Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt – the ultimate game of hide-and-seek where you look for hidden boxes, each containing a log book and interesting trackable items. There are over 3 million geocaches hidden all around the world, more than 80,000 of which are in Australia. To find the geocaches, you will need a GPS-enabled device and the coordinates. Many hikers combine their walks with searching for geocaches along the way. This can turn the ordinary hike into an exciting adventure.
Mid North Coast Wander
The Mid North Coast Wander trail in NSW goes straight through the Middle Brother National Park, then through the Coorabakh National Park, Hannam Vale and the Lansdowne State Forest. The trail covers 160km of diverse and breathtaking scenery, particularly when you reach the Lansdowne Escarpment, where you rise to a height of 600km above sea level. There are more than 200 traditional geocaches along the Mid North Coast Wander, with a “Final Mystery” at the end of the trail. The walk can be completed in 15 hours if you are dedicated, however it is recommended that you hike over 2-3 days. There is some great camping at the Coopernook Forest Park, just make sure that you are well-equipped to deal with the insects. Mosquitoes are very active at dusk, so you should take some good insect-repellent or a portable bug trap. There are also camping areas in Harrington.
Great North Walk
The Great North Walk runs from Sydney to Newcastle. The main track, which is 250km long, starts at the Obelisk in Macquarie Place, where you will find the first geocache – “Great North Walk 1.” It is a nanocache (very small), and particularly difficult to locate. There are over 500 geocaches along the way, some harder to find than others. To get the GPS coordinates for some of the caches you will also have to solve some clues and puzzles on geocaching.com or on the app. Doing the Great North Walk is definitely not for the beginner hiker – there are large areas of bushwalk along the way. If you don’t want to do it all in one stint, the Great North Walk website has details of how to break the trail down into 30 shorter hikes.
Cape to Cape Track
Located on the southwest coast of Western Australia is the spectacular Cape to Cape Track, which covers 126 km. The track starts out from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and heads along the coast through the Margaret River region. Whilst hiking you will go through stark headlands, dense forests and along beautifully sandy beaches. There are numerous series of geocaches to be found on the track, many with encrypted coordinates that you will need to solve. The caches that are overlooking Conto’s Beach are particularly worth finding.
There is no shortage of incredible hiking trails in Australia. Hunting for some geocaches along the way can make your hike even more of an adventure.
Written by Jennifer Dawson. Image Jake Ingle Unsplash