This blog post is not sponsored by or affiliated with AmazingCo. All experiences and opinions are my own, and I paid in full myself.
I should be titling this blog “two boring twenty-somethings go on an adventure day and here’s what happened”.
As you may already know, Mr TBG and I are self-confessed bores. We’re big fans of low key afternoons at home, weekends with empty calendars and just sort of… pottering about. It’s not uncommon to find us cracking open a beer each while he watches the football and I write a blog post. To be honest, I don’t personally think there’s a whole lot wrong with that. Life can’t be one big party all the time, and as a long term relationship develops, I do believe it’s falling in love with your normality that keeps you in love with each other. That keeps you committed, and that keeps you united. But in 2020, we wanted to dedicate more time to making more memorable moments.
So when I got targeted ads on social media from AmazingCo (lol I’m so receptive to advertising, I’m a marketer’s wet dream) we decided to impulsively give it a go over the Labour Day long weekend. AmazingCo offer mystery picnics and other epic experiences in 30 cities around the world – yes, UK fam, you too!
AmazingCo Mystery Picnic Review
We booked their Dandenong Ranges mystery picnic 5 days ahead of the date we wanted to do it – but you can book up to 3 days in advance. On the more rural ones, you drive from place to place, but there are options closer to cities where you can walk between your stops.
The mystery picnic cost $120 per couple, and we added on the wine option for $40 because we were feeling boujeeeeeeeee. On the surface, $160 for a picnic does seem a lot, but given that it’s a full day out, we found it really reasonable.
1-2 days before your picnic, you’re sent through the confirmation and your clues, which you work through on your phone. We deliberately didn’t open any clues until the morning we left, so we could do it properly. That said, if you wanted to know where you were going for logistics, you could do the clues ahead of time and plan your day.
We set off from Melbourne about 8.15am, and stopped for breakfast along the way. We ended up stopping at The General Food Store in Emerald, which was lived up to its name as the best breakfast in Emerald.
AmazingCo Mystery Picnic Pick Up Spots
Then, we opened our first clue and headed to our first stop. I won’t give too many details away about the actual stops in case you do the same experience, but we kicked off with a fun puzzle clue and a walk down to a waterfall which PHEWWWW got my glutes pumping. There was an optional additional walk at this stop too, but we did both waterfall steps and opted out of the extra walk in favour of getting to the first pick up spot.
The name of the first stop was revealed by the puzzle, and we headed there to collect our picnic basket and our first items which were cheeses and meats.
We did our next clue from there, which lead us to a local town. We stopped at an amazing lookout on the way, too, with views of the city. Each time you unlock a clue you’re shown other places to stop on the way to your next pick up, which makes for exciting detours and places you’d never have otherwise seen.
At the next town we picked up some sweet treats and our wine, and the lady in the wine shop was SO CUTE and helped us pick out some craft beers. We also popped into some other local stores there, which we wouldn’t have thought to stop in if we weren’t doing the AmazingCo experience.
Then our next clue led us to a local produce store where we did some foodie tastings and picked up some chips, dips and drinks. We followed the next clues to a bakery to collect our bread – though somehow something went wrong and they’d sold out of the bread we were supposed to be collecting. Considering how well organised everything else had been, we were pretty disappointed – especially when they gave us brioche instead, which didn’t quite go with our savoury picnic. That was the only thing that went wrong, though, and it was an issue with that establishment, not the AmazingCo planning.
Our final spot was a picnic area with plenty of spots to lay our rug or use the benches. We saw some other people there also doing picnics – some of their own and some with AmazingCo – but you’re by no means on top of each other. You’re also free to choose somewhere else to have your picnic, if you’ve seen somewhere else along the way you prefer.
Once you’re finished, you return your picnic basket, board and knives back to the first pickup spot, and you’re done!
We found it such good value overall. The whole day took us about 5 hours from when we started after breakfast, and we had so much food, we took home leftovers!
The Overall Experience
The best part was not knowing where we were going next, and having the full day out planned for us. We’ve thought about going for picnics before, but I often feel like it’s a case of getting there, eating within 18 seconds, and then wondering what else to do for the rest of the day without spending a million dollars on activities. Maybe that’s just my millennial workaholic device-addicted brain, but having a full day planned out was something I really valued.
One thing I was concerned about was whether it would be awkward going into the stores and saying you were on an AmazingCo mystery picnic. I worried that the staff wouldn’t know what we were talking about, or we’d look like annoying tourists or be treated like freeloaders because we weren’t there to pay for something on the day. I can honestly say the staff at all the pick up spots were wonderful. They all knew why we were there, and gave us our items straight away. They seem to really love the set up, so they treat you so well and give you recommendations about the local area, and chat to you about the experience too. Our wine pick up was the best of the day, and we chatted to the lady in there for ages. She even gave us parking tips for our next spot!
We also weren’t upsold anything along the way. I wasn’t sure whether the businesses along the way would be lobbying for extra sales while you were in their stores, but they weren’t at all. We did choose to buy a few extra things like some craft beers to take home, and some sweets from one of the local sweet emporiums, but we were under no obligation to spend a cent more than we’d already paid.
Other AmazingCo Experiences
We absolutely cannot wait to book another mystery picnic with AmazingCo. We’ve also realised that they do tons of experiences like foodie tours, drink discovery walks and mystery date nights, so I think our mission to make more memories in 2020 is going to revolve around them a whole lot!