'C'mon, let's find the secret chamber.' Dionne Christian's youngsters race ahead of her on this special mission.

Unless it involves horses, Miss 10 usually does not take to new activities with gleeful enthusiasm. She prefers to weigh the evidence on whether what's being sold to her as "fun" deserves the adjective.

So I wasn't sure how she would react to Sky Tower's attempt to up the ante on school holiday programmes with Secret Mission, a sky-high treasure hunt which combines games and puzzles, old-fashioned detective work and possibly the world's highest laser maze?

I needn't have worried. Secret Mission, in which the Sky Tower becomes the Spy Tower, was a winner from the moment we emerged on the observation deck. Miss 10 slowly drank in the astounding view and needed no prompting to accept her role as an agent on a mission to find the stolen Blue Diamond and the thief. Miss 6 was already off; an assignment to find a missing gemstone sounds like the plot of her favourite Geronimo Stilton books so the chance to be a real secret agent was too good to stop, pause and work out exactly what we had to do.

Catching up with her, we started the first challenge: a game of I Spy on the main observation level, using clues in a folder we'd been given, to spell out the thief's name. We searched carefully to find some of the answers. It took a lot for me to get close to the glass and look down on our city. It certainly gives a new perspective.


There were a few things that, despite previous visits to Sky Tower, we'd not noticed before but I'm not saying what they were because it'll give the game away.

Following a challenge to decode a fingerprint, we were off - and by now Miss 10 was moving apace - to find a hidden password and gain access to a secret level of the Sky Tower. We used spy lights for this and had a lot of fun running them over poles, boxes, walls, tables and chairs trying to find the word we sought. Once we had the password we were delayed getting to the secret level by the discovery of three dress-up boxes of wigs, masks, hats and kooky glasses.

These are for getting dressed up and snapping a picture at the photo station. The girls tried on multiple pairs of glasses, a moustache or two and an old-fashioned bonnet before being persuaded to find the security guard, whisper the password and gain access to the secret level (and it really is a previously unseen part of the Sky Tower).

The girls solve the clues that will take them to their goal.
The girls solve the clues that will take them to their goal.

Here, 165m above the ground, was a maze like no other we'd seen in real life, made up of glowing and moving green lasers. We picked our way around one side of the building to try to reach the Blue Diamond.

Maybe because it's trickier than it sounds, the girls had to test the best ways to negotiate the maze without being hit by a laser beam: slow, fast, with shoes off, jumping and skipping, being timed and then repeating all of this again and again. Reluctantly, the girls exited the maze to complete our mission. Miss 10 declared the experience was actually quite enjoyable - high praise, indeed - and she thought the maze was genuine fun.

Need to know

Secret Mission, daily 10am-3pm until July 19. Normal Sky Tower admission fees apply; activities best suit children from 4 to 14 years old. There's not quite a Blue Diamond up for grabs, all successful spies receive an invisible ink Spy Pen and go in the draw for prizes including Sky Tower family passes, dining and toy vouchers, and a Date Night package for mum and dad. There will be spot prizes for the kids wearing the best spies outfits, too.