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.