Mako: Island of Secrets

Last updated

Mako: Island of Secrets
Mako Island of Secrets - Australian title.png
Australian intertitle
Also known as
  • Mako Mermaids
  • Secret of Mako Island
Created by Jonathan M. Shiff
Written by
  • Sam Carroll
  • Anthony Morris
  • Chris Roache
Directed by
  • Evan Clarry
  • Grant Brown
Opening theme"I Just Wanna Be"
by Chantelle Defina &
Jack Dacy
Ending theme"I Just Wanna Be"
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes68 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Jonathan M. Shiff
  • Julia Adams
ProducerJonathan M. Shiff
  • Zenon Sawko
  • Simon Christidis
  • Peter Crombie
  • Rohan Cooper
  • Ahmad Halimi
Camera setup Single camera
Running time26 minutes
Production company Jonathan M. Shiff Productions
Distributor ZDF Enterprises (Australia)
Original network
Audio formatStereo
Original release26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) 
28 August 2016 (2016-08-28)
Related shows

Mako: Island of Secrets is an Australian television programme for children and teenagers created by Jonathan M. Shiff. Internationally released as Mako Mermaids, the show is a spin-off of H2O: Just Add Water and is produced by Jonathan M. Shiff Productions in association with Network Ten, ZDF and Netflix. [1] [2]


The series follows Zac, a teenage boy who turns into a merman after accidentally falling into a magical pool of water on the fictional island of Mako.


Zac is a teenage boy who decides to camp on Mako Island, unaware that three mermaids, Sirena, Nixie, and Lyla, guardians of the island, are watching him. That night, when the full moon rises, the boy comes into contact with the magic water of the Moon Pool. The following morning, Zac discovers that he has the ability to control and manipulate water. Later, after accidentally falling into the water, he finds that he has also become a merman with a fish-like tail. His new-found merman abilities threaten to expose the existence of merpeople. After their pod casts them out for allowing Zac to visit the island, the three mermaids, curious about living on land and motivated to remove Zac's powers, venture onto the land and learn to live among humans.

In series 2, the mermaids continue to discover Mako's secrets and learn more about the merman chamber. While Nixie and Lyla go in search of a new home, Sirena is left with Ondina and Mimmi, Mako mermaids who continue the effort to remove Zac's powers and reclaim the island for their pod. Evie, Zac's girlfriend, faces her own battles when she becomes a mermaid herself, and the others try to help her cope with the change.

In series 3, with Sirena away with Aquata – Zac, Ondina and Mimmi are joined by Weilan, an Eastern mermaid who has fled to Mako for sanctuary from a magical water dragon. The mermaids must devise a way to defeat the dragon before it destroys all the pod has worked to save.


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 2626 July 2013 (2013-07-26)12 January 2014 (2014-01-12)
2 2615 February 2015 (2015-02-15)9 August 2015 (2015-08-09)
3 16 [3] 15 May 2016 (2016-05-15)28 August 2016 (2016-08-28)




Development and production

Series one

The show, announced in July 2011, [6] consists of 26 episodes of 26 minutes each, plus an option for one 90-minute episode. [7] [8] Filming was to begin in April 2012, [9] but it was postponed to the beginning of May. [7] On 8 May 2012, Shiff Productions announced the principal cast and the start of the shoot. [7] [10] Filming ran through 12 October 2012. [11] Mako was scheduled to broadcast in the second half of 2013, [12] with a second series confirmed before the first had screened. [13] Production of the first series totalled A$12.3 million. [14]

The show was first announced as Mako: Island of Secrets, then as Secret of Mako Island, and finally as Mako Mermaids for its international release. [15] It debuted domestically on Network Ten as Mako: Island of Secrets on 26 July 2013. [16]

In partnership with Shiff Productions, Netflix is the exclusive internet television provider for the series. The first thirteen episodes were released on 26 July 2013, with the second half of the season airing on 15 September 2013. [17] [18] On 8 November 2013, broadcasts of the show were switched from Network Ten to the free-to-air digital channel Eleven, first airing on Friday mornings at 8:00 a.m. and later changed to Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m.

Series two

A second series was confirmed in February 2013, with production beginning in the second half of 2013 contingent on funding from Screen Australia. [19] The first half of series two premiered on Netflix on 13 February 2015 in North and Latin America, United Kingdom, and other territories. [20] In Australia, the second series screened on Eleven Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. from 15 February 2015. The second half of the series was released on Netflix on 29 May 2015. [21] Netflix labelled the first half as series two, while the second half was called series three.

