Scavenger hunt question

I have long toyed with the idea of organizing a scavenger hunt of some sort. Something large and elaborate. Something international. Something huge.
My oldest daughter turns 17 in July. We spoke of the possibility of a scavenger hunt in Vienna, for her and her friends. She likes the idea.
However, when I sit down to plan one, it turns out to be quite complicated. The logistics are daunting, not to mention coming up with a theme of some sort, say a code to break or a narrative of some sort or an object to find or, preferably, all three.
Forget about the elaborate international hunt, man. I can’t even organize one in a city.
I mean, I hope I can, but geeze. It might be lame. It might not make any sense. It might involve work.
So I’m asking you for your help.
Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt that was any good? What was it like? Have you any ideas for a hunt that 17 year old kids would not find lame? Have you any ideas or suggestions, either for a scavenger hunt in general or for one in the city of Vienna, Austria?
The situation is this, I suppose: roughly half a dozen highly intelligent teenagers are to be kept busy for half a day to a day. The more sadistic the game, the better. Tasks, codes and problems that blow their minds are good, as long as they are soluble.
I was thinking of something involving hints on the internet as well as in real life, problems to solve, artefacts to locate and a lot of running back and forth around Vienna. And it should be as cheap as possible, for me and for them.
Any suggestions may be left in the comments, or preferably mailed to me at metamorphosist (at) since Beta reads this sometimes.
Thanks in advance!

7 responses to “Scavenger hunt question

  1. What is my “questionable content”?

  2. No idea. But I think you should make at least one of the items to search be like the bl*nd j*ke I sent you. I’ll resend it if you want.

  3. In my youth, we just played g*mes that were designed for kissing.

  4. We’ve done this for a few birthdays…the best hunts have involved combinations of activities, taking pictures, collecting items to bring back and puzzle solving. The last one we did was simple…one small group with the goal to take a picture of the signs at several locations and then return to assemble them into some sort of message…which was to use the first letter of each place name to form the words “Happy Birthday”

    We’ve done other versions where we breake the group up into teams and send them out, taking care to scramble the commands so that they don’t all hit the same locations at the same time…and with teens who are driving…you have to make sure (as much as that is possible) that it’s not a race.

    It’s lots of fun and when I’m the organizer, I’m always sorry I’m not a participant.

  5. paul

    I’m not sure what you should have as clues, but the end of the hungt should be when they discover direct descendants of Jesus… (wait, did I just see that in a movie?).

    Actually I think rebuses and/or puns in the clues would be required.

  6. There is an annual treasure hunt here in SF that is likened to the knees of so many bees; it’s made up of the things Karan suggests. Also: I’ve sent an email.