Back Creek Trail Scavenger Hunt – Building Community and Supporting Local Businesses
The scavenger hunt came about when the City of Greater Bendigo (CoGB) was accepting applications for their ‘Creative Recovery Activation Fund’ towards the end of 2020. With one week left before applications closed, I came up with the idea of a scavenger hunt along Back Creek Trail, near the neighbourhood where I live in Quarry Hill.
My application was accepted, which meant that CoGB would fund the project, and so began the process of designing and implementing the scavenger hunt.
Join the hunt and explore Bendigo’s Back Creek Trail – find all 10 scavenger hunt tiles, visit some of Bendigo’s best cafés, discover the secret mural, and go into the draw to win a prize!
Here’s how the scavenger hunt worked:
- Find all 10 letter/number tiles along Back Creek Trail and write them in order on the map. Printed maps were available in a number of locations, or you could download a map.
- Once you’ve got all 10 tiles in order, they reveal the secret word which helps you complete the hunt.
- The secret word completes a URL. You type it into a browser to discover the next step.
- The URL takes you to a web page where you can enter the prize draw and discover the location of the secret mural.
One of the goals of the scavenger hunt was to support local businesses by partnering with three of Bendigo’s best cafés (Spring Gully General Store, Quarry Hill Cafe and Larder, and Percy and Percy). The scavenger hunt sent participants to these cafés, and suggested they support local businesses by stopping for a drink or snack.
There was a letter/number tile located at each café, and printed maps available for customers to take. The wonderful café owners also generously donated gift vouchers and coffee cards as prizes.
I also needed a location to paint the ‘secret’ mural. Spring Gully Tennis Club agreed to allow me to paint the mural on their rebound wall which is located near the Back Creek Trail, but not so near that you would see it unless you knew what you were looking for.
Being a graphic designer, I created all the branding and marketing material for the scavenger hunt myself. This included:
- Hand crafted logo
- Frame by frame animation
- Promotional graphics
- Scavenger hunt map
- Scavenger hunt tiles
- Web page
- Facebook page
- Social media posts (see examples below)
The ’secret’ mural was the final part of the scavenger hunt, and the most enjoyable part of the project for me. The theme was ‘resilience’, which came about thanks to the lockdowns and difficulties we all faced during 2020. I used the location as inspiration for the mural – the wall is located in Spring Gully, next to the creek and amongst the ancient gum trees. I was struck by the resilience of those trees – having lived through flood, fire and drought, and still standing tall.
The scavenger hunt started a week before the 2021 Easter School Holidays and ran for four weeks. I had been promoting the hunt heavily in the lead-up, and had a great launch day with many families getting involved.
Over the four weeks, I received close to 100 prize draw entries. Some of those were individuals, but many submitted one entry for the whole family – so there were a lot more than 100 people who got involved in the scavenger hunt.
The café owners were enthusiastic about how the hunt had gone. One owner told me he had a number of families visit the café for the first time and felt the scavenger hunt had been good for business.
After the four weeks, everyone who had completed the hunt was entered into a prize draw. I drew four winners, plus a bonus prize for the best photo taken with the mural.
All in all, I think the project was a success. I had never done anything like this before, and there are certainly things I’d do differently next time, but I enjoyed the process and connecting with other Bendigo locals.