Introduces the McGregor family and the people of Paterson's Ridge. The 25th Annual Man From Snowy River Horse Race takes place, and Danni McGregor wins, despite her father Matt's order for her not to enter the race. Meanwhile, a mysterious man arrives from America. He soon reveals his identity to be Luke McGregor, the son of Matt's older brother, Alec, the McGregor family black sheep.
Thomas Pascoe is appointed the new school teacher, but Danni takes a dislike to him instantly as he makes fun of a student. Not only that, but he has a cane. Victoria continues to play Luke and Robbie off each other by using her high-spirited horse Prince as the bait.
A friend of Matt's, Steve Page, comes to town and falls for Kathleen. He strains his friendship with Matt when he asks Kathleen to return with him to Melbourne. At the church Colin has both Danni and Emily Cornish to help him do up the church.
Oliver and Luke strike a partnership when Luke needs money to look for the gold. Luke agrees to Frank having 20 percent and Frank has to mine. Victoria is stranded when the train tracks are washed out. Rob goes to get the organ for Emily, which is a present for Colin and the church. However, when Victoria and Rob are alone, can he supress his feelings any longer?
George Elliott, the banker, has a heart attack and dies just as his daughter Anita Hargraves is returning from San Francisco. Anita wants revenge on Matt for breaking her heart and forces her brother Herbert to call in the mortgage. Luke finds a gold vein in Alec's Foley and employs Chen as his foreman.
The news of Luke's gold strike has spread and people flock to Paterson's Ridge. Hoping for their own bit of gold, Danni and Michael set out, but when an accident occurs it leaves Danni at the bottom of an old mine shaft. Kathleen meanwhile is jealous over Matt and Anita, but not all is what it seems.
The railway is coming and the Blackwood's discover it should go right through Kathleen's land. With the help of miners, they set about poisoning her cattle in an effort to force her out. Meanwhile, Victoria loses in the Luke vs Rob situation when Luke starts to fall in love with Anita. However, Anita only expresses an interest in Luke because she believes she'll succeed in making Matt jealous.
The Mountain Ball has arrived and Victoria still hasn't decided between Rob and Luke - so they make the decision for her. At the Ball, Luke is accused of trying to kill Oliver when he is shot while talking to Anita.
Harry Roebuck, a bushranger, holds up the stage coach which Frank, Victoria, Herbert and Anita are on - stealing all of Luke's gold. As the bushranger goes to leave, Herbert shoots, hitting Roebuck in the leg. Roebuck vows revenge on Herbert.
Frank is ready to hang two men he accuses of being cattle rustlers - which they deny. Matt spares them and Kevin and Brian go to work at Langara. Brian falls in love with Danni and she with him. Emily and Colin's wedding day arrives.
The election draws near and Luke continues to campaign with Oliver's backing - until Luke proposes to Victoria. Victoria accepts the proposal but she is forced to make a difficult decision by her father. Meanwhile, gold at the mine has slowed down and Frank is concerned the gold is running out.
Kathleen and Matt both end up in Melbourne for matters concerning the government. Matt is there to be sworn in as a new member of parliament - Kathleen to fight them about taking her home and land for the railway. Victoria leaves to go to England under her father's order.
Herbert Elliott is forced by Oliver to call in both Luke's and Matt's debts. While nothing can be done to help Luke financially, Jack goes to see him to tell him the real story of his father. In order to save Langara, Matt and his children must drive the cattle to market - across Blackwood land.
Colin speaks out against alcohol after a teenager is found drunk. The bootleggers in turn set light to the church. At the same time, Grady Hocking and his two sons, George and Greg, have come to town.
Matt and Oliver become lost in the desert while returning to Paterson's Ridge from buying stock. Matt accepts the help of an Aboriginal and his wife, but Oliver refuses.
Poor railroad workers live in deplorable conditions, and Kathleen sets out to help them and their families.
Victoria returns from England with her fiancé, Baron Hugh Trevalyan, in tow. However, friction is caused in the Blackwood house when it emerges that Hugh is not as gallant as he seems. Meanwhile, Rob takes on a contract to supply the British army with wild horses and it proves to be a difficult challenge.
An old fighter, Dandy Jim O'Rourke, comes to Paterson's Ridge eager to fight Matt. Despite Matt's reservations, he agrees to O'Rourke's demands. Meanwhile, Julius Waugh, a talented pianist arrives in town but he has more on his mind than a recital.
The drought torments Paterson's Ridge, and a drifter arrives and offers to help Kathleen find an underground well. Matt is suspicious of the drifter, whose name is James. As it turns out, James was recently released from prison and is eager to make a new, clean life for himself, but his brother, Stacey, forces him back into a life of crime.
