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Oprah Winfrey in Australia

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Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure
Oprah Winfrey cuddles a koala on Australia's Hamilton Island

Oprah Winfrey cuddles a koala on Australia's Hamilton Island

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  • Four episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show filmed in Australia were televised in the United States from January 18 to 21, 2011) and in Australia from January 19 to 21 with the final episode screening on January 23).

American television talk show megastar Oprah Winfrey visited Australia's many and varied attractions with 302 of her TV audience on Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure.

The eight-day Australian trip in December 2010 — taking in most of Australia's most famous attractions — was a highlight of the 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

"We're going to Australia, we're going to Australia," the TV talk show host announced to her studio audience in September 2010.

Winfrey said she was flying her studio audience to Australia for the eight-day adventure and, on December 7, 2010, they arrived on two jets at Sydney Airport.

Winfrey herself arrived a day later, her private jet touching down in the northern Queensland city of Cairns for refueling before proceeding to Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Meanwhile the Oprah group had been taking in the Sydney sights and was being split into several sub-groups to cover as much as possible of Australia's six states and two mainland territories. A third of the group met Winfrey on Hamilton Island.

And then Winfrey was off to Uluru in the heart of Australia.

"Me being here is a way of paying respects to the Aboriginal people and showing respect for the land and their culture and all that this rock means to them and the continent and to the world," she was reported as saying.

In the afternoon of December 10, after flying in to Melbourne in the morning, Winfrey had her first official public appearance at a civic reception in Federation Square where she met Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australia's first woman Prime Minister.

The night of December 11 saw Winfrey at a cocktail soiree with 300 of her "adventurers" at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney where she met New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally and various other New South Wales personalities. Fireworks capped the night of music, dining and entertainment and a large "O" burned brightly on Sydney Harbour Bridge.

By the morning, December 12, Winfrey and her group were doing the Sydney Bridgeclimb, followed by a visit to Bondi Beach.

The filming of two Australian episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show at Sydney Opera House, renamed Sydney Oprah House during Winfrey's Sydney visit, wound up the eight-day Australian discovery tour by the some 300 members of Winfrey's American audience. The two Opera House episodes are part of the four Australia specials screened worldwide in January 2011.

Guests at the Oprah House shows on December 14 included U2 frontman Bono and Aussies Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Russell Crowe, Olivia Newton-John, Hugh Jackman who was hurt as he arrived on a flying fox and reportedly hit a stage light, and the widow and two children (Bindi and Bob)of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.

An audience of more than 12,000 attended the two Oprah shows held in the forecourt of Sydney Opera House.

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