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Australia: A Continent Adrift | Full Documentary


Australia | Destination World

Experience the only continent that’s an island on this episode of “Destination World.” Australia, also known as the Land Down Under, has some of the most unique wildlife in the world.
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Australia | Destination World

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So who discovered Australia?

It's been 2 years since the British ship Endeavour sailed from Plymouth, in Southern England. During this time, she rounded Cape Horn, in Southern America and continued westward, across the Pacific. The crew, led by lieutenant James Cook, made observations of the transit of planet Venus. Once they made their observations, Cook opened the sealed orders which were additional instructions from the Admiralty for the second part of his voyage: to search the south Pacific for signs of the postulated rich southern continent of Terra Australis.
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By Samuel Atkins (c.1760-1810) - National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an5921609, Public Domain,
By James Cook (1728-1779) and W.J.L. Wharton - CAPTAIN COOK'S JOURNAL DURING HIS FIRST VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD MADE IN H.M. BARK ENDEAVOUR 1768-71 A Literal Transcription of the Original MSS. WITH NOTES AND INTRODUCTION EDITED BY CAPTAIN W.J.L. WHARTON, R.N., F.R.S. Hydrographer of the Admiralty. Illustrated by Maps and Facsimiles. LONDON ELLIOT STOCK, 62 PATERNOSTER ROW, 1893. Project Gutenberg, Public Domain,
Map of the world from BL Royal 20 E IX, ff. 29v-30 - Jean Rotz. The British Library - Public Domain Mark -
By Kattigara - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By OpenStreetMap contributors -, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By Contributor(s): Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek. Bildarchiv. - Copied and digitised from Dese Pascaerte vertoont de wegh, soo int heen als in het weerom seylen, die gehouden is bij het Jacht het Duijfien in het besoecken van de landen beoosten Banda, tot aen Nova Guinea, Maer Guili-guli op Cenam, ende Caram etc, is na de afteijckeninge van Abraham Francken A. 1602. den 20 April gedaen, Ende Nieuw Zelandt met de Gounongapi daer beoosten is beseijlt, bij Jasper Janssen de Jonge [Amsterdam : s.n., 1670], Public Domain,

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Escape from Australia: a convict's tale

'Memorandoms' of James Martin, the only extant first-hand account of perhaps the most famous escape by convicts transported to Australia

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers should use caution when viewing this film as it may contains depictions of deceased persons.

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The most well-known escape of prisoners transported from England to Australia in the 18th Century has been brought to life, thanks to handwritten accounts by the convicts unearthed in the collections of the philosopher Jeremy Bentham at UCL and now published online for the first time.

The Memorandoms of the convict James Martin are the only first-hand account of the famous escape, which has been the subject of a number of books and a television drama. The document is written in three different hands, potentially of three of the convicts involved, and recounts their fascinating -- and, ultimately, tragic -- tale in full.
On the night of 28 March 1791, James Martin and eight fellow prisoners including William Bryant and his wife Mary Bryant -- accompanied by their two young children -- stole the governor's six-oared boat and escaped from Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

The group travelled along the eastern and northern coasts of the Australian continent, where they encountered Aboriginal peoples, and survived several ferocious storms. It was an incredible feat of endurance and seamanship, as they all survived the two-month journey of over five thousand kilometres in an open boat -- partly in totally uncharted territories.

When they eventually landed at Kupang, West Timor, they posed as survivors of a shipwreck and enjoyed the hospitality of their Dutch hosts. However, they were eventually identified as absconders and sent back to England as escaped prisoners. Tragically, four of the prisoners and the two children died on the return journey. The survivors were eventually released after serving the remainder of their sentences in Newgate Prison.

