A live escape adventure
Fancy sleuthing your way out of a locked room in an hour? Throw in secret doors and props harking back to the Sydney Rocks’ crime era heyday for an Escape Hunt Experience Sydney adventure.
Challenge yourself through puzzles aplenty, team up with buddies or workmates – up to seven can play in one room – and beware the red herrings.
On the fourth floor of a CBD building, the Sydney branch has three different escape rooms – part of a world-wide craze for mental adventures. (A group of nerd buddies on the TV show The Big Bang Theory took just six minutes to escape a similar adventure.)
Meanwhile, our party took the easiest challenge – the Cottage Robbery – ideal for families. The scenario: help police find the culprit who stole a stash of gold coins from the owner of a workers’ cottage in The Rocks.
We sign in, sink into the comfy lounges to hear about the challenge, have a safety rundown and get a walkie talkie to contact our host, Julie Chen, for clues – or to escape in a jiffy (it’s worth nothing that there’s another escape option if the walkie talkie fails). Personal belongings get locked in a crate outside the room.
Once we’re in, we see an olden day chest, writing desk, shelf, gold coins littering the floor and a single chair. We gravitate towards a list of Roman emperors to discuss strategy. After 10 minutes, we’re on the walkie talkie asking for a clue.
Like us, you’ll try to make sense and connections of props and messages, retracing your steps when strategy fails to crack combination lock codes. One hour and 20 minutes later, and we’re out! (Admittedly with much host help.)
Escape Hunt is recommended for kids from 12 up.
Julie says, “Small kids love the cottage because it’s visual – it’s room-based. There’s a mix of physical, logical and mathematical puzzles.”
Our eight-year-old had no trouble staying on task saying, “It was difficult even with three people, but fun.”
“We found a pigpen cipher under a mat in the room. I’d read about this sort of cipher in a spy kit I own, but hadn’t used one yet. As soon as our host told us what it was for, I felt really confident about how to use it.”
Julie says, “In the more challenging rooms, the maths component is pretty full-on. You have to pay close attention to detail or you’ll miss a piece of evidence and not be able to make up the story and escape.”
Escapees can refresh themselves afterwards with a free cuppa and biscuits.
Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes with dress-up props for photos. Have your tagged pic posted to the Escape Hunt Facebook page and you could win a free return visit. Escape Hunt memorabilia such as a T-shirt, polo shirt, skirt and cap are on sale, too.
By Margaret Paton
Margaret Paton experienced the Escape Hunt Sydney Experience – The Ultimate Live Escape Game, which costs from $36 per person.
The Escape Hunt Experience Sydney: The Ultimate Live Escape Game
t: (02) 9299 3929
a: Level 4, 393 George St, Sydney (between Market and King streets)
Open 10am to 10pm seven days a week
Escape Hunt has branches across Australia – in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and on the Gold Coast.
They’re offering 15% to The GAB’s readers (valid for one month at any branch). Please use the code THEGAB15 upon payment.