Friday, November 20, 2015

Melbourne's 1st Mega Event

A geocaching mega event is one of those smileys that don’t come around too often so when Melbourne put their hand up to host their first one we jumped at the chance to attend, but as luck would have it the dates clashed with a close friend’s wedding…. In the end we opted for the mega.

Driving down to Melbourne on the Friday the Rats and mini rats were excited to be achieving respective milestones. For us it was to be our 12000th find while for the kids they were about to chalk up their 1000th find. However before getting to the mega there were a few other memorable caches to do along the way. Melbourne’s 1st geocache GC7A and Devil Bend GCAD are two of Australia’s oldest caches and for us were a “must do”. 

The trip to Melbourne wasn’t solely for caching as it gave us time to catch up with long-time friends we’d made as we travelled around Oz. We also took the time to do a bit of shopping and a drive-by of the latest “The BLOCK” renovation which had Leonie and Sam in awe.

For us the mega was a lot of fun. There was a huge variety of other events attached to the mega, the night time fireworks, the meet n greet, CITO and labs caches were all worthy of our time, but regrettably our time in Melbourne was too short and we were soon heading home after a short 4 day trip.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Road Less Travelled

A power trail to the Rats is like bees to a hive. With this in mind the Rats teamed up with the mini rats and Mizmaz to tackle this new power trail which had been placed by a few geocachers.

As the Rats and mini rats neared respective milestones we were keen to make the Melbourne Mega our milestone cache so we needed numbers quickly. The school holidays offered the perfect opportunity for a 2 day drive around Mudgee.

Heading off mid-morning on Wednesday 23rd we started at the Sunny Corner end of the power trail, after a few hours of weaving our way through the pine forests we found ourselves at Sofala where we setup camp beside the river. For Mizmaz this would be her first experience of bush camping and with a bit of trepidation she managed to get through a very cool night.

Day 2 saw us headed north-west towards Mudgee and Gulgong. The trail winds its way up and over Mt Parwa and then through some beautiful countryside as it drops down onto the open plains. The uniqueness of this trail is highlighted by the different hiders and their unique styles but for much of the way the hides are very good and worth the 2 days of country driving.

By days end, the Rats and mini rats had racked up the required number of finds to make our trip to the Melbourne Mega in a few weeks all the more pleasant.

Thanks to the cache owners and Mizmaz for an enjoyable powertrail.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Stanthorpe QLD 2015

As Queensland prepared to host their first mega event it was a good chance for the Gangsters to get together for another road trip. As with previous mega events the Gangsters head away a few weeks beforehand to find all the local caches so we could enjoy a relaxing mega event with our families. 

Heading to Stanthorpe a few weeks before the event we were blessed with clear skies and a warming country lifestyle. The Gangsters had 4 days in the Granite Belt finding over 400 caches which littered the area. A number of powertrails dotted the countryside in anticipation of the hordes of geocachers that would ascend on the area over Easter. For us, we flew into Brisbane where we collecting a hire and started heading west. Our first night was at the noisy Cunningham Gap. Our next day had us in the thick of the powertrails finding over 240 caches along various road tracks and over some beautiful rural areas. We had another under stars while enjoying a campfire and a few drinks. Sunday saw us doing much of the same however we’d ventured closer to civilisation with us stopping the night in the local caravan park of Stanthorpe where we enjoyed a nice warm shower and the relaxed atmosphere of a nice pub meal. Our 4 days was quickly coming to an end but not before we found a few more caches as we headed for Brisbane…. Our again the Gangsters had shared a memorable road trip. 

As Easter approached we were disappointed to learn that steeba wouldn’t be joining us at the mega due to the pending birth of the 4th child. For the rest of us the weather prediction didn’t sound great but that wouldn’t deter us, we were keen for some time away with our families. Arriving in Stanthorpe on Easter Friday we were barely setup when the heavens opened up setting the tone for the rest of the weekend. I’d packed a huge tarp which allowed us to have a good amount of dry covered area for the kids to run around. Over the course of the weekend we intentionally didn’t do much caching, choosing to focus more on the fun activities organised as well as visiting some of the local attractions, one of which being the guard dog training facility where dogs are trained in the finer points of security and attack work. Throughout the weekend we attended the 3 other events organised around town and found some of the more unique types of hides available at a mega. The mini-rats did exceptionally well in this department finding a credible 10 cache types in the one day. Another highlight for us was the night-time entertainment and the very social atmosphere (despite the weather) of a great mega-event and to see many of our caching friends from around Australia was an added bonus. 

Unfortunately by Monday it was time to pack up and start the long trek home. Except for Leonie, who had to be back at work by Tuesday the rest of us took a leisurely 3-day road trip down the coast to get home.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Caching around Oz

I was under strict instructions that our holiday around Oz wasn’t to be all to do with caching and I was happy with that. Setting off on our 6 month trip I thought if we found 20-25 caches a week I’d be happy with that, I was more interested in using the trip to highlight some of the great hidden spots that mostly go undiscovered if it wasn’t for geocaching or finding the unique cache types that I don’t regularly get to find around home. So wherever possible we would go out of our way to find an earthcache, a virtual cache or the odd webcam.

On many occasion we took advantage of the plethora of highway caches that litter Australia as a way of breaking up a long day in the car or the need for a wee stop. If we spent a few days in a town we’d often look at the number of favourite points added to caches to determine the better ones to seek out.

In a few locations around Oz I submitted new earthcaches based on unique features that we’d seen, we hosted a “meet n greet” event in Perth as a way of getting to know other geocachers, I tagged along on a Roymerc day in Denmark and stopped by our own virtual cache in SA.

By the time we’d gotten home I’d amassed an impressive 900+ finds, 53 earthcaches, 19 letterbox caches, 13 virtual caches, 6 wherigo caches and attended 2 events. I’m pretty with these stats considering we drove 31,000km in 6 months.