Series three

A third series of 16 episodes was announced in 2014, [22] began screening on Eleven on 15 May 2016 and was released on Netflix on 27 May 2016. [23] The series introduced Chinese mermaid Weilan (Linda Ngo), [24] and featured the special guest appearance of Cariba Heine as Rikki Chadwick in the final two episodes. [5]

A movie was planned to be produced after the series ended. However, the plan has been put on hold indefinitely. [25]

Series 3 is listed under Season 4 on Netflix, as Netflix released Series 2 in two separate parts in 2015.

International release dates

Country /regionChannelSeries premiereTitle in countrySource(s)
Australia Network Ten
26 July 2013Mako: Island of Secrets [16]
United Kingdom Netflix 26 July 2013Mako Mermaids [17] [18]
United States Netflix 26 July 2013Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure [17] [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mermaid</span> Legendary aquatic creature with an upper body in human female form

In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Merman</span> Legendary aquatic man-like being

Mermen, the male counterparts of the mythical female mermaids, are legendary creatures, which are male human from the waist up and fish-like from the waist down, but may assume normal human shape. Sometimes they are described as hideous and other times as handsome.

<i>Ocean Girl</i> Television series

Ocean Girl is an Australian science fiction TV series aimed for family audiences and starring Marzena Godecki as the lead character. The show is set in the near future, and focuses on an unusual girl named Neri who lives alone on an island, and the friendships she develops with the inhabitants of an underwater research facility called ORCA the show is an example of deep ecology science fiction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sharon Horgan</span> Irish actress, writer and comedian (born 1970)

Sharon Lorencia Horgan is an Irish actress, writer, director, comedian and producer. She is best known for the comedy series Pulling (2006–2009) and Catastrophe (2015–2019), both of which she starred in and co-wrote. She also created the HBO comedy series Divorce (2016–2019).

<i>H<sub>2</sub>O: Just Add Water</i> Australian childrens television show

H2O: Just Add Water, also known as H2O, is an Australian fantasy teen drama created by Jonathan M. Shiff. It first screened on Australia's Network Ten and runs in syndication on channels in over 120 countries and has a worldwide audience of more than 250 million. It was filmed on location at Sea World and other locations on the Gold Coast. The show revolves around three teenage girls facing everyday teen problems with an added twist: they are mermaids with powers over water.

Cariba Heine Australian actress (born 1988)

Cariba Heine (born c. 1988) is a South African-born Australian actress and dancer. She is known for her roles as Rikki Chadwick in the Network Ten show H2O: Just Add Water, Bridget Sanchez in the third series of Blue Water High, and Caroline Byrne in A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mermaids in popular culture</span>

Mermaids, like many other creatures of mythology and folklore, are regularly depicted in literature, film, music, and popular culture. In the folklore of some modern cultures, the concept of the siren has been assimilated to that of the mermaid. For example, the French word for mermaid is sirène, Italian sirena, and similarly in certain other European languages. This usage existed by the Middle Ages.

Tasneem Roc Australian actress

Tasneem Roc is an Australian television and film actress born in Sydney.

<i>The Elephant Princess</i>

The Elephant Princess is an Australian children's television series that first screened on Network Ten in 2008. The series is produced by Jonathan M. Shiff Productions. A second season began screening in 2011. The series revolves around a suburban Australian teenager, who discovers she is the heir to the throne of Manjipoor, a fictional Indian kingdom.

Jonathan M. Shiff Australian television producer

Jonathan Mark Shiff, better known as Jonathan M. Shiff, is an Australian television producer of television series. After leaving his work as a lawyer, he founded his Melbourne-based production company, Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, in 1988. His company produces programs for children and families, which are screened in 170 countries. He is regarded in the industry as being known for discovering Australian talent who go on to successful international careers, such as Margot Robbie, Liam Hemsworth, Claire Holt, and Phoebe Tonkin.

<i>Doraemon: Nobitas Great Battle of the Mermaid King</i> 2010 film by Kōzō Kusuba

Doraemon: Nobita's Great Battle of the Mermaid King is a 2010 Japanese anime feature film based on the manga and anime series Doraemon. The film was released in Japan on March 6, 2010. It is the thirtieth film to feature the character Doraemon.

Ivy Joy Latimer is an Australian-American actor best known for portraying the mermaid Nixie on the TV series Mako: Island of Secrets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lucy Fry</span> Australian actress

Lucy Elizabeth Fry is an Australian actress. She is known for portraying Zoey in Lightning Point, Lyla in Mako: Island of Secrets, and Lissa Dragomir in the film Vampire Academy. Fry was also cast in Hulu's eight part miniseries 11.22.63 as Marina Oswald, wife of Lee Harvey Oswald, and played the lead in the 2016 Australian horror television series Wolf Creek and Tikka in the 2017 Netflix film Bright.