Researcher Dr Tim Causer (UCL Bentham Project) said: This is the first time that the original document has been made widely available, and with such detailed contextual information. My introduction and annotation demonstrate that previous accounts of the escape by historians and writers contain a number of inaccuracies, exaggerations and inventions, which are not borne out by a reading of the manuscript

I think this document should have a wider audience than it otherwise has had because it is the only first-hand account written by First Fleet convicts and it's such a well known story -- probably the most famous escape story from colonial Australia. It is often told with a focus upon the figure of Mary Bryant, with the other convicts reduced to little more than ciphers. So, I hope that by publishing this narrative online and fleshing out the perspective of the other convicts, it will help to create a more rounded story.

Australia Facts, Amazing Australian Animals - Full Nat Geo Documentary

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Australia Facts, Amazing Australian Animals - Full Nat Geo Documentary

Because of the continent's great age, extremely variable weather patterns, and long-term geographic isolation, Animals in Australia are unique. About 85% of flowering plants, 84% of mammals, more than 45% of birds, and 89% of in-shore, temperate-zone fish are endemic. Australia has the greatest number of reptiles of any country, with 755 species.

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Australia Facts, Amazing Australian Animals - Full Nat Geo Documentary

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(Nat Geo) Documentary, Discovery Channel Documentaries.

- Wildlife documentary,
- Animals in Australia
- Australian animals
- The Great Barrier Reef

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The Origin of the Australian Alps

Australian Alps National Parks

Join geologist Dr Vincent Morand as he explores the origin of the Australian Alps.

Unlike the European Alps, which formed as continents collided, the Australian Alps were initially formed as the super-continent of Gondwana split apart. Over the following millions of years, weather shaped the Alps into the wonderful as we know them today.

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© 2012 Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Environment

Nature Of Australia: Part 1 of 6 - A Separate Creation

Episode 1 of Nature of Australia: A Portrait of the Island Continent.

A Separate Creation originally aired on WHYY PBS on November 13, 1988.

Australia The First 4 Billion Years - Awakening

Australia: First 4 Billion Years

1 Awakening

What can Australia reveal about how Earth was born and how life took hold? Join NOVA and host Dr. Richard Smith as they journey back to the very beginning of the Australian story in Awakening. The first stop is Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, where we encounter an Earth shortly after its fiery birth. Hidden in the red hills of Australia are clues to the mysteries of when the Earth was born, how life first arose, and how it transformed the planet. Experts unveil how the earliest forms of life—an odd assortment of bacterial slime—flooded the atmosphere with oxygen, sparking the biological revolution that made animal life possible. It is the beginning of the great drama of life on Earth.


An Essential Media and Entertainment Film Production for NOVA/WGBH in association with Eden. Developed and produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Co-financed by Screen Queensland, Principal Investor Screen Australia.
© 2013 Essential Media and Entertainment and WGBH Educational Foundation.
All rights reserved

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...And The Mammals Laid Eggs - Now in High Quality! (Full Documentary)

Over millions of years Australia has remained isolated from the rest of the continent and for that reason it has a unique wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, wombats, valabies and native cats. Australia will also surprise us with birds with two meters high whose male is responsible for incubation; fish with lungs or egg-laying mammals, like the platypus and the echidna.

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Future of Earth's Continents - Earthquakes & Volcanos - Full Documentary