In Melbourne, Matt defends the struggling, poverty-stricken farmers of Paterson's Ridge and Kathleen is eager to lend a helping hand. However, tragedy strikes en-route to Melbourne when a government employee tries to prevent Kathleen from delivering some vital documents. Emily suffers a great loss when the train she and Kathleen are travelling on is de-railed.
A woman named Joanna is looking for her vagabond father and enlists Matt's help. Some tension rises between Joanna and Kathleen because Kathleen feels that Joanna is attracted to Matt. What Joanna and Matt do discover is that Joanna's father is dead, but he married a second time, and somehow out there is his young son, Joanna's half-brother. Joanna must find him now
Joanna and Kathleen go on a quest to find Joanna's half-brother. When they do find him, they discover that his adoptive father is abusive. Joanna and Kathleen take Joanna's half-brother, away from the violent man, along with the man's helpless wife and his small daughter.
While going to fish one day, Colin and Rob discover the stagecoach, which tumbled down a cliff. The only survivors are a woman and a baby. The woman, Ruth Whitney, claims that the baby is not hers, but nobody in Paterson's Ridge believes her. Finally, Matt finds the baby's real mother, but only after Emily decides she wants to adopt the baby and to call him Jeremy.
Edward Dengate is the new constable in Paterson's Ridge, which he hates because he would rather be a farmer. Matt convinces Edward's father that he cannot choose his son's life for him, and Edward leaves to fulfill his dream.
The British army comes to town and attempts to recruit the locals using some dubious methods. Much to Matt's dismay, Rob is tempted to enlist. However, Rob finds himself conflicted about leaving because of his growing feelings for Ruth.
The notorious Reilly gang turns up in Paterson's Ridge in an attempt to evade being captured by the state troopers. While Matt and Rob are away mustering, the Reillys arrive at Langara and take Colin, Emily and Danni captive. After they read a negative article about themselves and their bank robbing exploits in the local press, the brothers decide to make Kathleen print a story from their point of view.
The Blackwood family feels threatened when Ruth plans to write a series of articles on the town's history and Frank goes to extreme measures to keep his convict links hidden. Meanwhile, Ruth's success using the pseudonym Jack Albright results in international recognition and she is offered a job in the United States.
Tensions rise in Paterson's Ridge when a Koorie woman, Lizzie, and her son, Sam, come to town. Racist attitudes are exacerbated when livestock are found killed with a spear. Lizzie is eager for Sam to receive a formal education but he is torn between going to school and exploring his Aboriginal heritage.
Aeronaut Henry Faulkner makes an emergency landing in Paterson's Ridge and causes quite a stir. Matt is especially jealous of the friendship Henry strikes up with Kathleen. Michael is impressed by Henry's flying plans and is inspired to experiment on his own, much to the concern of his family and friends.
Kathleen publishes an article that suggests political corruption is responsible for some very successful landownership sales in the area. The source of her information is a Member of Parliament who wishes to remain anonymous. Meanwhile, the Premier requests that Matt investigate possible cases of corruption on the land committee. When Kathleen's article is published, she finds herself at loggerheads with Matt as its publication suggests that Matt is the one who leaked the story. When she refuses to reveal her real source, she faces some tough questions from the government and a possible prison sentence.
The town's lumber mill is in dire financial straights and the owner dies after being confronted by a disgruntled employee. When the mill owner's son, John Archer, takes over, he struggles to make the business viable and fails to bond with the employees who feel over worked and exploited. As they are required to work longer hours for very little pay, the employees threaten to resign. Only winning a major contract, supplying lumber for the state railroad, will prevent the business from going bankrupt.
Religious conflict occurs in Paterson's Ridge when a Jewish, Russian family moves to the town. They are haunted by their painful past and find adapting to life in a Christian community difficult. Meanwhile, the town pulls together to build a new church but the theft of the sacred cross ruins the jovial atmosphere.
Danni's beloved horse Nellie is one of many which becomes ill. Colin finds their mother's old tonic books and convinces her to try and make it up, to save the horses. Meanwhile, Connor O'Shea is going to lose his land after Matt makes an agreement in Melbourne.
Rob and Michael have an accident while taking the old printing machine to get the new one - resulting in Rob's leg becoming pinned under the cart. Meanwhile, Matt and Colin tackle a stubborn tree stump.
