The building of the Kuranda Railway near Cairns was an engineering marvel that some people felt could not be done, and during its construction, many workers were killed. “Courageous Hearts” is set at a time when the railway was almost completed. Dominic Murphy, a surveyor on the project, meets Maria Cardolini, whose brother and father were both killed on the railway. While Dominic and Maria are deeply attracted to each other, Dominic is not sure that he can persuade Maria to take him as her husband. Maria is afraid to love a man who works on the railway, as she has already lost so many loved ones. “Courageous Hearts” shows life in Far North Queensland in the past, complete with cyclones, crocodiles and tropical diseases.