Finders Seekers is a monthly puzzle subscription box for anyone who loves puzzles, escape rooms, Sherlock Holmes, mysteries, or anything requiring a little brainpower. Finders Seekers features a new destination each month, so in addition to the puzzle/escape room experience, you get a mini travel experience, too, exploring a new city and its culture every month.
DEAL: Get $5 off your first box! Use coupon code BRAINQUEST.
FYI – there are SPOILERS in this post!
As a subscriber (limited numbers can join each month), you are invited to join the Society of Seekers, a group of like-minded puzzle fiends who use their heads and a little bit of internet-search know-how to explore a city and solve a mystery each month. We’re off to AUSTRALIA this month!
Everything in the box!
Also included in this month’s box is a welcome letter and checklist of every item that should be inside the package, with all the clues you’ll need to solve the mystery. Plus, we now know where to start the journey! In this case, we are invited to Australia for a chance to uncover and win a million-dollar loot to help with the country’s tourism.
Sydney Travel Guide. There’s a helpful insight on the welcome letter/checklist about the travel guide, and it says that it has several hidden elements to help us with the puzzles, along with the other items in the box.
The back of the travel guide has an ad about AussAir, which was voted as the most comfortable airline Down Under.
The guide features some of the places that you can go to when you visit the Land Down Under, like the Rocks and The Sydney Opera House.
There’s also information about the popular Harbour Bridge and Manly Beach which is usually jam-packed with beach buffs!
Also featured is Luna Park and, the heart of downtown Sydney, the Darling Harbour!
Next up is the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden, and Queen Victoria Building where you can enjoy shopping!
Another sneak peek is about the Redfern Park, a local’s favorite park that has binary formal gardens and casual grass lawns. On the next page is Taronga Zoo which has 4,000 animals from 350 species!
After reading through the travel guide, we started our journey by visiting www.SeekersUnite.com/Sydney!
The website took us to Sydney!
The Australian government has recently come into possession of handwritten letters between the O’Dowd brothers from London dating back to 1770. James O’Dowd was part of the crew of the HMS Endeavor on its exploratory mission of the eastern coast of Australia, while his brother Franklin, worked as a schoolteacher in London. As the legend goes, James overheard the captain bragging about the valuable treasure on board. One night, James stole the loot and left the ship under cover of darkness and buried it somewhere in present-day Sydney, with the intent to return to Australia with his brother to claim it for themselves. The letters between the brothers contained information leading to the buried treasure, however, they were never able to return, and the letters were forgotten. But the rumors remained. Many believed the whole story was a hoax, but new evidence proves otherwise.
Clicking the “Get Started” button took us to the first puzzle!
Australia was originally established as a colony for British criminals. Between 1788 and 1868, nearly 162,000 convicts, most of which were being punished for mere petty crimes, were shipped from Great Britain for detainment. The earliest penal colony was located in Sydney, in an area known as “The Rocks.”
Mary Bryant, who was convicted for stealing a silk bonnet, was one of the first women prisoners brought to “The Rocks” in 1788. In 1791, Mary plotted a masterful plan to escape along with her husband, two children and 7 other prisoners in pursuit of the Endeavor treasure.
The same key that freed Mary and her team will now help you on your hunt for the loot. Your first souvenir can be earned by unlocking the secret passphrase held by the key and marketing brochure from The Rocks.
The Rocks Brochure. This brochure helped us solve the first puzzle and earn our first souvenir!
The Rocks is a neighborhood of historic laneways in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is an open-air Rocks Markets where locals and tourists alike can enjoy some street foods and handmade fashion.
Aside from shopping, this also an area where you can find Sydney’s oldest pubs and upscale restaurants that have harbor views.
You can also experience history and beauty by visiting the Rocks Discovery Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
To get the first souvenir, we unlocked the secret passphrase.
As always, each puzzle that you will be able to solve will lead you to another until you solve everything. After solving the puzzle, we got our very first souvenir, which is a keychain! After getting all 10 souvenirs, we will be able to locate the lost treasure!
Here are more clues they sent to keep us going (along with the website!):
Sheet Music. For the second puzzle, they took us to the Sydney Opera House and told us more about the song “Advance Australia Fair” which is a ballad about Australian Patriotism. The song was composed by Scottish-born schoolteacher Peter Dodds McCormick, and the song quickly gained popularity and was performed at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on January 1, 1901. It replaced the song “God Save the Queen” in 1984 as Australia’s official National Anthem.
To get the Opera House clue, we deciphered the codeword in this music sheet.
Beachball. Along the Northern Beaches of Sydney in Manly, you can find the Manly Beach. It has three main sections from north to south: Queenscliff, North Steyne, and South Steyne.
This Manly Beach beach ball helped us gain another souvenir. We just deciphered the passphrase found on it!
Blueprint of the Harbour Bridge. Definitely an engineering marvel, the Harbour Bridge has spans that are the longest in the world for many decades! It connects the Sydney central business district and the North Shore.
Using the engineer’s notes and bridge blueprint, we then solved the physics equation on the website to get the next souvenir!
5 White Tickets, 5 Red Tickets, and 5 Green Tickets. The next puzzle involves Luna Park, a place for those who love thrills and adventures! The park is known as the most iconic amusement park and tourist destination in Sydney.
We used the tickets to solve the puzzle on the website. The travel guide also helped!
Seed Packet. This seed packet is connected to the Royal Gardens puzzle on the website. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney is a heritage-listed major 30-hectare botanical garden, which is also an event venue and public recreation area located at the Farm Cove on the eastern part of the Sydney central business district.
We got the next souvenir item by getting the secret code on this packet and using it to unlock the door of the Sydney Fernery building.
Transcript of the “Redfern Speech”. The Redfern Park is a grassy recreational park that features a sports field, a grandstand, and a children’s playground, found in Redfern Street in New South Wales.
As our next clue, included in this box is The Redfern Park Speech, made by Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1992.
It is regarded as the defining moment in the reconciliation process between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It also speaks about the challenges faced by these Indigenous Australians.
To earn the souvenir from the Redfern Park, we cracked the codeword found within the Redfern Speech.
Key Cutout. We also got a key cutout as a clue.
Building Cutout. Another cutout is a building, and it looks like the Queen Victoria Shopping Building!
Search engines can also help you a lot with unlocking some puzzles. If you’re really having a hard time solving a puzzle, you can consult the Facebook fan page for hints. Don’t worry, there are just hints and there are almost no spoilers so you’ll still feel the thrill fully!
When you’re done collecting the 10 souvenirs, you can finally put the pieces together to reveal the location of the treasure but to do that, you need to discover the hidden website contained in the Travel Guide!
From the travel guide, we tried to enter the airline website and this is what we got! We clicked the “Book Now” button…
It led us to this page! A final puzzle!
After filling the boxes with the random words found on each souvenir, we unscrambled them using the outlined letters to finally end up with the treasures’ location!
The location of the treasure is the Hornby Lighthouse! Yay! We did it and found the treasures!
There’s one more thing to do, get the prize! By clicking “Enter To Win Prizes,” you can get your price by providing information on the form.
What an adventure at the Land Down Under! Solving mysteries from Finders Seekers is always fun and exciting. We love their puzzles, which are pretty educational as well. Getting the virtual souvenirs also felt fulfilling, especially when we were able to complete the puzzles. The Facebook Group was also really helpful during times when we’re stuck on some parts. The next adventure with this box is definitely promising and we’re excited about it!
Did you solve the mystery? How long did it take you? Let us know in the comments below!