It’s no secret that we love a good picnic and discovering a new hidden spot to throw down the blanket is always a happy find. We recently had the chance to experience an AmazingCo mystery picnic on Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland, with our first clue nutted out we wasted no time in packing the car and heading off.
There’s a whole range of mystery picnic destinations offered by Amazing Co but I’m going to keep the spoilers to a minimum down below because working out the clues as you go is a big part of the fun. Tamborine Mountain is a rainforest region with many bushwalking tracks, waterfalls and stunning natural spaces but it is also become well known for its wineries, artisan producers and other fabulous foodie finds in recent years.
So what exactly is a mystery picnic?
After spending a fabulous day on Tamborine Mountain collecting items for our picnic hamper then settling down to enjoy it I’d explain it as a cross between a road trip adventure, a treasure hunt, and a tasting tour.
The first part of the day is to figure out where you are going by solving a series of clues. You will know the general region you booked of course but from there you need to work together with your partner or team. There are quite a number of different Amazingco mystery picnic destinations to choose from, in South East Queensland alone you can pick from Gold Coast beaches, the Gold Coast hinterland, the Sunshine Coast and several Brisbane suburbs.
Throughout the day you’ll solve clues that lead you to places to discover in the region and in a number of those destinations you’ll collect or choose items for your picnic hamper.
The final clue will lead you to a suggested picnic destination, of course you are also free to choose one of the other places you’ve spotted as you drove around and explored.
Video: Mystery Picnic on Mt Tamborine
Our mystery picnic experience in Tamborine Mountain
A couple of days before our picnic we got a warm-up email letting us know what to bring, and in these times of COVID, a few minor changes to the normal programming. At the moment to avoiding sharing equipment they suggest you bring your own cooler bag.
We also packed our usual picnic kit with blankets, a cheese board, knife, plates and cups. I like having these things for a bit of a glammed up picnic but we did receive napkins and disposable cutlery at one of the locations so we didn’t really need our own. The esky or cooler bag is definitely a good idea, especially in the summertime for food safety and icy cold drinks. I’m guessing at some time in the future the cooler baskets will return as part of the process and that could be useful if you are travelling and don’t have access to one.
The night before our adventure an email arrived with our unique link which contained clues for the day. You can jump ahead and work through the puzzles in advance so you know the plan for the day or instead you can solve the first clue before you start driving in the morning and do each new riddle as you go. I’d suggest taking their suggestion and having a pen and paper with you, expecially if you’re a visual person.
We headed into the hinterland a little early and started with a short rainforest walk to Curtis Falls, it was on the way to our first destination and is only 1.1 km for the return walk down to the waterfall viewing platform. This section is very well-formed, an easy gradient and although it’s a natural dirt track there is gravel embedded in the path that helps makes it less muddy after a bit of rain.
For such an easy trail it’s a beautiful section of dense mountain rainforest that provides a good introduction for anyone in the group not looking for something longer. You’ll see and hear a wide variety of birdlife as you pass under You can extend this out to around 2.8 km by following the lower creek circuit but this will involve some rock hopping and a muddier track if it’s been raining.
Around 11 am we started following the clues to assemble our picnic basket of goodies. Now you can of course go in, grab your treats and move on to the next one but we knew we’d want to stop and talk to the various producers so we allowed time for that.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but was very happy to see that the picnic wasn’t just about stopping in at local businesses to collect the components but provided an introduction to some small local and handmade produce that overwise we might nevery have discovered.
One of the items to join our basket was a delicious triple-cream brie with a fragrant truffle layer. The cheese is made with milk from chilled-out cows here in the Scenic Rim who get to pick their own milking time. Not a morning cow, well that’s fine, just wander down a little later, I thought that was adorable but it seems it also really does help make great cheese.
All up it was a fabulous selection for a picnic platter with cold meats, cheeses, fig paste, crackers, lavosh and garlic bread, mini bacon and egg tarts, fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, olives and artichokes. There was a cold drink each included and we had brought the Nanopresso for coffee on the go, plus they included a choice of fudge and buttery lavender shortbread to finish.
When we arrived at the suggested picnic spot it was a really good choice, lots of tables spread around in a natural setting and several were undercover so you also had an option if you got unlucky with the weather, it is the rainforest after all. The spot was also ideal for another walk after lunch.
Who would enjoy an AmazingCo mystery picnic?
We did the couples mystery picnic and having been married for 30 years we work together on the clues fairly easily but I could see this being a really fun date with the opportunity to get outdoors, great food, discovering a region and a few laughs as you solve the directions together.
We headed into the gorgeous Gold Coast hinterland for our picnic, an area we know pretty well but you don’t need any local knowledge to enjoy these days out. They are a great way to discover an area and we’ll definitely be looking out for options as we travel around, having done one now I think this would be a really fun way to get to know a new area, the Macedon Ranges in Victoria and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia are two I’d like to know a lot better!
The picnic we did was priced at $120 for a couple. Not a budget lunch but we felt it was fair value when considering it’s a half-day or full-day activity. The food quality and quantity were very good with a focus on locally produced products. The areas they directed you to and suggestions to explore locally are also excellent. We easily filled in the rest of the day with a couple of easy walks in the beautiful Tamborine Mountain section of the UNESCO heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
Although we know Tamborine Mountain reasonably well for hiking, the scenery and an odd lunch along the Gallery Walk, we were pleased to find that we discovered several new spots on the mystery outing. Even if you guessed the likely sort of items to appear in a picnic basket they didn’t use the more obvious places to pick them up from so even as semi-locals we were on a journey of discovery.
When we travel we like to ensure we bring business to the local region and Amazing Co has a strong focus on that. They have selected smaller boutique businesses to visit and collect the items for the basket, each had their own story, friendly locals to chat to for added insight and at least one has tempted me to plan a visit back to enjoy its onsite experience sometime soon.
The food itself was delicious and fresh. It was a generous serve, more than the two of us could finish and another couple we met at the picnic stop during the afternoon were the same.
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