Modern life presents a dispiriting dichotomy. We are inundated with information about the world we know, or think we know, but often that flood of news can drown the stories of people and places outside the public eye. Some escape our gaze because of geographical remoteness, or because they lie in a culture of secrecy. Distance can be overcome by modern-day communications and transport. Firing up the imagination is a harder task. So much remains hidden because we don't know where to look or because our curiosity has been dulled: we've forgotten how to see, or we limit our journeys to well-worn paths. Still, in a land as vast as Australia, there's more reason for joy than despair. Its myth-rich Aboriginal culture offers enlightenment if we care to engage with it; the seemingly barren interior can inspire awe when we visit the thriving land away from the coast. The wonder of discovery is there in simple things and grand: in quiet lives of contemplation and, if you can picture it, the instant a cosmic fireball hits the Earth. In the uncompromising intensity of professionals at work and in that heart-stopping moment when a raft races into a flight of rapids. Venture with us off the paved tracks, look behind doors that are usually closed, and join us for some amazing encounters.