Geocaching in Brisbane With Kids
All children love a treasure hunt, but have your Brisbane Kids tried geocaching? This high tech orienteering activity is taking off across the world, with ‘caches’ popping up everywhere. The basic concept of geocaching is that someone plants a cache on public property records the locating coordinates and posts these details on a listing site.
A geocache usually consists of a waterproof container containing a logbook and pen, and often some sort of trading items like small toys, coins or trinkets. Participants then use a GPS device or mobile phone to locate the geocache. Once found, searchers log their details in the log book and swap an item in the container.
A fun and FREE hobby for all Brisbane Kids
Geocaching in Brisbane is a completely free activity that is perfect for Brisbane Kids of all ages. As caches are usually located in a picturesque area, or places of cultural/historical significance, geocaching will get your family out of the house, learning more about your local environment along the way.
Often, caches are planted by locals who know the top spots to see, making geocaching an ideal way to experience new and different places with your Brisbane Kids. Most geocaches are listed along with their difficulty, making it easy to choose a cache that fits your children’s age and ability levels.
How to get started geocaching in Brisbane
There are many geocaching listing sites on the internet, where you can search by your current location and choose a suitable cache to search for. A great site to start with is Geocaching Australia, where you can search by your postcode. This site also provides a lot of ‘how-to’ information to help you get started. Once you have chosen your first cache, input the coordinates into your GPS device, and away you go!
You can also use a geocaching app and your smartphone to guide you to your location, download the app Geocaching, (its free), register and you will have access to 3 million geocaches recorded around the world. What we like about the goecaching app is that it gives you the difficulty of accessing the geocache including the difficulty of the terrain and sometimes even comes with hints from previous finders to help you locate the geocache if it is hidden in a tricky place.
Check out the “stealth” required option – we are yet to find a cache requiring this but let us know if you do!
What to do when you locate a geocache in Brisbane
The thrill of hunting for a geocache is sure to get your Brisbane Kids excited, but imagine the pride when they finally locate it!
Caches in Brisbane will vary in size and can contain all sorts of items of interest. You will always find a logbook, so be sure to log your details in the book to let others know that you have been there. If the geocache contains trading items, make sure that you replace any item taken with another item. Also be sure to log your find online and submit some interesting comments for the geocaching community. This adds to the success of a geocache and contributes greatly to the enjoyment of the game.
Step by Step Geocaching with a smartphone
- Access a geocaching website or app. Geocaching the app is free and you can use it with any usual smartphone.
- Make sure you activate location services on your phone
- Use the map to locate a geocache near you.
- Locate the cache!
- Trade treasures and record an entry in the log book and if you want a note on the geocaching app!
- YES it is that easy and fun!
Tools you will need
- A GPS device which these days is summed up by any usual smartphone/mobile phone. You can download an offline list from the geocache app but it means you will need to pay for a premium membership of around $50 Australian. If you are going where there won’t be mobile phone coverage then you will benefit from a GPS device with a list of locations preloaded.
- Geoswag. Which is “geocode” for the treasures you will use to replace what you take from the cache you find. You could develop your own signature swag offering like small tumbled semi-precious rocks or a collection of treasures from a dollar shop
- A pen. you will need this to sign the logbook with when you find the cache.
- Tweezers and/or utility tool. We take a swiss army knife which includes tweezers and other tools we might need to access a locked up cache.
- Walking gear. This only applies if you plan to go off road and off the beaten track. Take all the usual precautions you would take when you go bushwalking as you would when you go geocaching. This means water, letting someone know where you are going, wet weather gear, first aid kit etc. That said you can just drive around and look for caches, you can be adventurous (or not), as you want to be.
- Download a light app for your phone or take a torch incase the cache is in a scary hole.
Hide your own Geocache
Once you have discovered a few geocaches you might be keen to hide your own. Firstly make sure you read the rules on goecaching.com/play/guidelines because there are quite a few things you will need to know first. Once you are ready, follow the steps to lodge your geocache and your application will be assessed by a group of volunteers across the world who will determine the validity of your cache.
We really like the following video as a good overview of hiding caches for the first time, note that it is recommended you don’t consider creating your own geocache location until you have searched and discovered atleast 20 caches.
Connect with your local community by geocaching in Brisbane
Geocaching in Brisbane is a great way to not only get out and learn more about our fabulous city but also to connect with our local communities. Similar to having an overseas penpal, geocaching will teach Brisbane Kids about different cultures and appropriate ways to communicate with others. A Geocaching Brisbane Facebook group has been set up for Brisbane geocachers to share their local experiences.
Several geocaching mobile phone apps have been created to make geocaching even easier from your mobile device. The Groundspeak Inc Geocaching.com App for iPhone or for Android has some positive ratings from its users and assists users in locating any of the nearly 2 million logged geocaches.
Rediscover the thrill of hide ‘n’ seek – start geocaching with your Brisbane Kids today and enjoy many awesome adventures in Brisbane’s great outdoors.