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From the Ocean to the Sky

Film (Excerpts) – 1979

This Feltex Award-winning documentary follows a 1977 expedition where Sir Edmund Hillary and crew (including son Peter) attempted to jet boat upriver from the mouth of the Ganges to its Himalayan heart, before making the first ascent of Akash Parbat. The adventure pilgrimage was a proof of concept for the Kiwi-invented boat, and a return to action for Ed after the death of his wife and daughter in a 1975 plane crash. The mission faces epic white water, altitude sickness and tigers. Director Michael Dillon revisited the trip for his 2019 big screen documentary Hillary: Ocean to Sky.

It was a sort of dream that Ed had had for a long time: the idea of going all the way up a river from the ocean and finishing up on the top of a mountain. It was quite an appealing sort of idea, and I think when he suddenly realised that he could do it in an indigenous New Zealand machine — the jet boat — that it really struck on.
– Graeme Dingle, in 1989 documentary Magic Kiwis - Sir Edmund Hillary

Key Cast & Crew

Mike Gill

Producer, Camera

Waka Attewell

Camera, Sound Recordist

Michael Dillon

Director, Camera

Mike Gill

Producer, Camera

David Calder

Composer

BG Dewari

Camera

See all 13 credits

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Collection

The Sir Edmund Hillary Collection

This collection celebrates the onscreen legacy of Sir...

Hillary: Ocean to Sky

Trailer revisiting Sir Ed's 1977 Ganges trip

Good Day - Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Ed discusses the expedition in this 1979 interview

Off the Beaten Track

More Sir Ed filmed by Mike Gill

Series

The Adventure World of Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Ed and an A-Team of mates tackle Kiwi white water

Jet Boats in New Zealand

A documentary on the Hamilton jet

Racing Rivers

More 70s jet-boating action

Holmes - Sir Edmund Hillary

A mid 190s Hillary interview

Beyond the Edge

Trailer for a 2013 film on Sir Ed & the 1953 Everest ascent

Hillary Returns

Kiwis Hillary & George Lowe return triumphant from Everest

The Adventure World of Sir Edmund Hillary - The Sea Pillars of Great Barrier

A 1977 climbing mission off Great Barrier Island

White Water Ride

Rafting trip down the Rangitikei River

Landmarks - A Land Apart

Features the Hamilton Jet

The Great Achievement

1950s documentary following Hillary’s historic dash to...

Pictorial Parade No. 35

Bill Hamilton tests his jet boat

Encounter - Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary discusses his aid mission in Nepal

A Nice Sort of Day

More mountaineering filmed by Waka Attewell

A Master of Light - The Life and Work of Brian Brake Photographer

Photographic exploration of the Ganges

Rivers with Craig Potton - Rangitata

Craig Potton goes against the flow of the Rangitata

From Indonesia to India

An earlier visit to India