Geocachers Receive Keep Dunedin Beautiful Award

Award recipients Jane Bruce and Tharon Knoetze with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, centre.

Normally, Dunedin geocachers prefer to keep out of view as they search for hidden treasure. But on Tuesday, March 6th, they came out of the shadows to accept one of this year’s Keep Dunedin Beautiful awards.

Dunedin geocachers clean up the Leith River mouth last year.

The city’s geocaching community was nominated by the Keep Dunedin Beautiful Committee after organising Cache In, Trash Out (CITO) events at several Dunedin locations. These highlighted the regular cleanup work that environmentally-minded treasure hunters undertake when on the trail.

Collecting the award from Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull on behalf of local geocachers were CITO event organisers Jane Bruce (GC handle: Daywalk) and Tharon Knoetze (GC handle: AdventureTharon).

Mrs Bruce and her husband Spen organised their October 30th, 2011 cleanup (GC35E8M) at the mouth of Leith River after noticing all the litter strewn there while searching for a geocache. The wet Sunday morning gathering attracted nearly 20 geocachers, who collected a large bag of rubbish each.

Similar amounts of waste were during Mr Knoetze’s Centennial Memorial cleanup (GC37B10) on November 27th last year. In both instances, the Keep Dunedin Beautiful Committee helped with removing the collected rubbish.

Rubbish collected at one of Dunedin's CITO events.

Come October, more than 500 geocachers from New Zealand, Australia and abroad will descend on Dunedin for the country’s first Mega geocaching event. Plans are already under way to utilise this large group of visitors to help keep the South Island city beautiful.

The Keep Dunedin Beautiful Committee began in 1967 as a group of volunteers committed to projects that encouraged citizens to take pride in and care for their environment.

It was originally known as the Anti Litter Committee before adopting the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Society’s programme in 1987. Members include community groups, individuals, Dunedin City councillors and community board members.

Its annual Keep Dunedin Beautiful Awards celebrate and honour the people of Dunedin who are committed to beautifying their city and environment through volunteer action.




  1. TeamElliottFamily

    Fantastic! Great to see this positive publicity after the stoush in the papers, and the negative info the council has been getting. Has anyone thought to ask Mayor Cull to come and open the MEGA 2012? It would be great to set up a small group to discuss ‘geocaching as tourism’ with him, and to encourage the city council to invest in some serious geocaches as public installations (i.e a fountain with a button which then causes a secret compartment to open up.) This kind of approach could see geo-tourism to our city increase and Dunedin be known globally as THE city to cache in.

    1. Guwapo's Papa

      Hamilton has already beaten Dunedin to being the geo-friendly city.


  2. TeamElliottFamily

    I’ve just had a look at some of those caches, and although the city lists them (some of them have been archived) it doesn’t look like any are official city installations like I suggested above.

    The Hamilton attempt is a start, but listing caches on their site probably isn’t adding anything to the game. The council making space, and commissioning someone like Scott Engineering to come up with a hide… now that would be adding something to the game!

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