A brand new interactive treasure hunt has launched in Manly, and it needs your help to become permanent.

This innovative experience, available on the free app Questo, transforms your phone into a time capsule, transporting you on a captivating journey through Manly’s lesser-known past.

Led by a virtual Henry Gilbert Smith, the founding father of Manly, you’ll crack clues, solve puzzles, and unearth fascinating stories as you explore iconic landmarks.

Developed by a passionate local, Cathy Ellis, this treasure hunt was born from a desire to showcase Manly’s hidden history. Initially, Cathy planned to celebrate how Manly became the first beach to allow daylight bathing in 1903 however, in a surprising twist, research revealed the story wasn’t actually true!

Instead she uncovered more on the remarkable legacy of Henry Gilbert Smith (Henry G). From building the wharf and establishing the ferry service to constructing the Steyne Hotel and even naming streets, Smith’s vision for a tourist paradise left an undeniable mark on Manly.

“He built the wharf, put the ferry in, built the Steyne pub, named a street after his wife, has at least one street and a park named after him just to name a few things,” says Cathy. “I started to get really intrigued by him and I thought who better to show someone around Manly than the first person who had decided it should be a tourist destination?”

The treasure hunt kicks off at Manly Wharf, where you’ll find a subtle engraving of Smith. As you follow the clues and Smith’s historical anecdotes, your journey ends where in 1903, a 15-foot water chute and toboggan once existed, sending thrill-seekers plunging into the artificial lake below!

Is it time to bring back this epic water chute?!

“Everyone who has played it so far has loved it, it’s been really rewarding when other locals have said that they learnt something new, and I would love for more people to get out and enjoy it.”

The app caters to explorers of all levels, with helpful hints and online support available.

This is where you, the adventurer, come in! The game is currently in test mode, and to become a permanent fixture on the Questo app, it needs just 25 players to participate and give it a 4.3 (or higher) star-rating.

So if you’re looking for something fun to do with friends or family, download Questo, grab your phone, and start out on a fun adventure through Manly’s hidden history. With your help, this treasure hunt can become a permanent attraction, allowing locals and visitors alike to discover the magic of Manly through the eyes of its visionary, Henry G.

Download the app here: https://questoapp.com/manly/outdoor-escape-games/manly-sydney-s-playground

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