Geocaching is great for groups like families, friends, classes or community groups to work together as teams. It’s a fun new way to experience the outdoors. Geocaching is family-friendly and is for all types of adventurous people.
It combines nature with technology by using GPS coordinates with a GPS receiver, or using your smartphone as a hand-held GPS receiver unit. The basic idea is to use a GPS or smartphone to go on a treasure hunt where you locate a hidden container – called a geocache – then share your experience online with the rest of the world!
The purpose is to locate a hidden container (or ‘cache’), with coordinates you are given. Once found, you log your visit.
How to do a geocaching treasure hunt:
- Create an account with a cache listing website. There are a few, but this one is popular: Geocaching Australia.
- Search on the website for caches near you. You’ll be surprised how many there are!
- Choose one that suits you, make sure you check the difficulty rating
- Create a waypoint in your GPS for the cache using the latitude and longitude coordinates from the cache website.
- Bring a small item – a little present – something you’re willing to trade. (Of course, also all the other necessary items you’d usually take on a bushwalk, especially water and snacks).
- Use your GPS unit’s navigate feature to point you in the direction of where you need to go, and venture on your treasure hunt!
- You’re looking for a waterproof box or pencil case. Once you find it, remember how it’s placed, open it up and check the contents. There should be a log book and some goodies.
- Trade your gift with something in the box – it’s generally something of equal or greater value.
- Make an entry in the log book.
- Return the cache, placed exactly where you found it.
- Log your visit on the cache website once you’ve returned home.
Mastered it? Create your own!
Once you’ve mastered geocaching in your area, you might want to create, hide, and publish your own geocache for other people to find. Put it in a unique location that is important to your family, with meaning and significance behind your cache. Making sure that there is general public access or land manager permission. This is also a great option if there aren’t many caches in your area. Be amazed by how many people passing through town stop by - it’s like a massive secret society!
Here are other great sites with heaps of info:
We'd love to know your story. Post your pics with #natureplayqld or post a blog to this site!