The continents are in constant motion: Tectonic plates crash together and break apart, creating new crust while old crust is pulled below the surface. The process shrinks and widens oceans, uplifts mountain ranges, and rearranges landmasses. In about 250 million years a new supercontinent, Pangaea Proxima, will form. Fifty million years from now, Australia will be in collision with southeast Asia to a much larger degree, he says. Africa will also be pushing right up against southern Europe, while the Atlantic will be a far wider ocean than it is today. The idea that the continents moved around dates back centuries, but the first time anyone produced any serious evidence in favor of the idea was 100 years ago. That someone was German geophysicist Alfred Wegener.
For many geologists, continental drift was a crackpot idea with little hard evidence
He noticed remarkable similarities between the fossilized plants and animals found on continents that were separated by vast oceans. This suggested to him that those continents were connected when those now fossilized species were alive.
What's more, when Wegener looked at his maps, he could clearly see that South America and Africa were like two giant puzzle pieces – they fit together. Could that really just be coincidence, or were they connected millions of years ago, only to drift apart?
That was the essence of Wegener's theory: continental drift. But few people liked it.
In fact, for many geologists, continental drift was a crackpot idea with little hard evidence. How exactly could massive continents move?
Wegener could not provide a satisfactory explanation. He died in 1930. But his idea lived on, and 20 years later, his vindication would begin.
South America and Africa were like two giant puzzle pieces – they fit together
The crucial secrets that would unlock the truth of his theory were not to be found on those moving continents. They were all hidden under the sea.
Marie Tharp was one of the first people to realize that mountain ranges and huge valleys were not just features found on land, but under the oceans as well. In the early 1950s Tharp helped to map a gigantic submarine mountain range, thousands of kilometers long but only a few kilometers wide, zigzagging right down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Similar ranges lie beneath the waves of other oceans. They have since been named mid-ocean ridges – and their discovery helped turn the tide of thought on how the Earth's surface had formed.
Harry Hess, an American geologist and submarine commander in World War Two, recognized the potential significance of the mid-ocean ridges.
This sideways movement of rock... could ultimately explain why the continents themselves moved
During the war, Hess had used sonar to map some areas of the ocean floor in detail. He had found it to be far from the flat, featureless landscape most geologists had assumed it to be.
The discovery of mid-ocean ridges fit with an idea he was developing – namely that the ocean floor is constantly, but very slowly, renewing itself. He suggested that hot magma welled up along the mid-ocean ridges and cooled into rock. Then, as more hot magma welled up at the ridge, the cool rock was pushed down the ridge flanks to make room.
This sideways movement of rock, perpendicular to the mid-ocean ridges, could ultimately explain why the continents themselves moved. They were being pushed around by the upwelling of magma along the mid-ocean ridges.
His theory became known as seafloor spreading. But still, other geologists were skeptical. Other features under the sea were providing more clues, though, and gradually turning the tide of opinion in Hess's favor.

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Australian Aboriginal Documentary - First Australians They Have Come To Stay Episode 1

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The Dominions of the White Death (full documentary)

The waters that bathe the south of Australia are a link preserved from a former union.

50 million years ago, this island-continent broke away from the Antarctic, abandoning it to the cold currents which froze it. Here, on the southern Australian coast, these waters come to the surface, giving to rise to a veritable explosion of life, an incredible proliferation of species, from plankton eaters to specialist predators.

People often think that the sea is full of life, that everywhere creatures of one size or another swim. However, that is not true. In fact, the open ocean is almost a desert, with nothing to eat and no one to eat it.

That is not the case of this coast. When the cold waters reach here and rise to the surface, they come into contact with the sunlight, and warm up. And it is precisely the presence of light that works the miracle and causes life to flourish along these beaches.

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Australia the first Four Billion Years - Life Explodes

Australia: First 4 Billion Years

2 Life Explodes

How did life storm the beaches and dominate planet Earth? Ancient Australian fossils offer clues in Life Explodes. Half a billion years ago, Australia was still part of the super-continent Gondwana. The oceans were teeming with weird and wonderful animals, but the world above the waves remained an almost lifeless wasteland. All that was about to change, though. Host Richard Smith introduces Earth's forgotten pioneers: the scuttling arthropod armies that invaded the shores and the waves of green revolutionaries whose battle for the light pushed plant life across the face of a barren continent. Evolution continued underwater as well, with armor-plated fish experimenting with teeth, jaws, sex, and lungs. NOVA's prehistoric adventure continues with four-legged animals walking onto dry land—and the planet poised for disaster.


