Episode two of Wild Australia was broadcast at 8:00PM on Monday 2nd May on ITV1. If you missed it, you can now watch it online via the ITV Player for a limited period of time by clicking on the image above. In this episode, Ray explores the wetlands of the Northern Territory in Arnhem Land, one of the most remote wilderness landscapes of Australia.
Beginning his journey at Mount Borradaile, on the edge of the sandstone plateau overlooking the Cooper Creek flood planes, Ray finds an area that is home to not only a vast array of native birds, but also to Australia’s most deadly predator: the saltwater crocodile.
These wetlands are the main breeding grounds for the saltwater crocodile, and as the floodwaters have retreated, all the crocodiles are gathered in one area, competing for the limited territory. “Although this may look like paradise,” Ray says, “there’s a good reason I’m in a tin boat and not a canoe. There’s a hidden danger lurking in the mist.”
Heading down the billabong, Ray reaches stone country, a remote and sparsely populated territory that also houses a gallery of ancient Aboriginal artwork. Ray also joins locals Connie Nayinggul and her grandson Moses on a fishing expedition to catch some barramundi, which they then cook in a traditional ground oven using paper bark.
Finally, Ray travels with land manager Greg Towns across the dried up mudflats to witness the dramatic spectacle of farming with fire. Here, among giant flocks of grazing magpie geese, they help burn away large meadows of alien and destructive grass that is killing the native birds.
With his time in this particular part of Australia at an end, Ray says: “I love Arnhem Land; it’s one of my favourite places on our planet. There’s a wildness here that is really profound, it touches you deep inside. It really justifies the existence of wild areas, to remind us of how our planet should be.”