Film synopsis

John Heyer’s 1950’s Aussie adventure film following Tom Kruse along the Birdsville Track. Winner of the Absolute Grand Prize at the 1954 Venice International Film Festivall. Nominated for a 1955 BAFTA film award for Best Documentary Film.

The development of inland Australia largely depends on the men who keep open the supply lines and communications – the outback mailmen. In an area larger than Europe, beyond the last roads and railways, their tracks make the map of the inland, become the roads of tomorrow and mark the growth of the nation.
Across the centre of Australia ran an ancient 300-mile track that was used by Aboriginal people trading between north and south. Commonly known as the Birdsville Track, joining Marree in South Australia to Birdsville in Queensland, it was the main thoroughfare for Tom Kruse to deliver mail and supplies to outlying cattle stations. The Back of Beyond  follows his remarkable journey and celebrates the characters that define outback Australia.

Running time

62 minutes

Country of origin


Year of production



Tom Kruse
Jack the Dogger
William Henry Butler


John Heyer


Department of Information