The big day is almost here for Matt and Kathleen. Matt asks Colin to conduct the ceremony the next day and he agrees. While out the previous night, Matt comes across a man badly injured and doesn't want to leave him. Montanna Hale rides into town hiding a secret and Kathleen is left sitting on the church step waiting for her groom.
Montana decides to enter into a target shooting competition. She beats the men to win first prize - a horse. But when the horse is stolen from her, Montana makes the bold decision to go after the thief, with Kathleen tagging along. The situation becomes critical when they witness the thief, Seb Holgate, committing another crime and he sees them. Can Matt rescue them in time?
All is peaceful in town until an Aboriginal station hand is accused of murdering a young girl. Her father and brothers decide to take the law into their own hands and get justice for her. Matt soon becomes involved and tries to prevent the family from taking revenge - especially when the facts of the murder come to light.
Danni and her father Matt argue after he tells her he wants her to go to a ladies finishing school. Objecting, Danni runs away to the cabin and spends the night, only telling Michael where she was going.
Michael's father and Kathleen's 'ex-husband, Seamus O'Neill, turns up in town, causing quite a stir; Kathleen believed he had died some 8 years before. Seamus wants Michael to become part of his life, much to Kathleen's concern. Meanwhile, Colin finds out whether Kathleen and Matt's marriage is legal.
Emily is still ill from drinking water from the river and it turns out someone has built a dam. Matt makes the decision to get rid of the dam by using dynamite, but one person is killed in the explosion.
Josh is found in the woods but refuses to talk to anyone. Two graves are found, of his parents, so Emily and Colin take him in. But then people come to take Josh away - will he talk and tell the truth in time to stay?
Matt and his sons are called upon to help rescue miners trapped in a cave-in. When gas in the mine causes an explosion, Matt loses his sight. Matt and the rest of the family struggle to come to terms with his disability. For Colin,the accidenthas brought to the surface a deeply-rooted and painful secret.
Montana and Rob find an American surveyer who has been shot. They help him and he reveals he was shot by a man spying on Montana. When Montana claims that she has seen someone loitering by her property and her horses are poisoned, Rob is determined to protect her. Montana believes the stalker is someone from her past trying to get revenge but she is adamant that she will deal with the situation herself.
Following Montana's admission that she shot and killed Sam Taylor's father, she is arrested. She asks Matt to defend her in the court hearing that will determine whether she is extradited to the USA, where she would face the death penalty if found guilty murder. The McGregors' rally around in an effort to prove her case of self defense but Montana is reluctant to give evidence.
Colin, Emily and Josh spend time at Langara. Emily worries about not being a good mother and Michael is asked to show Josh around the property to keep him amused. The army strikes camp on Langara land and Kathleen expresses a strong dislike of all things military. Meanwhile, Michael becomes fascinated with the soldier lifestyle, particularly the weaponry. When a gun goes missing, Michael is implicated.
Mysterious travelling man Tuck arrives in Patterson Ridge in the middle of a torrential downpour. During his time with the McGregors he plays matchmaker between Rob and Montana, helps Matt fix his wagon and encourages Josh to overcome his fear of abandonment. Meanwhile, Danni finds that she is attracted to Tuck and they strike up a close friendship. However, when Emily discovers a revealing letter in Tuck's possession she begins to wonder, is he too good to be true?
Matt, Kathleen, Rob, Emily and Josh travel to Melbourne to attend the Governer's Ball. Montana also goes there on business. When Josh wanders outside the hotel he is given a letter by a man who claims the Prince of Wales, who is attending the ball, is in danger. Josh is told to deliver the letter at all costs. Unfortunately, it is written in Russian. Josh recognises one of the Prince's assistants as the potential killer and a Russian couple staying at the hotel know more than they are prepared to say. Meanwhile, Kathleen and Emily do their best to persude Montana to wear a dress and attend the ball.
A fair is held in aid of church funds and members of Patterson Ridge all make donations. When a hand-written love poem is found in a second hand book, gossip around town is rife as everyone tries to work out who wrote the poem. They are also eager to discover the identity of the mysterious lady described in it. Matt and Kathleen win a weekend at the town's hotel and decide to consider it a honeymoon. However, have great problems getting any peace and quiet as their privacy is constantly invaded. Josh is given a pet dog but he experiences difficulty keeping it under control.
The town becomes divided when a group of homeless, Chinese immigrants come to town. A young, unmarried immigrant is pregnant. While Colin is sympathetic towards her and allows her to stay with the McGregors, others in town are not so forthcoming. Meanwhile, Colin has a visit from the church administrator. Colin is eager to use church funds to support the town's new arrivals but the administrator refuses to help them on the grounds they are not Christian. However, Colin feels there is another reason for the administrator's lack of assistance.
