Geocaching is the free high-tech treasure hunt where you use your GPS receiver to find caches hidden by other players. It's a great way to be outdoors, enjoy the environment and revel in the thrill of the hunt!
If you're new to Geocaching, check out our Guide to Finding your First Cache!
If seeing another side of the Yarra Valley and Dandenongs off of the beaten trail and searching for hidden treasure is how you like to spend your time, you may already know about geocaching.
Geocaching is an online community with one simple ideal – to conduct a worldwide outdoor treasure hunt, where people can hide and seek prizes using elaborate and fun clues, puzzles or hiding places.
Playing is simple: sign up and pay once-off for a membership, download the application onto a GPS-enabled smartphone and search.
The geocaches are containers hidden in remote, strange and unexpected places and given a GPS-marker on the app, which will help geocachers – or searchers - to track down the treasures within.
But it isn’t as simple as walking to a spot – geocaches are often hidden in trees or under logs, magnetised to metal surfaces or feature complex puzzles to find the correct latitude and longitude of the containers.
Each cache is noted as whether it is safe for children and pets to search for, the amount of time required to find it and other directions, to make sure searchers only bite off what they can chew.
Here is where the fun begins – each geocache has a number of cryptic clues and descriptions, which will mean search-teams may have to solve puzzles or think outside-of-the-box if they are to succeed.
The experience also gives players the opportunity to see a different side of the world around them. Even long-time residents of the Yarra Ranges can expect to see their towns in a different light, where any nook and cranny might be hiding a hidden container.
There are many geocaches hidden around the Warburton area alone, and a total of 2,55,612 active geocaches worldwide, with six million people signed up as geocachers.
There is an honour code to the game – each cache will generally hold small trinkets as well as a notepad and writing utensil, and those finding the caches should only take items from the container if they leave behind something of equal or greater value.
They are also asked to write their name in the notepad, as well as log the experience either online or through the app.
Though the only necessity to find geocaches is a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone, it is recommended that participants prepare for searching by taking sunscreen, water and food, as well as dressing appropriately for the conditions – some caches may be in areas of heavy sunlight, while others may take extensive hiking or searching through bushes to find.
Thanks to Jess Graham, Star News Group for this information
For a list of sugested Geochache sites in the Warburton Valley see www.geocaching.com.au/search/?n=tp6785