Bush Tucker Man: episode guide

Series 1 (1988)

Executive Producer: Andrew Lloyd James

Travelling throughout the Top End, Les Hiddins, the Bush Tucker Man, collects information on how to survive on foods sourced only from the natural environment, demonstrating how even in remote deserts and on sandy beaches, fresh food and water can be found — if you know where to look.

Arnhem Land

Episode 1.01
Produced and Directed by Tim Clark

Major Les Hiddins takes us into the heart of Arnhem Land in northern Australia where the Aborigines of Ngukurr reveal their bush tucker secrets.

The Wet in Port Keats

Episode 1.02
Produced and Directed by Ashley Smith

Surviving the rainy season in Australia's Northern Territory.


Episode 1.03
Produced and Directed by Tim Clark

Les Hiddins travels through some of the most arid desert country in search of food and water.

Prince Regent Gorge

Episode 1.04
Produced and Directed by Ashley Smith

Les Hiddins looks for South Australian rock paintings using the journals of a 19th-century governor.

Rain Forest

Episode 1.05
Produced and Directed by David Leonard

The Aussie survivalist discovers the secrets of the rainforests in Bloomfield, Queensland.


Episode 1.06
Directed by David Tunnell

Les Hiddins travels to the west coast of Cape York where the first known sighting of Australia took place by Europeans.


Episode 1.07
Produced and Directed by David Leonard

Les Hiddins recalls an amazing story of survival in Queensland's gulf country.


Episode 1.08
Produced and Directed by Tim Clark

Les Hiddins joins a group of soldiers on an expedition into the Bush to learn first-hand about the survival techniques of Aborigines.

Series 2 (1990)

Executive Producer: Andrew Clark

In a battered army truck, Les Hiddins seeks out and records the different types of bush food and medicines used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Having been a bush survival expert for the Australian Army, Hiddins travels vast tracts of uninhabited Australia from Cape York to the Kimberley, taking viewers on an entertaining and informative journey across rugged and inhospitable terrain.

Wet Season

Episode 2.01
Produced and Directed by David Talfer

Les travels through the wetlands of Arnhem Land, down through the Gulf of Capentaria and up the Cape York peninsula giving viewers a first hand account of the effects of the wet season on the countryside.©tzuk

East To West

Episode 2.02
Produced and Directed by Richard Walker

Heading west from Cairns, Les travels aroudn the gulf country and across the Northern Territory to Jasper Gorge, stopping along the way to visit the lava tubes at Undara.©tzuk


Episode 2.03
Produced and Directed by Richard Walker

Les travels around the vast area of the Kimberleys, discovering ancient Aboriginal cave paintings, a rare species of tree, and explores the harsh locations encountered by both a WWII Japanese landing party and a pair of lost German aviators.©tzuk

Top End

Episode 2.04
Produced and Directed by David Talfer

Les explores one of the most remote locations in Australia, the Cobourg Peninsula in the NW corner of Arnhem Land where, in 1838, the British established a garrison to defend and manage the north. Touring the ruins of the failed settlement, Les points out the failures of the poorly equipped settlers and the missed opportunities that surrounded them.©tzuk


Episode 2.05
Produced and Directed by David Talfer

Les explores Shoal Bay east of Darwin before stopping for supplies and setting up camp on the Mary River.©tzuk

Desert Story

Episode 2.06
Produced and Directed by Richard Walker

Starting from the western edge of the Simpson Desert, Les travels north through central Australia to Wave Hill where he meets a friend for a game a cricket. Along the way, Les stops to explore the greening desert.©tzuk

Coastal Story

Episode 2.07
Produced and Directed by Stephen Burstow

Les starts his journey by flying in to the east coast of the Cape York peninsula. He travels up the coastline and across the peninsula via the Jardine RIver emerging on the Gulf coast.©tzuk

Bush Tucker Man: Stories of Survival (1996)

Executive Producer: Chris McCullough

The vast Australian Outback has claimed many lives and spawned many legends. In thisseries, the popular Bush Tucker Man, Les Hiddins, travels through some of Australia's most remote territory to explore tales of mystery, courage and survival. Following the trail of famous adventurers, explorers and bushmen, Les draws on his survival skills, his bush tucker knowledge and his fascination with stories of survival to uncover new evidence about intriguing legends and pioneering journeys.

The Coffee Royal Affair

Episode 3.01
Saturday June 08, 1996
Produced and Directed by Richard Walker

The first Episode 3.0traces the Coffee Royal Affair (1929) following the forced landing of Australian hero Kingsford-Smith and the crew of the Southern-Cross aircraft on the banks of the Glenelg river in the far north Kimberley after encountering bad weather. Unable to contact searchers by radio, and ill prepared in terms of survival gear, they had to sweat it out and make do with the meagre food supplies on board and with what they could scavenge in the bush, until found several days later.

One of the aircraft flying in to participate in the search, the Kookaburra, was forced down in the Tanami Desert with engine trouble. It was unable to take off again because of thick scrub and the crew of two, also ill prepared for such an event, perished before help arrived.

The Cannibal Convict

Episode 3.02
Saturday June 15, 1996
Produced and Directed by Tim Clark

Alexander Pierce escaped the cruel prison colony of Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania's bleak west coast, in the company of seven other prisoners. In their battle with dense scrub and rough country they found precious little to eat until they turned to cannibalism, eating the weakest in turn. Pierce was the only survivor. He was recaptured, and confessed all, but he was not believed as the authorities thought he has covering for his mates! Returned to Sarah Island, he escaped again with one companion—and ate him too. When recaptured he confessed and he was believed this time. He was tried and hung in Hobart.

The Great Misadventure

Episode 3.03
Saturday June 22, 1996
Produced and Directed by David Telfer

The tale of Burke and Wills is re-evaluated and Les speculates how a knowledge of bush tucker may have changed the outcome of this ill-fated party.

The Best of Them All

Episode 3.04
Saturday June 29, 1996
Produced and Directed by David Telfer

Follow the footsteps of the determined explorer John McDouall Stuart who became the first European to cross the continent from South to North.

The Dutch Settlement

Episode 3.05
Saturday July 06, 1996
Produced and Directed by Richard Walker

The evidence for a Dutch settlement in Australia 100 years before the commonly accepted starting date for European settlement.

Gold Fever

Episode 3.06
Saturday July 13, 1996
Produced and Directed by Jack King

Les travels to Central Australia to investigate discoveries that claim to throw new light on the legend of Lasseter's lost reef.

The Passionate Prussian

Episode 3.07
Saturday July 20, 1996
Produced and Directed by David Telfer

Retracing Ludwig Leichardt's 1844 expedition from Moreton Bay to Cape York and the Victoria settlement in Arnhem Land and the mystery of his final disappearance.

Into The Vilest Country

Episode 3.08
Saturday July 27, 1996
Produced and Directed by Jack King

Les travels to the cape york peninsula in a manner that contrasts strongly with that of the cumbersome and fatal edmund kennedy 1848 expedition.