Skip to main content

Great Australian Railway Journeys - BBC2

Michael in front of a steam train
(Image credit: BBC/Boundless, part of Fremantle)

Michael Portillo takes to the air for a bird's eye view of the Australian capital, Canberra, in this week's Great Australian Railway Journeys

Michael begins the fourth episode of Great Australian Railway Journeys in a hot air balloon floating over the capital of Australia, Canberra (Saturday, 8.30pm, see our TV Guide for full details).

He looks down on the cleverly designed metropolis, which was built due to the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney.

MORE: Michael Portillo on his Hidden History of Britain

Neither would accept the other as the capital, so a new city was created to unite the six separate colonies as one new country.

Michael then heads to Melbourne and enjoys a 20/20 cricket match between England and Australia at the huge Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Michael at Melbourne Cricket Ground

Michael at Melbourne Cricket Ground

After reflecting on the importance of sport as a uniting force across the country, he heads to Belgrave, a suburb of Melbourne, to ride a fantastic heritage train called Puffing Billy though a temperate rainforest.

He concludes this leg down on the farm, shearing a very worried looking sheep.

TV Times rating: ****