An Essential Media and Entertainment Film Production for NOVA/WGBH in association with Eden. Developed and produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Co-financed by Screen Queensland, Principal Investor Screen Australia.
© 2013 Essential Media and Entertainment and WGBH Educational Foundation.
All rights reserved

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3801 A Legend in Steam (Full Documentary)

A Legend In Steam: In the golden age of steam, 3801 was a triumph in design, construction and performance. The Pacific Class 38s were among the finest examples of steam locomotives to come out of Australian workshops. Now, from the personal archives of cameraman and steam fan Jim Powe, this VHS presents the great events that made the 3801 a legend, including:

The famous record-breaking speed run from Sydney to Newcastle.
The first unbroken steam run from Sydney to Melbourne.
The incredible across-Australia-to-Perth run in 1970.
The overhaul of the 3801 in 1986.
The full musical tribute to the 3801 performed by the railway group Chullora Junction.

Locomotive 3801 began service for the New South Wales Government Railways in 1943 and was still steaming in 1988 when this feature was made. With special trips all over the continent it became the focal point for railway celebrations to mark the Bicentenary of white settlement in Australia that year.

Australia: Un Continente a la deriva | Documental Completo

Australia. Un Continente a la deriva documental completo en el cual descubrimos como los animales que poblaban esta zona del supercontinente Gondwana han ido evolucionando a medida que lo hacia el continente australiano a la deriva por el océano.

La historia de los habitantes de esta Terra Australis se remonta a los lejanos días en que todos los continentes del sur estaban unidos. Entonces el mundo era un lugar más cálido y húmedo donde gigantescos saurios dominaban una zoología en permanente evolución.
Los vestigios de aquella jungla universal aún se conservan en el nordeste australiano albergando a los herederos de los extintos dinosaurios.

Las aves son las más numerosas en este mundo verde y sofocante. Su capacidad de volar les evitó el aislamiento que Australia impuso a sus criaturas terrestres y las nuevas aves que surgieron de la competencia con las especies del resto del mundo llegaron hasta estas selvas jurásicas y se quedaron para siempre.

En aquellas lejanas selvas de hace cien millones de años vivían distintos tipos de mamíferos que apostaban su perpetuidad con diferentes formas de reproducirse.
Los monotremas, los más antiguos, eran mamíferos pero ponían huevos; los euterios parían hijos totalmente desarrollados y los marsupiales, a caballo entre los dos, concluían el desarrollo de sus crías en el exterior.

Las selvas sudamericanas son, como las de Australia, parte del escenario de la antigua Gondwana. Entonces monotremas, marsupiales y euterios coexistían en las selvas primigenias. Pero los últimos fueron poco a poco ganando terreno conforme sus nuevos prototipos evolutivos iban mejorando. Los nuevos placentados eran más inteligentes y desplazaron de la gran mayoría de sus hábitats a los monotremas y a los marsupiales. Pero la derrota no fue tan absoluta como se tiende a pensar. Porque las noches sudamericanas siguen escondiendo viejos fantasmas de Gondwana.

Cuando Australia se separó de la masa continental ningún mamífero euterio poblaba sus territorios. Y la isla gigante partió hacia el norte dejando a sus marsupiales y monotremas libres de competencia.

Era solo el principio de la gran aventura marsupial; un periodo de grandes cambios.
En su viaje hacia el norte Australia se iba calentando y sus selvas fueron perdiendo terreno. El clima de la isla cambiaba progresivamente. Las plantas tuvieron que adaptarse o morir. Cada cambio en el clima suponía un cambio en la vegetación y cada uno de éstos era seguido por un sinfín de adaptaciones por parte de los animales.

Y Australia seguía ganando norte en su lento viaje por el océano Indico. Cuanto más se acercaba al trópico de Capricornio más templado se volvía el clima. La vegetación se abrió en grandes praderas a lo largo de vastos territorios antaño ocupados por las selvas. Los pastos se adueñaron del paisaje y aparecieron nuevos colonos zoológicos, algunos de ellos parientes cercanos de aquellos que aún viven escondidos en las últimas junglas australianas.
Los árboles de la selva siempre fueron un lugar de refugio y expansión para los marsupiales. La apertura del follaje debido al calentamiento del clima supuso la colonización de praderas y herbazales.

