Oprah's Trip Downunder
Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure
For 8 days in December 2011, Oprah and her 302 strong audience traveled to Australia to see what we have to offer.
On arrival they were split into groups and went off exploring different holiday locations around the country.
On this page I will follow their travels and show you where they went - just in case you want to come on down-under and see it for yourself! You know you want to ;)
Oprah's Ultimate Australian Itinerary
The itinerary was a closely guarded secret until just days before Oprah arrived... Small towns and cities around the country all begged her to visit them, hoping the attention her visit gave to their town would bring visitors in the future.
When they did arrive what they saw in 8 days is almost humanly impossible unless you are Oprah and using chartered flights. Ideally you would not try to visit all these places in less than 3 weeks. If you do only have 8 days then just pick your two favorite spots and take the time to really see those properly. I have listed some itinerary planning tips in my Australia travel page.
In 8 days she visited the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Melbourne and Sydney. Her audience members visited Tasmania, Western Australia, Byron Bay, the Blue Mountains, The Hunter Valley and the Daintree Rainforest.
Touchdown in Sydney
The lucky Oprah winners landed at Sydney Airport and headed to the Intercontinental Hotel. It's a great location that has beautiful views of the city if you are lucky enough to get a high room. It's also a short walk from the harbour and the many harbour walks.
That afternoon the group then split up, some taking bicycle tours, some walking tours and others a behind the scenes Opera House Tour. They ended the day with a twilight visit to Taronga Zoo.
Oprah visits the Great Barrier Reef and the Uluru
Oprah landed on Hamilton Island on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef and less than 2 hours later she was nursing her first Koalas, Phoebe and Elvis (and watching them mate!) at the local wildlife park.
Later that afternoon she flew via helicopter to enjoy a beach BBQ at Whitehaven Beach, on Whitehaven Island, a short ride from Hamilton Island.
You can read more about Hamilton Island and lots of other great Queensland islands on a page I made to help you decide which Queensland Island to visit
Uluru and the Sounds of Silence Dinner
This afternoon Oprah headed to Uluru to visit the great rock and learn more about the Anunga people. She spent the night at Longitude 131 resort and dined under the stars at the Sounds of Silence Dinner overlooking Uluru. If you ever have the chance to do this dinner don't think about it - just do it!
My Visiting Uluru and the Australian Outback page has lots of tips on where to go and what to see if you are planning on coming to see "The Rock"
Oprah meets Melbourne & the Prime Minister
Today Oprah was in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, for her only public appearance outside her shows being filmed in Sydney. Approximately 10,000 fans lined up in Federation Square for hours for a chance to meet her. This was a big deal here with the Australian media going into a frenzy as can be seen in this minute by minute blog of the event in a national newspaper. She met with our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard,(and mispronounced her name) and announced Jessica Mauboy as our biggest pop artist (she's good but not really our best).
In the evening she shared dinner with a family and their friends in Toorak. She spent the night at Crown Towers Apartments in the Crown Casino Complex where the news reports of the day told us she had a nice sleep in!
Watch Oprah greet Melbourne
There's an "O" on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Can you think of a better way to spend a sultry Saturday night than having a gourmet catered event in the Botanic Gardens on Sydney Harbour.
When Oprah finally arrived in Sydney we threw her a party she will remember forever. It was the first time all of her audience members had got together in one place too. You can get the recipes for some of the food celebrity chef Donna Hay served here.
Before heading to the party she visited the home of one of her Australian viewers that she had met at one of her shows. The family BBQ in Earlwood gave her the opportunity to try her first Aussie beer, a can of Victoria Bitter (VB).
Sydney Harbour and a BridgeClimb
Day 6 and 7
Bright and early this morning Oprah and 249 of her audience attempted to set a new record for the number of people climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge simultaneously.
Sunday morning saw Oprah out exploring Sydney Harbour with Russell Crowe. Another perfect day, we were all joking that Oprah really must be God because where ever she went the sun shone and blue skies greeted her.
You can explore Sydney Harbour so many different ways and if sailing with Russell is unlikely to happen check out my Exploring Sydney Harbour page.
Watch the Bridgeclimb
Do you want to know more? - Check out these links for more details about Oprah's journey and Australian travel
- Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure - Official Site
It's all here, maps, videos, interview even a slang dictionary.
- Sydney Tourism's blog of Oprah's visit
All the Oprah info plus holiday planners, sample itineraries and more
- Australia Tourism's Oprah Sale
Find the perfect holiday to Australia right here.
Oprah live from the Sydney Oprah House - Day 8
There were 350,000 requests for tickets and only 6000 seats so a ballot was arranged to distribute them. One of my friends was lucky enough to win a ticket but you only had a short time to claim your ticket via email and she did not check her email till it was too late :-(