Mr Gleeson and Kathleen travel to Mansfield to collect an old friend who has travelled from England to visit him. When their carriage skids down an embankment, they find themselves stranded and injured in the bush. Tragedy strikes when one someone does not make it back alive. Michael expresses a desire to travel to Ireland to visit his grandfather however Kathleen does not want him to go. Montana and Rob go riding. There is a terrible storm and they end up spending the night camping together.
Emily is thrilled when her friend Rachel and her newborn son David visit. However when Rachel reveals the real reason why she has left her husband, Emily is shocked. Meanwhile Thomas, Rachel's husband, tracks her down and demands that she returns home. Tyler Morgan is in financial difficulty. Thomas is eager to help resolve his problems however he has an ulterior motive for doing so. Montana invites Rob for dinner but things don't go as well as planned.
Rachel's decision to remain with the McGregor's has dire consequences for the town when Thomas orchestrates his revenge. Trains are mysteriously cancelled, the store receives no deliveries and Kathleen's supply of printing paper does not arrive. When the Melbourne stagecoach service is cut, Rachel is convinced Thomas is behind it all. The locals are shocked when the hotel comes under new management and Thomas arrives. Things reach breaking point when he takes control of the bank too. Matt rouses the people of Patterson's Ridge to take action and prevent the town's destruction. Rob pushes for a commitment from Montana but does not get the response he was hoping for. Meanwhile, Emily has some exciting news for Colin.
Duncan Jones, an old friend of Rob's turns up while Rob is away. Danni is suspicious of him though as he seems nervous. The Race is being re-run and none of the McGregor's are going to be competing, however when Josh starts getting teased about Matt being 'too old' to compete - Matt changes his mind.
Miss Hannah Kirov opens a Russian tea room at the back of the general store to generate more income. The hotel owner though isn't happy with the business he is losing, so he cuts his prices in half. Meanwhile, Duncan is trying to figure out who is stealing cattle.
Jessie McClusky turns up in Paterson's Ridge to run the Railway Hotel. While much of the town doesn't like Jessie, it is Emily's reaction which has Colin worried. It takes a real heart-to-heart for Emily to reveal her secret. Meanwhile, Duncan also reveals some of his secrets.
Spanish gypsies pass through Paterson's Ridge, and Danni falls in love with Carlos, while Hannah loves Carlos' older brother. Then the town turns against the gypsies after several robberies take place. Colin, who is reading mystery novels, teams up with Matt, and together they reveal the gypsies' innocence.
Nell Frampton sells Matt a bull called 'The Grand Duke', but soon after the bull vanishes and another bull turns up dead. Meanwhile, Emily and Colin move into their home. Jessie gives Emily a music box as a house-warming present, but Emily still wants nothing to do with her.
Duncan leaves town just before Rob returns. In town the stables are going up for auction and Rob wants to buy them, but can't afford it on his own. He must try and convince Colin that they are a good buy.
Foundation Day has arrived and with it brings Henry Wagner to town. Henry is in Patterson Ridge to catch a rabid dog. Danni agrees to meet up with him to help him hunt the dog. On her way to meet Henry, Danni hurts her ankle, and the dog gets into Langara. Meanwhile, Rob finally asks Montanna to marry him and Emily goes to talk with her mother Jessie.
Two teenagers go missing in the scrub so Matt and Colin set off to find them. In town, a man has arrived to see Jessie one last time before he dies. It stirs up mixed feelings as Damien Winters is the man Jessie ran off with when she abandoned Emily.
Dave Turner arrives at Emily and Colin's to claim Josh and take him back to his family. Emily is upset and Josh believes that now Emily is pregnant, she and Colin won't want him around. Josh runs away and he's when found, he reveals the truth behind Dave Turner to Matt and Jessie.
After a long absence, Victoria Blackwood returns to Patterson's Ridge, only to find that the land is gone and she has been left with nothing. Rob proposes, but Victoria turns him down. Depressed, Rob begins gambling, resulting in him losing his share of the stables.
The stables are proving to be hard to financially manage as Rob and Colin get behind in the bank re-payments. Victoria turns down another proposal, this time from Herbert Elliott and she decides that it is time to leave. Meanwhile, Matt has his birthday.
The Morrell clan turn up to settle an old score with Matt. As luck would have it Matt has left town leaving either Rob or Colin to fight in the duel - if they don't, the Morrell's will burn the town down. Meanwhile, Emily's wagon crashes and she seeks shelton in a cabin, but is held up at gunpoint by a woman.