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It's not quite the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, but Googleplex Sydney is nonetheless an intriguing insight into the Google mindset.

A few years back, we had a look inside Googleplex London and after today's press conference to launch an updated version of the local Google Maps site, we took a look around Google's Sydney office. Although we were only allowed to have a gander in the cafe and reception areas, our interest in the main Googleplex has once again piqued.

In the eating area there are some comfy looking sofas. On the coffee table is an assortment of games, including chess and Monopoly, to help Google employees unwind. Tucked away in the far left corner are guitars for Guitar Hero. We're sure, though, that CNET Networks Australia's resident Guitar Heroes would kick the Googlers' butts.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung

Almost all companies have kitchen areas, Google has a "cafe". Unlike most cafes, though, you won't pay a cent to enjoy anything from the cornucopia of food on offer -- primarily drinks, cereal, chips and sweets. Unfortunately, there was nothing cooking in the bains-marie when we turned up.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung

An array of very springy Webby awards are on display in the reception area, as well as some random Japanese literature.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung

We're not sure what the obsession is, but there are lava lamps aplenty in Googleplex Sydney.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung

The Mapplet functionality found within Google Maps was developed in-house by a trio of Australian employees. Two of them, Adam Schluck and James Macgill, are pictured here.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung

If the Google employee that you're waiting for is taking too long, you can always entertain yourself with this marvellous marble machine.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung
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