Across the Top

A four year journey into Australia's outback

Across the Top is a classical documentary made in 1967 which became a classic Australian adventure film almost instantaneous.

The film shows aboriginal tribal life in Australia’s Arnhem Land and the undertaking of Malcolm Douglas and David Oldmeadow’s incredible journey through the Gulf of Carpentaria to upper Cape York.

In 1964, 23-year-old Malcolm Douglas and his friend David Oldmeadow ditched their jobs as stock and station agents in the Riverina region of New South Wales and set off on a six-month trip around Australia.

Six months turned into four years. It was a journey that shaped Douglas’ future. As the pair travelled and explored, they filmed their adventures.

The film later turned into the documentary Across the Top, which still holds the rating record for a documentary on Australian television. Malcolm Douglas went on to produce more than 50 documentaries and films for Channel Seven and Channel Nine.

Malcolm Douglas was the ‘original crocodile hunter’ of Australia. Through his documentary shows he would bring more notice to Australia’s aboriginal tribal life and the wildlife in the outback.

Although sadly killed by a car accident at his Wilderness Park in 2010, Malcolm does live on through his educational free spirited documentaries.

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Across the Top
  • Info
  • Release date1967
  • Full run time90 minutes
  • Produced byMalcolm Douglas, David Oldmeadow
  • Directed byMalcolm Douglas, David Oldmeadow
  • CinematographyMalcolm Douglas
  • Filming locationAustralia