<i>H<sub>2</sub>O: Mermaid Adventures</i>

H2O: Mermaid Adventures is an animated Netflix original programme for children. It is based on the Australian teenage show H2O: Just Add Water created by Jonathan M. Shiff. The series is produced by Denis Olivieri and directed by Tian Xiao Zhang. A 13-episode first series was released to Netflix on 22 May 2015. The second series was released on Netflix on 15 July 2015.

Isabel Durant Australian actress and dancer

Isabel Durant, sometimes credited as Issi Durant, is an Australian actress and dancer. She is known for her roles as Grace Whitney in Dance Academy, Ondina the mermaid in Mako: Island of Secrets and Claire Brady in Days of Our Lives.

The Bureau of Magical Things is an Australian drama television series created by Jonathan M. Shiff and developed by Jonathan M. Shiff and Mark Shirrefs that premiered in Australia on Eleven on 8 July 2018, and aired through 2 November 2018. In the United States, the series debuted on Nickelodeon on 8 October 2018; it later moved to TeenNick where it was broadcast from 15 October to 8 November 2018. The series stars Kimie Tsukakoshi, Elizabeth Cullen, Mia Milnes, Julian Cullen, Rainbow Wedell, Jamie Carter, and Christopher Sommers. The Bureau of Magical Things was renewed for a second season in November 2019, which premiered on 10 July 2021 on 10 Shake.

Chai Hansen is a Thai-Australian actor. He is best known for his role as Monkey in The New Legends of Monkey, Zac in Mako Mermaids, Ilian in The 100 and Jordan Kyle in Shadowhunters.

Alex Cubis Australian actor

Alex Cubis is an Australian actor, known for his roles on Mako Mermaids and Between Two Worlds. Cubis has also appeared in Dear White People, Rake and Unverified for Funny or Die. He was named one of Who Magazine’s Sexiest People.


  1. ""Mako Mermaids" are back with a splash hit". ZDF Enterprises . 20 January 2014. MAKO – ISLAND OF SECRETS 2 is produced in association with Network Ten, ZDF and Netflix, with investment from Screen Australia and Screen Queensland.
  2. "TV Series Index – In Production". Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. "Mako - Island of Secrets series 3 (2016)". Screen Australia. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 ""Mako Mermaids" are back with a splash hit". ZDF Enterprises (Press release). 20 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Mermaid's Tale Double Take For Heine". The Gold Coast Bulletin. 18 July 2015. p. 2.
  6. Knox, David (24 July 2011). "New telemovies, mini-series at Nine, ABC". TV Tonight. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 "Shooting starts on Jonathan M Shiff's $12.3 million series Mako Mermaids" (Press release). Jonathan M Shiff Productions via Inside Film. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. "ZDF Enterprises celebrates 20th anniversary at MIPTV with premium programs and major structural innovations". ZDF Enterprises. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  9. "Mako – Island of Secrets". Inside Film. 16 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  10. "Drehstart für neue ZDF tivi-Fantasyserie 'Mako Mermaids'". Stadtjournal Rheine (in German). 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  11. "Secret of Mako Island". Inside Film. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  12. "Mako Mermaids Trailer". Screen Queensland. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  13. "Mako – Island of Secrets (Series 2)". Inside Film. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  14. Simmons, Lisa (9 May 2012). "Mermaids fish for young TV fans worldwide". Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  15. Mako Mermaids – Trailer. ZDF Enterprises. 5 March 2013.
  16. 1 2 Knox, David (4 July 2013). "Airdate: Mako: Island of Secrets". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  17. 1 2 3 "H2O: Just Add Water Spin-Off Mako Mermaids Coming to Netflix". . 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  18. 1 2 3 Crum, Chris (16 August 2013). "New Episodes of Netflix's 'Mako Mermaids' Get A Release Date". Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  19. "Mako – Island of Secrets (Series 2)". Inside Film. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  20. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (7 January 2015). "Netflix Sets 'Daredevil' Premiere Date, Renews 'Marco Polo' for Season 2". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  21. Messer, Lesley (1 May 2015). "Netflix and iTunes Releases in May 2015". ABC News. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  22. "Mako - Island of Secrets series 3 (2016)". Screen Australia. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  23. Alexander, Julia (29 April 2016). "Netflix: Everything coming and going in May". Polygon. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  24. Simmons, Lisa (27 April 2015). "Film Makes Big Splash". The Gold Coast Bulletin. p. 11.
  25. "We are:) Season 3 starts..." 11 April 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016.