El koala consiguió colonizar el bosque de eucaliptos a través de una adaptación que parecía imposible: alimentarse de sus hojas. Las hojas de los eucaliptos son un combinado de alimento de baja calidad, materia indigerible y venenos activos. El que consiguiera la improbable tarea de sacarle provecho a tales hojas no tendría competencia alguna. Y el koala lo consiguió.
El koala es un ejemplo de la increíble versatilidad adaptativa de los mamíferos marsupiales australianos.

El ornitorrinco es una de las tres especies de mamíferos monotremas que ponen huevos, vive en algunos ríos del este australiano. Los otros dos son equidnas: el de hocico largo de Nueva Guinea y éste, el equidna de hocico corto, hoy extendido por toda Australia. El ornitorrinco tiene hocico de pato, patas de nutria y cola de castor y es venenoso.

Australia sigue su lenta peregrinación hacia el norte a una velocidad de seis centímetros al año.
Hoy apenas un estrecho separa la fauna de dos continentes pero ¿qué sucederá cuando los animales de Asia y Oceanía entren plenamente en contacto? Grandes cambios se perfilan en el futuro incierto de este continente austral. Es fácil imaginar que la evolución de sus paisajes y animales sufrirá grandes cambios. Pero, probablemente, cuando nuevas criaturas especializadas se adapten a bosques o desiertos de condiciones extrañas haciendo desaparecer a muchos de los prototipos evolutivos que hoy dominan en Australia; en lo más profundo de su espesura, con su pacífica y arcaica forma de vida, seguirán existiendo equidnas y ornitorrincos. Y, como en la lejana Gondwana, también allí los mamíferos pondrán huevos.

Untamed Australia episode 1 (Documentary)

Untamed Australia is an -unusual- and colourful wildlife documentary series that provides a unique account of the bizarre animals living on the 'Island Continent'.

The series follows families of Dingoes, Kangaroos, Koalas, Camels and Crocodiles over a period of time, showing their development, family structure, feeding habits and survival strategies.

The series was filmed over a number of years by some of the best wildlife filmmakers, mainly on location in the Australian Outback and nature reserves in different parts of the country. By using the best camera techniques available, including static, hidden cameras, underwater cameras and special night equipment, Untamed Australia has managed to capture the beautiful and unusual creatures and seasons of the vast Australian wilderness in amazing quality and unparalleled clarity. It looks at the many different animals that live in the range of habitats that make up this vast continent.

Enjoy it for what it is.

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Monsters of Ancient Australia 4 Billion Years Ago Full Documentary

Australia: First 4 Billion Years - One of the strangest landscapes on Earth reveals our planet's complex history. Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of our planet's origins than Australia. Australia's First 4 Billion Years takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. Epic in scope, intimate in nature, this is the untold story of the land down under, the one island continent that has got it all. Join NOVA on the ultimate Outback road trip, an exploration of the history of the planet as seen through the window of the Australian continent.
Until recently there were very few known dinosaur fossils in Australia. But there are highways full of footprints which along with the recently found skeletal fossils tell uniquely Australian stories of plants, mammals, dinosaurs and other creatures.


Australia. The Great White Shark | Full Documentary

We found the great white shark in the waters of the south coast of Australia, a crowded fed by waters from the Antarctic ice continent life. With its two-ton, this great wild predator prowls the Australian beaches in search of its most coveted prey, the sea lion. We dive on the Australian continent to see the beautiful and varied creatures that hide in its waters feared of the white shark.

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▶ Documentary Australia. The Great White Shark

The waters that bathe the south of Australia are a link preserved from a former union whit the Antarctic.
For the sharks, this is a region of plenty. The basic design of their bodies is 300 million years old, and is literally perfect. But only one of them is called Death. Beyond the reef lies the kingdom of the great killer, the vast blue, the cold waters which are tinged with red when hunger demands. The great white shark, two thousand kilos of savage strength at the service of a mouth. A prodigious animal which, after hundreds of year of blind terror, we are now learning to admire.

