G’day Oprah! Well, maybe not quite yet.
Some 300 of Oprah Winfrey’s most devoted audience members arrived in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday morning for day one of Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure giveaway, but there were two people noticably missing from the planes — Oprah herself, and actor John Travolta who was supposed to pilot one of the planes.
Oprah is making the trip separately by private jet and is expected to land Down Under either later Tuesday or Wednesday.
As for Travolta, according to the heraldsun.com, he pulled out of captaining the jet because of the birth of his new son, Benjamin, on November 23.
In any event, the audience arrived in two waves: the first of two Qantas 747s — which departed from Los Angeles — arrived at Sydney’s international airport at 8:49am Aussie time and the second about an hour later.
The audience — composed of mainly Americans, some Canadians and one Jamaican — range in age from 18 to 75.
During their 8-day adventure in Australia, the audience will have a busy and fun-filled schedule, enjoying everything from surfing lessons and snorkeling to nature hikes and beachside barbecues.
The itinerary for Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure had been kept a closely guarded secret. Even audience members were kept in the dark upon their arrival in Sydney Tuesday. But travel details finally just released by Australia’s tourism minister reveal the audience will enjoy a sweeping adventure, with trips planned to each of the country’s eight states and territories.
The audience will be divided into several smaller groups and sent off to explore the glittering Great Barrier Reef, the crocodile-infested rainforests of northern Oz, and the famous red monolith called Uluru, located in the remote and dusty Outback. They will also tour the country’s wine regions, visit a historic prison colony in the island state of Tasmania, and check out the wildlife on Kangaroo Island, home to koalas, sea lions and, of course, kangaroos.
Upon their arrival in Australia, the excited group was whisked by bus to their inner-Sydney hotel where they were given red-carpet treatment and met by members of the Aboriginal community performing a traditional dance.
Oprah will make her only official public appearance in Melbourne on Friday. Two shows are expected to be taped on December 14th at the famed Sydney Opera House; a third show will document their travels around the country.
Winfrey kicked off her 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in September by surprising her audience for what she’s billed as the trip of a lifetime. The hand-picked audience was comprised of the show’s most loyal viewers over the years.
John Travolta made a surprise appearance on that show, as Oprah announced he would be personally piloting of the planes.