Today was a day oriented around the Taronga Zoo and while I normally wouldn't want to spend a whole day at the zoo, I must say it was well worth the time. To make things a bit more fun, we took Yates & Helen's friends from Bamurru, Louis and Charlie, with us. To get there, one takes the ferry from Circular Quay over to Taronga - it is about a 15 minute ferry ride and is actually pretty inexpensive ($5 per adult/$2.50 per child) and easy to execute. Biggest benefit was the ride back where we were afforded spectacular views of the city and the harbor.
As for the zoo, it is set up in such a way that you start at the top of the "mountain" and work your way downhill, seeing different animal exhibits along the way. The zoo was unique on two other dimensions: 1) the ability to get incredibly close to the animals - we literally walked among kangaroos and wallabies without any fencing between us and them and 2) the incredible views that the location affords patrons of the zoo (check out the pics of the giraffe and what is in the background).
Couple highlights included the private koala tour that the kids took (they only allowed four people per group and I was too cheap to spring for a 2nd tour for Shea) where they got within 2 inches of the koala, the sea lion show that they put on for everyone in the afternoon (can't figure out why Sea World gets crucified for what they do to killer whales yet everyone else can train other animals to flip, splash, wave, etc. - maybe I need to watch Blackfish) and the proximity and sheer size of the giraffes.
After we spent more time (and money) in the gift shop than we probably should have, we caught a ferry back to the city so the kids could swim at the hotel pool before their friends left. I also needed to get back as I had a meeting with another YPOer, Sean Clancy, who had been kind enough to provide some travel tips for our time in Sydney.
Interestingly enough, he also sits on the board of a company called White Coat that is doing what we did at Change Healthcare, but in Australia.
After about 15 minutes of talking shop, Sean rang the CEO of the business and had him join us for a beer. Pretty crazy, but really enjoyed the conversation and both guys could not have been nicer or more personable. Three beers in, I had to run to meet Shea and the kids for dinner although I'm pretty sure they could have downed several more.
As for dinner, it was at the top of the Westfield Tower, two blocks from our hotel. Typical rotating restaurant with average food, above average prices and great 360 degree views of the city. And true to form, we had someone at the table next to us propose to their girlfriend - Yates and Helen were like hawks watching whether or not she would say yes which she did). All in all, another great day in a truly special city.