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Oprah's Trip Downunder

Updated on October 9, 2014

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.

Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour

Touchdown in Sydney

Day 1

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.

I have a whole page on harbour walks if you are heading to Sydney and also my article on how to save money on your visit to Sydney if you are not travelling on Oprah's budget.

Queensland Island
Queensland Island

Oprah visits the Great Barrier Reef and the Uluru

Day 2

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.

Curtis Stone, who seems to be her favourite Aussie chef, cooked up a bunch of great BBQ seafood for her and her lucky crew. They were entertained by the 10 Tenors.

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

The sacred waterhole at Uluru
The sacred waterhole at Uluru

Uluru and the Sounds of Silence Dinner

Day 3

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"

Melbourne tram
Melbourne tram

Oprah meets Melbourne & the Prime Minister

Day 4

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!

My lenses on the Best day trips in Melbourne and Melbourne Travel Guides will help you get the best from your time here.

Watch Oprah greet Melbourne

The Oprah Harbour Bridge
The Oprah Harbour Bridge

There's an "O" on the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Day 5

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

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 :-(

Do you know anyone who visited with Oprah? - Did her show make you want to come and say Gday?

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    • profile image

      oznews 6 years ago

      Good lens. Please also check my lens at ...... http://www.squidoo.com/julia-gillard

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      Looks like an amazing trip!

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 6 years ago

      What fun! Thanks for documenting the visit by Oprah, I did not watch the shows.

    • PaulaMorgan profile image
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      Paula Morgan 6 years ago from Sydney Australia

      @GrowWear: Thanks for letting me know - I had no idea about the review :-)

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Missed Oprah's shows, but did notice in the previews that she was deeply touched by Australia and its people. Congratulations for your review at SLR!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      How exciting for Oprah and the people of Australia. I saw her the other day talking to Geoffrey Rush via Skype from Sydney and she put her hand to her heart. You can tell that Australia had a big impact on her. Just as you are doing with these wonderful travel guides, Paula.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

      Fantastic....I watched this on TV and sure enough it made me want to visit Australia. In fact my daughter and I were talking about making the trip in the next couple years, and I told her "hey I know someone over there that has all these great Australia Travel Guides" ...and that would be you :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, what a whirlwind tour. I want to re-visit Australia some day, but at a little more leisurely pace.

    • Cherry-Ambition profile image

      Cherry-Ambition 6 years ago from U.S.

      It did, but Australia was on the "places to visit" portion of my bucket list even BEFORE I found out she was taking 302 people plus her staff to Australia. I was SOOOO jealous. And she went while it's summer there, so that made me even MORE jealous. Definitely want to visit during MY winter.

      Will you be linking to the Australia stuff on Oprah's website once it's posted up? (It might be up already, even...)