We took a fun four-day trip to Sydney for Palantir's Holiday Party. Palantir has several holiday parties around the world and this location included all of the asian offices. It was an amazing opportunity to visit The Land Down Under - Tim's second trip and my first.
We were excited to feel the warmth of Australia's summer after experiencing the start of Japan's winter. We were also happy to return to a bit of western cuisine. We had a delicious benedict breakfast after landing and then had a taste of some delicious kurtosh at the aptly named Kurtosh bakery.
Of course we had to see Sydney Harbor next. It was a short 15 minute walk down the street from our hotel.
We found the harbor to be clean, bright, full of tourists, drinking, and life!
The surrounding streets were primarily comprised of buildings built in the 1800's. The old wood, brick, and wrought iron was quite charming and not at all what I had expected of Sydney.
On Day 2 Palantir had planned a trip to the zoo for all of the employees and their families so we boarded a ferry and crossed Sydney Harbor. The views from the water were even more impressive than those we'd seen the day before.
Taronga Zoo turned out to be a wonderful place. A gondola takes you to the top of the grounds and then you meander down through the exhibits until you arrive at the bottom. We had a yummy picnic lunch with Tim's coworkers and enjoyed a seal show that included getting totally soaked (silly us, we chose seats in the third row).
We loved our Koala Experience - time alone with a koala keeper and a koala, up close and personal! At 13 years old this girl is pretty old and pretty mellow.
The zoo sits on a hillside so as you tour the grounds you keep getting sweeping views of the harbor and the Sydney skyline in the distance. Gorgeous!
Then it was time for the holiday party. It actually took place on an island in the middle of Sydney Harbor called Fort Denison. In the past it was used as a post to guard the harbor. Nowadays it seems it's just a place to host parties. Lucky us!
On our last day we joined some of Tim's coworkers on a yacht they'd rented for the evening. As the perfect send-off, we had front row seats to Sydney's beautiful sunset.