Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Outback Adventures with Tim Faulkner

The Outback Adventures with Tim Faulkner

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 13 - 16 yrs.
Rating: TV G

Many of us dream of someday visiting Australia, land of koala bears and kangaroos. And some of us remember the popular animal and adventure lover, Steve Irwin, an Australian nature expert and TV personality who was nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter." Before his death from a stingray barb in 2006, Irwin, who ran the Australia Zoo with wife Terri, took us Down Under to teach and show about all sorts of creatures.

Now we have Tim Faulkner, who is doing much the same thing. "Australia is my home. Animals are my life," he says on his show, Outback Adventures.

One episode showed Faulkner working on Kangaroo Island to capture female koalas to take them in to be sterilized to help bring down the overrun population there. (Not my favorite thing to see the bears put in burlap bag and sent off to the vet, but it's being done for a reason.) On another, he takes his four-year-old son, Bill, to work with him in the Venom Room filled with snakes. Young Bill doesn't flinch.

Faulkner travels all around Australia, and nearby islands. On Rottnest Island, he introduces us to quokkas, rat-like creatures that appear to smile. It's become popular for people to take smiling selfies with them. Faulkner also snatches a writhing, poisonous dugite snake, which clearly pleases him very much. "I'm happy to have seen that!" he says before setting the snake back down in the grassy lands. "Off you go, mate," he tells it, adding, "Thank you."

He shows us how moaning frogs play dead, how woylies are rare marsupials and how large fur seals are camped out on the coast.

The show is informative, the footage is admirable and Faulkner's passion for the animals is evident. It's an easy way to see Australia - until we can actually get there.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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