DOCUMENTARIES > TRAVEL > Great Characters of Queensland

Eccentric and colourful personalities, as they indulge in their own adventures. From lush tropical islands to harsh outback territories, discovering characters as diverse as a modern-day Tarzan on the Barrier Reef to an old-time story-teller at a bush rodeo. This documentary combines some fascinating people, the picturesque countryside they live in, and good action.

* Flying along the Barrier Reef is Hurse Cutler, a bronzed giant of an Aussie who's job it is to clamber up coconut trees to protect tourists from falling coconuts. Hurse takes us sky-diving, swimming with schools of giant potato cod as big as himself, and introducing us to island hermits like 92-year old Leen Wallace, and her childhood sweetheart, 77 year old Bill.

* In the sleepy-hollow of Einsleigh, home to just thirty people, witness a population explosion at the annual rodeo and race meeting. One local who makes you feel welcome is 73 year old property owner George MacCore, Mac to his mates, a legendary story-teller in these parts. Meet some local cowboys, young and old, demonstrating their own style in the bronc riding contest. The highlight of this segment is a race by the only female jockey in the region, 19 year old Karen Kowald, against her own husband, in which he lodges a protest against her.

* Follow modern-day adventurers, like Brian Strike, as he sets out to explore the stunning rainforests of the Daintree region, showing us rare wildlife like the Great Southern Cassowary.

* Johnny Yanna is hardly what you'd expect to meet on the salt-flats bordering the Gulf of Carpentaria. Boating south from Burketown, Johnny takes us barramundi fishing in the croc infested waters of the Albert River.

* Dalma Barton loves her opera, so much so that she now writes and sings her own numbers near the outback mining town of Mount Isa. Her musical backing is the didgeridoo, played by her eleven year old son William, but what's so different about Dalma's style is the way she's combined traditional opera with aboriginal legends, such as in her own number 'Footprints On The Rocks'. With William playing the traditional way, she uses her operatic voice to make a very unique sound!

* Last century, Australia's most famous bush balladeer Banjo Patterson once wrote about the Outer Barcoo, "where churches are few and men of religion are scanty." This remote outback settlement is the home of Des Fallon, a drought stricken farmer who has turned to bush tourism with the help of his family of tame kangaroos, and an 18-hole dirt golf course. His personal passion is his goat racing.

* Sunrise over the Gold Coast: It's a phenomena that Reen Corbett witnesses every day of her life. Already Reen has won the World women's Surf Board championships in Japan and now she's training for even tougher challenges. Her training, for the coming Australian surf championships, is so diverse it even means swimming with the dolphins.