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Great Australian Railway Journeys - BBC2

Michael Portillo in Australia
(Image credit: BBC/Boundless, part of Fremantle)

In Great Australian Railway Journeys this week, Michael Portillo is in South Australia

In Great Australian Railway Journeys this week, Michael Portillo begins this leg of his journey in South Australia, at one of the oldest family run wine businesses in the country (Saturday, 8.30pm, see our TV Guide for full details).

In 1837 Richard Hamilton arrived from Dover in Kent, with his nine children in tow, to plant the very first vines.

Michael Portillo in a vineyard

In a vineyard on a sunny day you'd be smiling too!

Michael enjoys a glass of Shiraz with his great, great, great granddaughter, Mary, who now runs the vineyard.

After a tango lesson in Adelaide, Michael boards the epic Indian Pacific for a 30-hour train journey across the scorching Nullarbor Plain to Kalgoorlie, the largest city in the outback.

MORE: Michael Portillo on his Hidden History of Britain

Here he learns about the gold rush that began in 1893 and is still going strong today and meets a Flying Doctor who provides essential care for the hardy folk who live in this remote wilderness.

He ends this leg in Perth with tales of gold, royal visits and the misguided plan that saw thousands of British children sent to Oz.

TV Times rating: ****