Running home from school and perching ourselves in front of the TV was a ritual of Aussie childhood. Mum would bring snacks, a few Jatz and slice fruit or if you were really lucky a finger bun from Bakers Delight. Homework fell by the wayside, you were sat there unmoved until the 5pm gameshows and 6 o’clock news rolled around.
Aussie dramas these days may fail to entertain us like Breaking Bad or hook us in like Orange is The New Black, but Aussie children’s shows we grew up with we remember fondly. The accents are bogan, the character names as overtly outback as it gets and the storylines well, unrealistic to say the least. We’ve rounded up all your favourites for a little Australigia – that’s Australian nostalgia – so dive in.
Round The Twist
A song so catchy it still gets thrown into conversation, Round the Twist brought a little unearthly occurrences to the Twist’s family from 1989-2001. The iconic Byron Bay lighthouse sat in prime position as the Twist’s fought to save it from destruction by the menacing Gribble’s. Hauntings, ghost ships, magical doors and love spells, this one’s got it all. There’s a reason it’s first on the list. Oh and PS. the whole season is on Netflix.
A superhuman girl with water abilities as if part marine animal and an ocean research centre combine in this vintage show. There’s a sinister counter organisation that treats the animals badly and Ocean Girl rises from the water to protect her deep seas friends. As the series progresses there’s trips to Egypt and back to Ocean Girl’s home planet – Ocean World. Science fiction at it’s Aussie best
All your favourite cartoons, skits, and you could even write in letters to the hosts, Cheez TV was part of Aussie mornings. The larrikin hosts would segway in between Rocket Power and Yu-gi-oh with a slapstick humour that only kids could really appreciate. Ryan and Jade felt like older brothers, showing you what to watch and how to crack a joke. It’s been revived as of this year but the original will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Heartbreak High was our very own 90210, a little taste of high school drama that our parents would still let us watch. The accents are sublime, Stevo went to Cairns and saw the relos, she’s spewin’ and too right all make regular appearances. A new teacher, a new girl this playground has it all. Pure ochre school vibes.
A mystical show where three game players get zapped into the video game Pirate Islands. Kate and her two siblings swashbuckle their way through the show with a love interest or two and evade the evil pirate Blackheart. The accents are bad but hey that’s why they’re so charming but the storyline is addictive. Mars and Kate forever.
Go Go Stop
Before James Tobin was taking over your TV his alter ego Jessie James was hosting Go Go Stop. A gameshow where kids navigated their way around a game board answering quiz questions, Go Go Stop was a kid’s Deal or No Deal. We became invested in the competitors as often their run would go across multiple days, even though the prizes were scholastic subscriptions and online maths games. If you were to chant Go Go Stop in a public place I guarantee there would be some reminiscent fools chanting along side you.
A human prototype robot stumbles away from her creators and into the Australian bush, Cybergirl was a real winner. Just as internet fever was really heating up, enter CyberGirl. A hero who struggled with human interaction just like our awkward teen selves, she felt familiar. She had ultra human strength and was kitted out in a sci-fi blue onesie. Not a bad plot to cover up stilted acting by these newbies. But nonetheless CyberGirl’s power to plug in and solve any problem captivated kids from 2001 to today still.
A show that brought together some of your favourite Home and Away faces and made them dance, Dance Academy was a TV show we remember fondly. Six dancing hopefuls duel it out in this rigorous training school but manage to you know have fun too. By forgetting their homework, committing petty larceny and being expelled along the way. You know the usual. If you didn’t up your dance lessons after watching this you’re lying.
Pick Your Face
An Aussie game show that upon reflection is really weird but at the time we were all pretty fanatical about. Pick your face hosted different challenges that involved sticking your hand inside a giant nose, complete with snot. Or rearrange famous faces and buzz in using an obscene eye. It was wacky, wonderful and based on a love of fart jokes I imagine. What did the kids win? Oh Enclycopedia Brittanica and 26 Pizza Haven vouchers – the usual.
H20: Just Add Water
It’s totally ok if you watched this one well into high school, mermaids are addictive to watch. Fresh faces, Phoebe Tonkin and Claire Holt launched careers after dipping their toes into the water with this tv show. Underwater exploration, a love story or two and three girls saving the planet from the sea floor up. Being a mermaid is no easy work. Rewatching this one is like watching your childhood dream of being a mermaid/merman lived out.
Blue Water High
Have I saved the best for last? Quite possibly. Blue Water High brought the surfer vibes and teen angst to life. With a constantly rotating cast we never got bored. Even if you lived landlocked in the country it channelled that assumption that all Aussie’s could surf. With names like Fly and Edge this one was about as sunburnt as you could get and we loved it. Shakkas all around.
Image source: TV Show Time.