documentaries about Australia provide an insightful and visually stunning glimpse into this captivating land.

Given the vast natural areas of Australia, many of these documentaries explore these natural areas.


First Australians (2008)

First Australians is a series that was first broadcast in 2008. It consists of seven episodes and explores the history, culture, and experiences of Indigenous Australians, also known as Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.

Each episode of “First Australians” focuses on different periods and events in Australian history, from the arrival of the British settlers in the late 18th century to contemporary Indigenous issues.

The series features interviews with Indigenous leaders, historians, and experts, as well as dramatic reenactments and archival footage.

First Australians is considered an important and groundbreaking documentary series for its in-depth examination of Indigenous history and its contributions to raising awareness about the rich and complex history of Australia’s First Nations peoples.

This is one of the best documentaries about Australia to watch for understanding the history and life of the First Nations peoples.

David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef (2016)

Sir David Attenborough takes you on an underwater journey through the Great Barrier Reef, showcasing its extraordinary marine life and the challenges it faces. It’s a three-part documentary series produced by the BBC in 2016.

The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland and is the world’s largest coral reef system. It is renowned for its stunning underwater landscapes, colourful coral formations, and a wide variety of marine life.

Throughout the series, David Attenborough provides you with a close-up look at the reef’s incredible biodiversity, showcasing the many species of fish, corals, and other marine creatures that call the reef home.

He also discusses the environmental challenges and threats facing the Great Barrier Reef, such as coral bleaching and climate change, and highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect this natural wonder.

If you have any interest in the Ocean and conservation efforts then this is one of the best documentaries about Australia for you to watch.

Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide (2012)

Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide was first aired in 2012 and is hosted by Dr Richard Smith, an Australian palaeontologist, and science broadcaster.

The show takes you on a journey through the history of Australia, using a time-travelling concept to explore different periods of the continent’s history. The series is divided into four episodes, each focusing on a different time period.

“Deep Time”: This episode delves into Australia’s ancient history, exploring the continent’s geological and natural history, including its unique flora and fauna.

“The First Australians”: This episode looks at the arrival of Indigenous peoples in Australia and their ancient cultures and traditions.

“A Nation Awakens”: This episode covers the early European exploration and colonization of Australia, including the impact on Indigenous peoples and the development of Australian society.

“The Rise and Fall of a Gold Rush Dynasty”: This episode focuses on the 19th-century gold rushes that played a significant role in shaping Australia’s economy and society.

Dr Richard Smith’s engaging narration and the series’ visual effects make it an informative and entertaining exploration of Australia’s rich and diverse history.

Australia with Simon Reeve (2013)

Australia with Simon Reeve is a four-part travel documentary series featuring the British author and television presenter Simon Reeve.

The series originally aired in 2013 and follows Simon Reeve as he embarks on a journey across Australia to explore its diverse landscapes, culture, history, and people.

During the series, Simon Reeve travels through various regions of Australia, from the bustling cities to the remote outback. He encounters a wide range of experiences, from meeting Indigenous communities to exploring the country’s natural wonders.

The series provides you with an in-depth look at Australia’s geography, wildlife, and the challenges and opportunities facing the nation.

If you want a good modern travelogue view of the country then this is one of the best documentaries about Australia for you to see.

The Kimberley: The World’s Last Great Wilderness (2013)

The Kimberley: The World’s Last Great Wilderness is a documentary series produced by the BBC in 2013.

The Kimberley is a region located in the northern part of Western Australia and is known for its rugged and remote landscapes, including vast wilderness areas, stunning coastlines, unique rock formations, and rich Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The Kimberley is considered one of the last great wilderness areas on Earth due to its pristine and relatively untouched environment.

This series delves into the unique ecosystems and wildlife that inhabit the region, as well as the challenges and conservation efforts aimed at preserving this remarkable natural heritage.

Australia: A Continent Adrift (2013)

Australia: A Continent Adrift is a four-part series that explores the geological and natural history of the Australian continent. The series is narrated by the Australian actor Hugo Weaving.

The documentary delves into the unique geological history of Australia, highlighting how it has drifted over millions of years from its origins as part of the supercontinent Gondwana.

It covers a wide range of topics, including the formation of Australia’s distinctive landscapes, the evolution of its flora and fauna, and the various geological processes that have shaped the continent over eons.

The series uses stunning visuals, scientific insights, and expert commentary to give a comprehensive understanding of Australia’s geological history. It also explores the impact of geological forces on the continent’s wildlife, climate, and people.

You can watch the full documentary for free on YouTube:

Amazing Quest: Stories from East Coast Australia

Another free documentary about Australia that you can watch on YouTube.

As the title suggests it’s about the east coast of the country and explores different people in the region and different areas.

Tip: Get the Lonely Planet East Coast Australia if you plan a trip there.

Amazing Quest: Stories from Australia

Another one from Amazing Quest and this time exploring other areas of the country including Arnhem Land, the Buccaneer Archipelago and Mount Dare Station.

Amazing Quest does great documentaries in general and is very informative and up-to-date in its research.

It’s also free to watch on YouTube.

First People: Aboriginal Australians

First People: Aboriginal Australians explores the history, culture, and experiences of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, specifically focusing on Aboriginal Australians.

The series looks into various aspects of Aboriginal history and culture, including their rich traditions, art, music, and their connection to the land.

Aboriginal Australians have a diverse range of languages, cultures, and traditions, and their history is deeply intertwined with the land and its natural resources.

Kakadu (2018)

This documentary showcases the beauty and biodiversity of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, home to stunning landscapes and unique wildlife.


Australia

These documentaries about Australia offer a wide range of perspectives, from its history and culture to its natural wonders and modern-day challenges.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or contemporary life, there’s something on this list for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

For an overall travel guide for Australia if you’re planning to travel there get the Lonely Planet Australia guidebook.

For more on Australia take a look at my recommendation for books on the country with my list of the 30 best books about Australia.


Share the best documentaries about Australia:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the backpackingman newsletter to catch up on the latest adventures.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares