In the 1950s, Dr Thomas Barrett and his wife Jane leave Manchester for Kalangadog Junction, a small town of population fifty-nine in Australia that is so remote it is not featured on most maps. The pair take the train from Sydney to their destination, which Jane despairs at, due to the parched landscape and oddball characters. They are greeted by the locals, however despite the warm welcome, Jane is intent on finding the first way out. Her suitcases are hit by a lorry, but the driver stops are offers them a lift. The night draws in, and Jane passes out due to the heat. She awakens to find them in a house, which Thomas reveals them to now be the owners of. Elsewhere in town, nursing aid Madge is angered by her lover Len when she finds that Thomas has been given the job of doctor, and loaned him money to purchase a house, as she has been looking after the town since the previous doctor was struck-off. Thomas and Jane head out to the local bar, however the antiquated rules of no women in the bar is enforced which leaves her relegated to the ladies lounge. The doctor and his wife set about painting the surgery and reconcile their feelings, and suggest they will make the best of the situation. They receive a visit from Madge who says she won't be closing down her practice, and is paranoid about why the doctor has come to such a remote location.
Jane is trying to work out what she will wear in her new job as the receptionist at the surgery. He also finds that she is in a particularly amorous mood, though finds that time is running short as his first patients are due in shortly. Madge meanwhile has her "war paint" on, in a determined effort to compete with the doctor. Over at the pub, Milly is persuaded to open up the ladies lounge somewhat earlier than normal, while Thomas finds that being doctor to the town is proving difficult when he hasn't had a single patient by eleven which is in contrast to Madge who has a busy waiting room. The end of the week approaches, and still Thomas and Jane have seen nobody. The gossips in the ladies lounge who are themselves looking forward to an upcoming "baby contest" where the doctor finds himself as a judge, which risks offending his new neighbours, as does his joining Jane in the lounge against the norms of the town. Writing a letter back home, Jane takes to lying about how things are going for Thomas in the town, and also reveals she has been put in charge of fundraising. Thomas soon finds that the entrants to the baby contest have started to offer him bribes, and during the judging, finds baby Norelle has become inebriated by Donna in the hope of giving her "sparkling eyes" and increase the chances of winning.
Thomas has now gone for six weeks without a patient while Madge continues to do a great business. Gaylene is also being pushed to the limits by trainer Reggie in preparation for the Olympics. However, his conversation is broken off by Milly who has to visit Madge with a painful arm, and wants him to look after the pub. Jane meanwhile gets to have her reflexes tested, but when she starts getting amorous with Thomas, Milly interrupts them to be their first patient. Milly is diagnosed with having tennis elbow from pouring too many drinks, and is advised to use her left arm for a while. At the pub, Milly's serving has somewhat slowed, and her revelation that she has visited Dr Barrett has the bar silenced for fear of what Madge will say. Madge however takes to the Olympic spirit of competition, and appears to be taking the news of Thomas receiving a patient reasonably well, while Thomas' meeting room now has four patients including Donna along with baby Norelle. Jane also takes to working on Gaylene's fundraising, while the doctoring continues for Thomas when he is visited by Len who has a bad back, and discovers he is taking a mass of pills which turn out to be a placebo. Helping Len, Thomas and Jane are invited to the town film night.
Jane is unable to sleep with a number of worries, including thoughts about back home in Manchester which have left her home sick. At the pub, Donna and Dawn are desperate for Len to open the pub early, who has only just been awoken from a dream in which he won a gold medal at the Olympics. Thomas at the doctor's office is dealing with Jimmy who has burnt his rear on the fire, who in return questions the reason why Jane is in Kalangadog Junction. Reggie arrives at the surgery somewhat upset, with news that he has been fired as Gaylene's coach for the Olympics, having taken over himself and believing that Reggie isn't capable. Dawn attends an appointment with Madge, though ends up upsetting her when she reveals she has spoken to Dr Barrett, who broaches the topic of Gaylene's coaching. Gaylene is upset when Len plans to erect a statue of himself if she wins a gold medal, who instead designs her own statue of them together naked. Passions about the statue spill over for the pair however, and Madge walks in on them passionately kissing. Jane and Thomas also take to some alone time at a billabong, and end up skinny dipping, where they are promptly caught by Jane's mother and ex-fiance who have taken a flight over.
Jane's mother Phoebe and ex-fiance Jeff are still in Kalangadog Junction after three weeks. Dawn and Donna meanwhile take to ordering large amounts of sherry for Gaylene's leaving party barbecue. Len is still struggling with his ribs, after Madge has dealt with him, and has to resort to seeing Thomas for health care. Jeff and Jane take to completing a crossword together, leaving her in an almost compromising position when Phoebe walks in, after Jeff suggests he still has feelings for her. Reggie also gives a pep talk to Gaylene, who resorts to being sick due to nerves. Talking with Thomas who has come to settle in to life in the town, Jane worries about whether the town is a disappointment for her mother, while also beginning to wonder about her future. Out shopping, Jane discovers that a shop is selling Len-branded perfume while Donna and Dawn take to preparing the food for the barbecue. At the party, Jane discovers that Jeff insisted on coming over to Australia and her mother reveals she has an extra plane ticket for her to come back to Didsbury. She in turn reveals her reasons for going to Kalangadog Junction, while problems arise when Madge discovers that Jane has brought her speciality to the barbecue and Gaylene needs medical help when she begins to choke.
Gaylene has left for the Olympics, while Phoebe and Jeff are due to head back to Manchester. Jeff however sets about trying to convince Jane to return home, who is still insistent that she is in Australia because of Thomas. Jeff reveals that he has kept the engagement ring he offered her previously, though they are interrupted by Thomas' return. Jane goes on to explain to Thomas the reasons they are in Kalangadog Junction which involves a dying patient leaving instructions to look after Reggie Stafford by way of a doctor in the town. Meanwhile, Gaylene gets through to the finals leading to celebrations in the pub. Jane also resorts to telling Thomas that she wants to return to Didsbury, with him returning also, which leaves Jeff dismayed and Jane angry at his insensitivity. Len takes news to Madge that the Barrett's are planning on leaving, though during packing up, Jane has a change of heart and insists that they stay as the town needs a doctor, as Madge turns up at the house begging Thomas to stay in exchange for her retirement as she is engaged to Len. The town takes to watching the final, though discovers that Gaylene dropped out and defected to Russia with her lover, a Russian weightlifter.