Grab a picnic blanket and explore Australia’s foodie capital. Find out what it’s like to spend a day in Melbourne on a Mystery Picnic with AmazingCo.
Looking for something quirky to do on a first date?
Been with your partner for quite some time and keen for an afternoon of fun?
Or just after an exciting activity to do with family or friends?
AmazingCo know how to curate a date, no matter what the situation.
While they’ve got a series of adventures for couples, friends and families, their stand out experience is their mystery picnic dates – a self-guided, food-filled adventure, where you spend a few hours gathering picnic spread from local artisan producers, in an area of your choice. Yum.
This activity is ideal for both residents of and visitors to Melbourne.
If you live in Melbourne, it’s an opportunity to visit an area of the city you may not usually spend time in.
If you’re visiting Melbourne, then a mystery picnic is an excellent way to get acquainted with the city and sample some fine food offerings from its inner neighbourhoods.
Find out more about how our mystery picnic in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens went down.
A mystery picnic in Melbourne
This guide to booking a mystery picnic in Melbourne will cover:
As I sit to write this post, I find myself facing a challenge.
How do I write about a mystery picnic without spoiling, well… the mystery of it!
I’ll do my best to give you the details but leave the suspense intact.
The mystery picnic date in Melbourne starts with a specially curated clue, sent to your phone. You follow the clue to the first destination, to pick up a bundle of foodie bliss.
You follow clues through that particular pocket of the city, until you’re packed out on picnic treats.
Your final destination will be an area where you can throw down a blanket, spread out your goodies and relaxed with your loved one, as you gorge on delicious treats.
Sounds like a pretty good day out to me.
What to expect on a mystery picnic date in Melbourne
When booking your experience, you can pick from a bunch of picnic destinations, ranging from areas within the city, to places as far flung as the Grampians and Port Fairy.
You can go as a couple, take along a friend, or opt for the family experience.
Being in a long-term relationship with my love and always keen to explore more of the city I also love, I opted for a Mystery Picnic Date in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens.
The day before, we were sent our first clue, straight to email. Once deciphered, it would lead us to our first ‘mystery’ destination.
We pored over my phone, figuring it out fairly easily (not because we’re massive brainiacs or anything – the clues were all fun but straightforward!).
Discovering our first destination, we planned our day accordingly around that information.
We set out at around 11am to pick up our gourmet goods, as recommended by AmazingCo. Each of these have been perfectly curated by the AmazingCo team, to showcase the local produce and boutique providers of the area you’ve chosen.
Picking up the food is easy. You enter the cafe/restaurant/providore or whatever it ends up being and tell them you’re on a mystery picnic. They have a list and are expecting you, so they give you the goods and off you go.
You end up with a bunch of food conducive to the perfect picnic spread and a lovely area to enjoy sampling them in.
You’ll also get recommendations for other places to pop into, whether they be restaurants, providores or some of Melbourne’s tourist destinations.
This is a great addition to the experience, for anyone new to the city.
How the day panned out
We got very lucky with the weather, trying the experience in late summer. We traipsed around a couple of Melbourne’s inner south-east neighbourhoods for around two hours (shhhh, a secret!), before heading to the gardens.
I would like to say I am an ‘experienced picnicker’ and so have most of the tack required to make an afternoon of it, on the perfect stretch of grass.
I spread out my Otto & Spike picnic blanket (one of my fave possessions, made locally in Brunswick), along with a wicker basket, filled with cups, cutlery, plates – everything needed for the perfect picnic.
We reclined under the shade of a tree, the sunlight flitting through its leaves and proceeded to gorge ourselves silly on the fruits of our morning.
There was plenty leftover too, perfect for some light snacking at home the next day.
What to bring on a mystery picnic date in Melbourne
While you are provided with all the food, you won’t get eating utensils, or a picnic basket or blanket.
At the very least I’d bring some cutlery (even just a couple of forks and a knife), cups and plates to eat your food on, unless you want to eat out of a box.
I would also recommend bringing a cooler bag to carry your wares around in, especially if you’re doing the experience on a warm day.
After all, there’s a high probability you’ll be picking up cheese at one of your destinations. Picnic + cheese = melty disaster.
It’s also worth noting that you are asked for dietary preferences when booking and can choose vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, along with noting any food allergies.
The experience is also designed to be enjoyed on foot/public transport or by car, depending on your preference. You do end up walking a fair bit, so make sure you wear suitable shoes!
The finer details & how to book
AmazingCo recommends you take around three hours to enjoy your experience, including picnic time – although you can dedicate as long as you would like to the actual eating experience.
The key thing I liked about the experience was that I was able to immerse myself in a corner of my city that I don’t regularly spend time in.
Plus, it was completely stress-free – everything was organised for us. We just had to put the pieces of the puzzle together and show up!
And although we have been on picnics in the past, we’d never tried an experience quite like this before, which added an element of fun to the day.
At the time of writing, a mystery picnic date is priced at $120 for couples. If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to pump for something extra, you can upgrade to a premium booking, which is priced at $190.
All in all, this experience was a fun, romantic thing to do in Melbourne and it was nice to explore a part of the city I don’t spend enough time in. If you’re after more unique date ideas in Melbourne, consider taking a llama for a walk to Hanging Rock.
Note: I experienced the Botanic Gardens Mystery Picnic as a guest of AmazingCo. Thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed remain my own.
All prices are in AUD.
This experience took place on the lands of the Wurundjeri People. We acknowledge them as Traditional Owners and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.