Geocaching in the NZ Herald

Spied this morning is an excellent article in the NZ Herald on Geocaching. Some of the best bits include:

The high-tech treasure hunting game uses GPS devices to locate hidden containers, called geocaches. Finders then share their experiences online, through a highly active website, geocaching.com. Prompted by the massively increased accuracy of GPS after civilians gained access to the 24 navigational satellites in May 2000, the first geocacher placed a container ‘in the wild’ and posted its co-ordinates. It was found within three days and the sport took off, worldwide. New Zealand’s first cache was hidden near Rotorua on May 12, 2000, and one placed on May 26 near Wellington is still surviving. By July 2000 the website geocaching.com was founded and the sport grew: today there are nearly 1.3 million active geocaches around the world, and about 1250 in this country.

A great wee synopsis of the history that appears early on in the article. This part always seems woefully inadequate in many articles, so nice to see it well represented here.

“Unlike other internet-based games, this one actually required the player to get outside and do something. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment,” says Rotorua-based Kevin Carroll who chairs the Kiwicaching Association of New Zealand. Like most players, he has a nom de plume – his is GenCuster. Kevin, a self-confessed “gadget person” had been given a GPS about three years ago and a client showed him this cool new use for it.

A great quote by Kevin and super important to point out that it all about getting outside and doing something. Often it seems like articles suggest that it is an internet based game and that gives you the impression you are playing ‘Lara Croft: Tombraider’ all day.

Players can be involved by both finding caches and placing their own. There are now more than 12,000 active caches in New Zealand in spots ranging from urban parks and inner city artworks to the tops of mountains and underwater. Caches can vary from nano-containers (approx 10 mm diameter) to wheelie bin sized, with two-litre containers being a popular choice. Steel ammunition containers are the rodent-proof solution in country or bush.

Another great section showing the range of options and sizes, important for attracting all sorts of game players. As is the next piece:

Naturally the game has evolved. Some hunters love “stealth” caches where retrieval is right under the noses of the unsuspecting public (aka Muggles). Others involve wily disguises, or a three-day tramps using climbing gear, or creating clues that involve solving Sudoku or cryptic crossword-type puzzles.

Perhaps the best part of the article is the range of info and links provided at the end:

* For more information check out www.geocaching.co.nz

New Zealand Recreational GPS Society or Kiwicaching Association of New Zealand Inc


To buy the geomate.jr ($149) click here.

Well done to all involved!

1 comment

  1. kjwx

    But what’s with calling it “one of the newest sports to hit New Zealand”?

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