When visiting a new city I love to explore on foot. I discover so many hidden treasure that I would miss otherwise. Sometimes though, I don’t know where to walk and a tiny bit of direction helps. I also love to try local food that I may not otherwise find. Combine both of these, a spring day and a Mystery Picnic, and we have the perfect setting for a date!
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Note: We were hosted by AmazingCo who run these picnics. Still, I always endeavour to give you my true opinions, so this is exactly what I thought of the experience, warts and all.
But First – What is a Mystery Picnic?
Mystery Picnics are unique experiences that allow you to discover a new region while you solve clues and travel around to collect delicious picnic ingredients. The final stop takes you to a picturesque location to enjoy your picnic. This can be done as a date, as a group of friends or even as a family. They take around half a day, but it’s always nice to linger.
Our Mystery Picnic Experience
The hardest part about the Mystery Picnic was the first step. When looking at all the Mystery Picnics, Adelaide alone has around ten options. There are nearby regional options, and special seasonal offerings too. I was completely torn, but since we had a few days in the city coming up in September, that seemed like the perfect opportunity to create unique memories. I chose the season spring-themed picnic “Spring Blossom City Side, Adelaide City” and was looking forward to a relaxed picnic under the beautiful wisteria arbor in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens! (Spoiler alert – that’s not where we actually ended up, but if you have seen the amount of people taking photos of the wisteria in September, you will know that wasn’t a realistic spot for a picnic anyway!)
The afternoon before our picnic was planned, I received an email with a link to the first clue. It’s a good idea to solve this clue a little in advance so that you know your starting point. We didn’t do it until just before we were about to start, and we were surprised to find the starting point was a little further away than expected. It wasn’t a real issue, we just would have left a little earlier.
Because we were staying in the city, we did the whole Mystery Picnic on foot. It was a long walking day though, which for us was great as we love to walk. I think that is the best way to get the most out of this experience, but it would be possible to do it by car too if you are happy to deal with the issues of parking in the city.
I don’t want to give away all of the locations we visited, but we did see plenty of spring blossoms in more than one location around the city. Unfortunately for us the day was a little on the drizzly side, but we did manage to find a huge tree to picnic under at the end which kept the rain off.
The Mystery Picnics can cater for allergies and special dietary requirements – let them know on the form when you book, and they will take care of the rest. I requested a vegan picnic, but noted that only one of us was vegan, so in a couple of locations we were given different products to suit each of us.
We picked up food from five different locations as we walked around, and ended up with a good selection of bread, cakes, drinks (juice), vegan cheese, crackers and dips, with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, marinated mushrooms and artichokes. There was so much food we didn’t eat it all, and kept the leftovers for a morning snack the next day.
We did the all Inclusive picnic option, but you can also choose a Premium option with an extra stop, a hot drink and a special gourmet snack along the way. It’s also possible to add on a bottle of either red or white wine too if you choose.
All up our Mystery Picnic took us four hours. We took our time as we walked, exploring parts of the city we were not so familiar with, taking a small detour or two here and there to look at something interesting. There is a lot of walking involved, so make sure you are prepared with good shoes. As an estimate, we walked about 10km for the day, but that does include walking to and from our city hotel.
As we sat nibbling on our bounty, we happily reflected on our Mystery Picnic. Even though we are very familiar with the Adelaide city centre, this was a great way to explore it further. We discovered some new food places that we will be sure to visit again in the future. We saw parts of the city we haven’t seen in a while, discovering new street art and other points of interest too. So even if you are a local, this will be a great way to enjoy an afternoon with a loved one.
Tip – The instructions recommend taking a pen and paper to solve the clues. We completely forgot, but know you will need “something” to record answers with. We used our phones, with one of us looking at the clues, the other recording the answers. Don’t worry if you can’t work out the puzzles from the clues given, we were really happy to find there are hints available, and if you are completely stuck, the answer can be revealed. You won’t be left in the middle of the “scavenger hunt” not knowing where to go next.
More About Mystery Picnics
Mystery Picnics are offered in more than fifty cities globally, mostly in North America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, and now they have a great range of picnics available right here in South Australia. Picnic-ers can choose between the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, Glenelg, and three different themed options in Adelaide City. The selection is still growing too, with Henley Beach soon to be released.
If you’re already thinking “but what if I don’t want to go on a date?” then you are in luck, as there are also Mystery Picnics put together with family (yes, kids too) or a group of friends in mind. You can also extend your picnic in some locations, turning it into a whole “Mystery Weekend” – in fact, there is even a special Mystery Weekend to Kangaroo Island, a location not offered with just a picnic. The weekend includes a night of accommodation as well as other ideas for things to do and see.
Mystery Picnics also make for great corporate team experiences, with some of the biggest companies in the world (like MacDonalds) using them for their staff.
Perhaps picnics are not your thing? Well, luckily AmazingCo cater for that too! There are a whole range of different experiences, some available now and some more coming soon.. Look out for Secret Menu Tasters, Hen’s Nights, Murder Mystery Parties and Mystery Food Walks. AmazingCo even cater for lockdown, with At Home Dates and Sofa Sommelier experiences too.
If you can’t decide which experience is best, then pick up a gift card and leave the choice up to the recipient – you can’t go wrong with this perfect Christmas, birthday or Valentines Day gift!
Have you chosen where to stay in Adelaide yet? Take a look at Hotels in Adelaide for some of the options
Adelaide 3 Day Itinerary
100 Adelaide Experiences
Best Adelaide Museums
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.