21 May 2018

Best of Canberra: Fun zones

| Gabrielle Kneipp
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Since assuming the Best of Canberra series, I have realised just how much time there is to actually get out and do things when you have some free time. I was reminded of this particularly when I was in search of fun zones at the weekend. There are so many options available that make for a great outing with friends and family, such as the voted for Riddle Room in Franklin and Power Kart Raceway in Kingston.

First up was the Riddle Room on Saturday night with three friends. I had no idea what to expect of it and was happy to be surprised and find out what was in store.


The Riddle Room is currently operating out of a garage in Franklin, which at first might seem a bit strange, but once you are inside it doesn’t matter in the slightest.

We are led in blindfolded and a voice overhead gives us the scenario we have to escape and then the race of wits and time begin.

The first task is to free one member of our party from a small, dark room adjacent. In the excitement of discovering our own room and its hidden clues this takes us a while to do. But once his freedom is attained and we are reunited, we are ready and raring to go.

There are riddles, puzzles, games and symbols to uncover the meaning of. Sometimes we get caught up in things that may seem plausible and ingenious but are unfortunately totally irrelevant, while missing something that is right in front of us. There are times when it seems like there is nothing else to help you when it suddenly appears with an “ooooohhhhh I’ve got it!”

Or, the dreaded moment when we all need a clue but don’t want it just yet and then the obviousness of the answer when we are told.

Although we don’t make it through the room in the designated 60 minutes we are allowed to finish it up and satisfy the unread clues.

When we eventually make our escape and gain our bearings in better lighting, we are taken through the puzzles and how long each one took us. It was good to be able to go over it like that, make more sense of what we had just been through and ask any questions.

It was unanimously agreed how exciting the whole thing was and couldn’t stop talking about it when we went out for dinner afterwards.

On the following day in search of some Sunday fun, I went to the Power Kart Raceway in Kingston.

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It is advised to book in and arrive half an hour early to sort out registration, watch the safety video and get set up with a helmet and kart.

When we are all set and ready to go, we are allowed to slowly veer the karts out on to the track and as soon as we hit the start line we are off! l am giddy and laughing to myself as I turn the first couple of corners with ease and immediately have aspirations of becoming a Formula One driver.

They are shortly lived though as I soon hurtle into one of the barriers. Luckily I don’t end up under the barrier and think I’ve gotten away with it, but then I am slowed down and told that I do in fact have to use my brakes. Duly noted. So I spend the rest of the laps safely braking and obediently veering to the right when I get the blue flag (so that you can be overtaken). As soon as the leader has reached the 14 laps the rest of us are signalled back to base and it is all over quite quickly.

It is very exhilarating being able to drive so fast in such a short circuit and speeding around corners. It isn’t like dodgem cars though, no bumping and no ramming into walls.

When we hand over our helmets we are provided with a results sheet so you can check out your lap times and averages compared to the other drivers. It was an enjoyable experience and I would like to try it out again.

However, the Riddle Room is my pick for this week’s Best of Canberra. It is a challenge and makes you think, great for a laugh (mostly after the fact) and something completely different. My only disappointment with the Riddle Room is that I can’t go back again!

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Thanks for the review of the Riddle Room. I think we’ll have to go and visit and compare to our overseas experience, sounds like it was a lot of fun!

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