November 03, 2014

Where's Wally?…On Cockatoo Island

Where's Wally?….I think we saw him at the Island Bar on Cockatoo Island! Dressed in a red and white stripe top, denim shorts, white trainers and the classic round black glasses our group of seven was dressed as Where's Wally made our way through the city centre of Sydney to board a private ferry from King St Wharf and headed over to Cockatoo Island for an afternoon of workplace team building.

I don't usually take the ferry in Sydney but when I do, like on this day, it reminds me of being a kid going on a journey with school or my parents and I absolutely love it when the ferry rocks from side to side. For many others, I think I makes them a little sea sick, but for me, the feeling is therapeutical and so much fun!

Everyone were in group of around seven people and being Halloween each group were encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes. It was amazing to see the amount of effort everyone put into dressing up and really coming together as a team. There were zombies, mummies, pirates and witches disembarking onto Cockatoo Island for an afternoon of treasure hunting. 

When we first arrived onto the island, we were greeted by the island rangers for a quick briefing and housekeeping and a warning that it is currently seagull mating season! There is a section of there island where many seagulls come to mate and have their babies and can tend to be very protective which means they will swoop at you if they feel that you're a threat to their surroundings. With this additional information and location, we made sure we stayed away or at least protected our heads!

The weather was absolutely amazing. The sun came out to play and felt like a true summers day in the middle of spring; we couldn't complain at all. We made our way to the Island Bar where we were treated to lunch before starting the team building game. The food at the Island Bar was really tasty and plentiful; to start with they brought out plates of antipasti, cured meats, flat bread and various panini's. Then boxes of different types of wood-fire pizzas arrived - let the carb loading begin! I must admit, the pizzas were very tasty and if I had more room in my stomach, I would have gone back for more!

Wood-fire pizzas
After lunch we then worked together in our groups to start the treasure hunt. Each team were provided with a map and the first five of ten questions we needed to answer. We had 90 minutes to complete the hunt and basically, as a group, you had to correctly answer the questions and the fastest team to complete the hunt with all questions answered correctly were the winner - simple! 

I would say, having a couple of very competitive team members in your team really helps with the game as well as someone who is willing to run (in the heat) the information back to the judges also helps. The hunt really allowed us to explore the island and find out some information about the island such as the two previous names Cockatoo Island was known, the number of tents on the island and the various buildings around the island. It also made us work together as a team to find and work through the information as well as coming together to take a "selfie" at each location to prove that we did go to that particular location as a team.

We initially hit a little hiccup on the first leg of the hunt where one of our answers was incorrect but quickly as a team we managed to get the answer to the judges fast and obtained the second set of questions. We then took off as quickly as possible and the heat was seriously beaming down on us and of course this leg of the hunt involved a little more running. We managed to work through the questions very quickly even with other teams trying to sabotage us!

Where's Wally?

With our last question answered, our team captain, who was also the runner, ran our answers back to the judges while the rest of the team walked back to the Island Bar and discussed our potential winning prize. The prize was a $500 donation to a charity of choice so as a team we had to discuss and decide on a charity that we wanted to donate the money too. At first, I thought that this would be a hard discussion to have as a team as each person, including myself, would have their own charity of choice and to choose only one, and which one, would be difficult as all charities are deserving of the donation. However, as a team and being the month of October, Cancer month here in Australia, we decided to donate, if we'd won, the money to the Cancer Council. Cancer Council was chosen because we wanted the donation to cover all types of cancer rather than a specific one such as breast cancer.

When the team arrived to the Island Bar, where the judges were, we walked in realising that we were the only team back with the awesome news that we had all the questions right! Being the first team back and having all the questions right meant that we were the WINNERS! The ironic thing about being the first team back and finding out that you're the winner was that the other teams were still out hunting so there wasn't anyone there to see that we had won. However, that didn't stop us from celebrating, screaming and dancing around as winners do.

The Island Bar
As winners, it was then fitting for us to take some "winners" photo shots for the internal newsletter and then sit down to relax with a drink as we waited for the other teams to arrive back. The rest of the afternoon was spent with everyone enjoying a couple of drinks, some more food and soaking up the summer heat and just catching up with everyone outside of the office environment. 

Time to relax.
If you haven't been to Cockatoo Island, I totally recommend that you go there. It's a very short ferry ride from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and even Balmain and with summer coming it's a perfect place to go with family and friends for a relaxing day of exploring and chilling at the Island Bar. I know where I'll be hanging out this summer!

Hope you had an awesome Halloween!

Jo xo

No comments:

Post a Comment