A POM living the dream Down Under and loving every minute!
Published December 30th 2017
The perfect combination of being outdoors, puzzles / mental challenges, fun with friends and exploring hidden parts of the City... that's what I experienced recently on a trail with Cryptic Cities.
So, what is it? The clue is in the name; solve and follow a series of Cryptic clues which lead you on a journey of discovery around the City. All clues and answers are sent and received via text message to your mobile phone. There are various trails available, with different routes, themes and difficulty levels. There is even a kid's version available too.
It's really simple; we just went to the website, picked out the trail that interested us most and followed the online instructions to sign up. We then received a welcome text and email (check your junk folder if it doesn't come through immediately, it took us a while to realise) that gave all the info we needed to start. We could have started the trail anytime in the start time windows within the next 30 days.
We completed the trail as a group of 4; my partner and I, and a couple of friends. The trail we selected started from outside Customs House (near Circular Quay). Once we got there we simply text START to receive our first cryptic clue.
The whole experience was a lot of fun and everyone got really into solving the clues. It was very satisfying when we successfully deciphered the clue to navigate from one point to another and answered the question correctly. We did get stuck on a couple of clues and got one wrong but it didn't matter, we just text back HINT and it helped guide us there.
About halfway around, there was an optional break stop at a bar (which we took!) The last answer was also located in a bar which was nice as meant we could all chat about the clues and what we had seen along the way, over a couple of drinks.
Top tips for the trails: 1. Bring a pen and paper to help with solving some clues 2. Choose a time when you don't have to rush off anywhere. It took us about 2.5 hours including our stop at the bar on the way 3. Make sure your phone is charged beforehand (although you can add another mobile number once on the trail if needed)
Who would enjoy it the most? There seems to be a trail to suit everyone, from: day vs. night trails, different themes / locations, a range of difficulty levels and they even have a trail designed for young children (ages 4-10 years).
It's a great way to explore Sydney, so would also be a perfect activity to entertain visitors from overseas.
We completed the Rocky Road trail which took us around parts of The Rocks I had never seen before. It's amazing how you can live in a city and never see these things before! My husband and I can't wait to complete the Hidden Laneways Evening trail on our next date night.
They also have gift vouchers for trails... that's our friend's next birthday sorted!