Urban Hunt

i love sydney.
loved it single & kid free
love it still
now that they come exploring with me
a fresh perspective on my favourite city…

so i recently signed us up for the Urban Hunt experience;
scavenger hunts around the city
unravelling clues
following trails
and taking in stunning views

at 5, 8 and 10
my little tribe are a good age to cover a decent amount of ground
so we opted for the Botanic Bonanza
around the Royal Botanic Gardens
loaded up with scooters, backpacks, sunscreen & waters
and headed into town

the Urban Hunt experience is pretty cryptic
i found it through an event search
on the city of sydney website
and registered through the messenger chat
linked to their facebook page;
a simple process which concluded with the message
“click Start Hunt when you get to Woolloomooloo Gate”

I opted to park up in wolloomooloo
on a weekend the restrictions are pretty relaxed
and we were nicely placed for a much needed easy family dinner after

at Woolloomoolooo Gate we hit Start Now
submitted a very cute
– if somewhat overly optimistic –
group selfie for the scavenger hunt leaderboard
and received the first of 20 clues
that would take us around an area of #PrettyCitySydney we’ve enjoyed walking for over a decade;
and present it to us in a whole new way

now don’t go thinking, as i did
that just because we have kids in tow
these clues were in any way simplified
oh no.
i had presumed they’d be pitched at my ten year old
so until I got the hang of this lateral way of thinking
they sometimes stumped even this 40 year old 😉
But never fear because if
– let’s be honest, when –
you get stuck
you have options
in the form of hints & hot hints
just beware that these come with consequences
in the form of time penalties

and I’m guessing that over the years
you’ve been anywhere from obsessed with
– to vaguely aware of –
various team survival shows
like I’m A Celebrity
and, the mutha ship, Survivor:
calling all the shots from the sofa
knowing full well you might not be so cocky if you were actually out there:
well – here’s your chance to walk the talk
and see how savvy you really are
– and I’m not just talking smarts
which are definitely half the dance
but doing this with kids
you suddenly realise that you’re the captain
of a (possibly sinking 😂) ship
and unless you get your people skills on point
you’re about to get whipped!!!

i’ll be honest
at the beginning my head was not entirely in the game;
it’s possible drinks had been drunk the night before
and that this Mama was not really up for traipsing around gardens
At All.
but here’s the thing:
my 8 year old son was mad to do it
and i know you know
that at this stage in the game
if they show an interest
in something fresh and non electronic
you get yourself out there and you run with it 🏃🏽‍♀️
so we did
and when I got past the initial clue solving frustration
I began to see the four of us pulling together
and working as a team
in a way our hectic day to day doesn’t allow for
so it was actually a really beautiful thing

…i’d be pursing my lips and huffing about something
next minute I’d hear them behind me
trying to stop laughing
And Failing.
because we were in it together
and we were absolutely loving it
and every time we solved a clue a little bit quicker
we realised we’d gotten a little bit better
and that we’d got there because we’d done it together
so as someone who is also regularly distracted by my phone
it was a welcome little journey out of my comfort zone..

points to note:
• on this course there are three pit stops and pauses
built in for a chill and a snack and a rest
• the Botanic Bonanza trail is not on a loop
which means you start at the Woolloomooloo end of the gardens
and end up by the Opera House
– similar to doing the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk;
with kids in tow you’ll need to adjust pick up & drop off logistics accordingly
• i suggest scooters, or bikes if you can
my kids concluded that a golf buggy would have been most excellent
and by the my feet and i were in complete agreement
• and there are 10 other hunts around sydney too
ranging in price from free to $3
with varying times & levels of difficulty
– in fact had I done as much research for our booking
as I’m doing for this writing
I p r o b a b l y would have done it differently 😉😂
Jokes, we were exactly where we were meant to be x

And hey when YOU go, share your pics with me using #PrettyCitySydney 📸

Useful Links:
Urban Hunt
The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

It gives me great joy to tell you that this article was #CharlieWritesPublished by Ellas List x