Oprah in Australia: From Coupling Koalas to Shrimps on the Barbie

by | January 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM | Oprah, Oprah Winfrey, TV News

On her first show from Australia, Oprah Winfrey and galpal Gayle King got an intimate eyeful when two koala bears they were observing in a wildlife refuge were suddenly seized with an uncontrollable desire to procreate.

It was one of several eye-popping moments on Tuesday’s show, in which Oprah was also seen helicoptering over the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, throwing “a shrimp on the barbie” at a sumptuous beach barbecue, having a moment of Zen at famed Ayers Rock, and taking a stroll with Australia’s prime minister, Julia Gillard.

The casual koala coitus on a tree branch didn’t last long (in fact, Gayle felt that the female wasn’t all that interested), but it resulted in the kind of nature footage we’re more accustomed to seeing on Discovery or National Geographic Channel than “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Ironically, the two mating marsupials started going at it right after Oprah asked a guide if the animals were spayed or neutered. She got her answer.

The show was the first of four airing this week through Friday – all showcasing “Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure,” the trip she announced back in September on the season premiere of her talk show.

That was the show in which a full-sized model of the nose of a Qantas jet suddenly appeared on stage and actor-pilot John Travolta stepped out to help Oprah tell her studio audience that she was planning a trip to Australia and they’re all going with her. (Contrary to popular belief, Travolta did not pilot the jet on the December flight to Australia, nor did he go along on the trip. Oprah clarified this misperception Monday when she was interviewed on CNN by Piers Morgan.)

On Wednesday’s show, Oprah will be seen sailing with Russell Crowe. And on Friday, Hugh Jackman will make an entrance that made headlines last month when he was seriously injured.