• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Winfrey's 1st public appearance in Australia

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey gestures as she meets her fans in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. Winfrey kicked off her 25th and final season of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' in September by surprising her audience with one of her biggest giveaways ever, an eight-day trip to Australia. (David Crosling)

December 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Oprah Winfrey's visit to Australia is a dream come true for the 300 audience members she brought along. The talk show host and her traveling fans are embarking on an action-packed trip in the land Down Under.Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard played second fiddle to Winfrey during her first public appearance Friday in front of thousands of fans in Melbourne. Winfrey thanked the fans in the city's Federation Square for giving her a rousing welcome, the likes of which she said she had never previously experienced.

"I've seen nothing like this in my life, my life, my whole life, wow," said Winfrey.

Earlier in the week, Winfrey enjoyed the sights of Australian native fauna and cuddled a koala on Hamilton Island.

"So many hours to get here, but worth the trip really. It was so gorgeous flying in, better than a book or a magazine or a travel log. It's spectacular, is what it is. I just love it," she said. "I flew in saying, 'God I need to move here."

Winfrey made the trip to Australia after the federal government and Tourism Australia paid $3 million to bring her show and 300 of her audience to the country.

Since arriving in Australia on Wednesday, Winfrey has visited Queensland and Uluru while her audience has fanned out to tourist destinations across the country.

The lucky audience members that flew in with Winfrey are being treated like royalty. They're seeing some of Australia's most spectacular sites including Hamilton Island, the Blue Mountains, and Byron Bay, as well as a sea-plant trip and a stop at local vineyards.

Winfrey's audience members, who range in age from 18 to 75, have been split into several smaller groups as they travel around Australia. Winfrey will continue to meet up with groups at various different points on her so-called Ultimate Australian Adventure, before they all meet back in Sydney next Tuesday to tape two episodes of her show at the Sydney Opera House. The shows are scheduled to air in January.

This is the 25th and final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."