Mako: Island of Secrets

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Mako: Island of Secrets
Mako Island of Secrets - Australian title.png
Australian intertitle
Also known as
  • Mako Mermaids
  • Secret of Mako Island
Created byJonathan 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 setupSingle camera
Running time26 minutes
Production companyJonathan M. Shiff Productions
Original network
Audio formatStereo
Original release26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) –
28 August 2016 (2016-08-28)

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
12626 July 2013 (2013-07-26)12 January 2014 (2014-01-12)
22615 February 2015 (2015-02-15)9 August 2015 (2015-08-09)
316[3]15 May 2016 (2016-05-15)28 August 2016 (2016-08-28)



  • Lucy Fry as Lyla (series 1), seen as the leader of the three mermaids. She is hot-headed, determined, but still very smart. Despite initially only being interested in him for the sake of removing his powers, she develops an attachment to Zac. She and Nixie are with the pod in season 2.
  • Ivy Latimer as Nixie (series 1), one of the three mermaids. She is an adventurous girl, who often gets into trouble and only does what she believes is right. In series 2, it is explained that she and Lyla have left to search for a new home for the mermaid pod.
  • Amy Ruffle as Sirena (series 1–2), one of the three mermaids. Naive and sweet, she acts as a mediator and peacemaker when Lyla and Nixie quarrel.
  • Chai Romruen as Zac, who becomes a merman after falling into the Moon Pool during a full moon while camping on Mako Island. He grew up surfing and is sporty. In series 2, he discovers that he was born a merman and that Mimmi is his sister.
  • Isabel Durant as Ondina (series 2–3),[4][5] a mermaid who works to remove Zac's powers. She is headstrong and tries to do things her way.
  • Allie Bertram as Mimmi (series 2–3),[4][5] a mermaid who works to remove Zac's powers. She is intelligent and inquisitive, and occasionally has to bail Ondina out of trouble. She eventually finds out that Zac is her long lost brother.
  • Gemma Forsyth as Evie (recurring, series 1; main, series 2–3), who is Zac's girlfriend. In series one, she believes the girls are stalking her and is jealous of Zac spending time with Lyla. She eventually learns the girls are mermaids and apologises for her quick judgement. She is accidentally transformed into a mermaid in series two and back into a land girl again in series three.
  • Alex Cubis as Erik (series 2),[4] a merman who is descended from a line of mermen who have not been seen for thousands of years. He is solitary and elusive. Erik is a waiter at Ocean Cafe with Carly.
  • Linda Ngo as Weilan (series 3),[5] a Chinese mermaid who accidentally leads a magic water dragon to Mako. She is sassy and has a dry wit. She prefers sleeping and socialising on land as the dragon has caused her to be wary of life in the ocean.


  • Dominic Deutscher as Cam, Zac's best friend who quickly becomes aware of Zac's transformation into a merman. While Cam is initially supportive of his friend and helps to keep his secret, he becomes jealous and envious of Zac's powers. He is outraged when Zac tries to return the trident to its chamber, and works to become a merman himself. They later make up and Cam helps Zac destroy the merman chamber.
  • Kerith Atkinson as Rita, the school principal and a mermaid. She left her pod years ago to be with a human boy she fell in love with, but who died before they could marry. She serves as a source of knowledge and history for the girls, and teaches them how to properly use their powers.
  • Rowan Hills as David, an employee at the Ocean Cafe. He and Sirena become mutual love interests. David finds out about mermaids at the end of series 2.
  • Brooke Lee as Carly, an employee at the Ocean Cafe. She had feelings for David but is now with Cam. She is also Evie's best friend, and later finds out about merpeople in series 2.

Development and production[edit]

Series one[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Country / region Channel Series premiere Title in country Source(s)
Australia Network Ten
26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) Mako: Island of Secrets [16]
United Kingdom Netflix 26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) Mako Mermaids [17][18]
United States Netflix 26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure [17][18]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ a b c ""Mako Mermaids" are back with a splash hit". ZDF Enterprises (Press release). 20 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "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. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b Knox, David (4 July 2013). "Airdate: Mako: Island of Secrets". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  17. ^ a b c "H2O: Just Add Water Spin-Off Mako Mermaids Coming to Netflix". 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b c 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.

External links[edit]