I have briefly touched on Geocaching before on this blog (here). Geocaching is an outdoor activity that uses the whole earth as the playing field. For this reason, it is a fantastic hobby to take up especially when you are travelling and looking for some great free activities to do all around the world.
I started Geocaching as a hobby in Early 2013, and often reflect on not having found Geocaching earlier, before the travel that I undertook between 2010 and 2012. There are so many places that I look at on the maps available showing the location of Geocaches and see just how close I would have been to so many great geocaches.
My First Geocaching Experience
The thing about Geocaching is that I first encountered it back around 2008/9. At the time smartphones were still a dream, and I had not heard of handheld GPSr devices. I do recall attempting to find one or two geocaches locally by printing out the page with the information and just going to look, however, with no idea what I was looking for and a far from an accurate approach, I soon gave the idea up.
My First Overseas Geocaching Trip
Since the end of 2012, I had not found the time to travel overseas, having got back into working at times, and just not even sure where I wanted to go to next. It was not until October 2015 when I next found an opportunity to travel overseas and as it would happen, the trip was to attend a Geocaching MEGA event in Christchurch, New Zealand.
What a difference a few years makes, unlike my previous trips overseas, I now travelled with a smartphone, since getting into Geocaching I also had a GPSr, and I totally evaded any tours on offer.
The below map is a small extract from the Geocaching maps and shows a little over 100 geocaches that are available in and around the CBD of Christchurch. On the map you can see the Green ones identify Traditional Geocaches, the blue question marks indicate puzzles, the little yellow one’s multi-caches and the little smiley faces are geocaches that I have found (19 in this part of the map).
Geocaching As A Tour Guide
While visiting Christchurch, I could have easily looked at a tour guide and followed around the sights. However, I took a different approach and looked at the Geocaching map. To be honest, I think that I likely got to see just as many sights using this method, if not more.
I visited all four of the above locations as a result of Geocaching and three of them I did not even know about before heading there to find the Geocache.
Future Geocaching Trips
I find that some Geocache types do tend to motivate me a little more than others. For example, Earthcache’s can sometimes take you to some rather spectacular places, especially from a photography point of view. An Earthcache by nature is a geocache that helps to teach the finder an earth science lesson. Often Earthcaches are located in area’s where there is a lot of volcanic activity, waterfalls, or other geological features.
Different cities also tend to feature some entirely different approaches to Geocaching. For example my next stop on my New Zealand trip, Wellington, there was quite a few caches that required visiting museums to collect the information needed to find the Geocache.
Also, another telling factor that can help to find some great spots is a geocache with a high number of favourite points. You will find this is a good indication that a lot of people have either enjoyed finding that particular geocache or visiting the location.
I see enormous potential for Geocaching to play a part in any of the future trips that I am planning overseas, there are some ways to find some of the best places in cities using Geocaching. Although, that is something that I will leave for another post to comes soon.
Combining Holidays and Hobbies
I would love to hear some of the ways that you combine different hobbies with holidays that you take, so why not leave a comment below and let me know. I know that my trip with Geocaching was an entirely different experience to my previous trips following the tourist trails.
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