As we move further up the west coast of Australia, and approach the Tropic of Capricorn, corals are more in evidence, and start to form reefs. The coral reef is a very different ecosystem from that of the cold waters of the south. The coral reef is like a gigantic self-contained organism, in which energy passes from one layer to the next, with just two essential ingredients - the sun and the sea. The corals are specialists in poor waters like these, provided they are clear.

We arrive in the dominions of the great white shark, the dark blue waters. And here, a tragedy, repeated every year, is about to occur. The sea lions sense that the breeding season is approaching. Along the coast of southern Australia and Tasmania, they begin to gather near suitable places, playing and swimming with their characteristic skill.
The great white sharks like nothing better than a fresh fur seal – warm red meat, covered in delicious fat, clean and easy to digest. But the great white shark comes to its annual rendezvous with the seal cubs. All it need do is approach the colony, and wait for its chance.
This individual is eight metres of sheer fury, and almost two thousand kilos of expert hunter. Though it is a fish, its blood is ten degrees centigrade warmer than the surrounding water, so its muscles perform better in attack. It detects the electrical fields generated by its victims, and it is equipped with a system of navigation based on the earth’s magnetic field. Its sense of smell is infallible, and the muscles around its eyes are warmer than the others, to give it optimum sight.

The black legend of the white shark has been forged on the basis of exaggerations. Its fame as a monster, devourer of men, is far in excess of the reality. But, for decades, it has served as an excuse for uncontrolled fishing. Their impressive appearance made them the most sought after of all fisherman’s trophies.
In reality, attacks on humans are rare and, strangely, many of the victims survive. Like these three mutilated men, who know spend their lives killing the white sharks that attacked them. The white shark possesses the curiosity of all prowlers.
We now know that the white shark only attacks men by mistake or in self-defence, when in these cloudy waters it mistakes them for its normal prey, the sea lions. It is so elusive that, in seas where there are now hardly any seals, and the white sharks eat other prey that don’t resemble man, not only are there no attacks, but people don’t even suspect they exist.
This fantastic animal is a symbol of the sea in which it lives, a sea which we are threatening, a much more deadly threat than the great white. It is relatively easy to defend the great white, but there are 350 other species of shark increasingly threatened over-fishing, with virtually no one paying any attention to their plight.
No one knows how many answers lie in these waters, but one thing is certain, in the deep, vast blue, in the salty abyss in which all these creatures live, only one is king. Carcharodon carcharias, the white death.




Thumbnail By Elias Levy (Great White Shark) [CC BY 2.0 ( via Wikimedia Commons

Dreamtime Travelling through the Australian continent - documentary

Travelling through the Australian continent, one is often appalled by the living conditions of the Aborigine people. Having lost touch with their culture and traditions, many of them have become outcasts or alcoholics who aimlessly wander the streets of the Australian cities. From the early 1800s to the late 1960s, Aborigines were gradually deprived of their land by the white man who used it for herding, cropping, and mineral extraction. Forced to leave their homelands, Aborigines were often separated from their children, who were sent to live with white families or to boarding schools, in an attempt to teach them the white man’s values. Today 390,000 Aborigines account for less than 3% of the current Australian population. Learn how they are beginning to find their place in a society which has excluded them for so long. Meet and share the life of Aborigines who through art, dancing, hunting, work, or spirituality, are finding ways to better their future.

Director: Eric Elléna
Producers: French Connection Films, Voyage, Boomerang Productions

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National Geographic Documentary - Australia's Greatest Islands

National Geographic - Four of Australia's 20 thousand islands have been selected for this one hour special, all with an abundance of wildlife.

Australia A Continent Adrift - Documentary - Partner Visas Australia - PVA



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