Geocaching History is on its way

Although it has been in existence for around 15 years or so, you may not have ever heard about geocaching. There are roughly ten million ‘geocachers’ around the world, adventurers who use their GPS devices to go on treasure hunts in the real world. The treasure they are hunting for? Geocaches. For the most part geocaches are containers (of any size) that have been hidden with a logbook (and sometimes knickknacks) inside. The goal is for other geocachers to find the cache, sign the logbook, and maybe trade some collectables. Want to know more? Watch Geocaching.com’s introductory video.

A geocache hidden inside of a fake rock, on the floor next to a fence post

Some caches are pretty obvious, some are a little more hidden.

The reason I’m telling you about this is because I’m a part of the Worst Cache Scenario geocaching crew that is working with History SA to develop a new event for next year’s History Festival. This post is your chance to learn about what is in development and why we think that geocaching works so well as an exploratory and educational tool.

What will Geocaching History be?

Geocaching History will be an engaging addition to what is already a really fun month of events. We will be hiding a series of caches located close to a wide array of South Australian historical sites, specifically focusing on History SA and their three museums.

The aim is to get people out and exploring parts of South Australia that they may not get to regularly, and to encourage them to learn more about South Australian history through geocaching. If all goes to plan, there will also be some unique knickknacks to trade for the first people to discover each cache :)

Why Geocaching?

The goal of the History Festival is to encourage South Australians to get out and explore the state’s history and stories. For a certain demographic, geocaching is a perfect way to do this in an innovative way.

David looking into the top of a rusted iron container searching for a cache

Me exploring some of Port Adelaide’s historic backstreets while looking for a cache

Geocaching is (at it’s heart) an exploration. People use geocaching as a way of getting out and being active, while spending time exploring their environment in a way that they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.

While out caching I have discovered hidden gems in the side streets of Adelaide, as well as small oases spotted around the countryside. These are places and things that I would have had no reason to discover if I weren’t out on a treasure hunt.


Sculpture of man on donkey carrying another man

Simpson and his Donkey point the way to a nearby geocache

But where’s the opportunity for education? Well an ideal geocache will be located on or near a landmark, giving an opportunity to learn something along the way. For example, there is a cache very close to the ‘Simpson and his Donkey’ statue on King William St. At the least a geocacher would remember the name of the landmark, at best they would leave knowing part of the story that is behind it.

This is one reason why a series of geocaches is a great fit for History SA, it is an opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge that they have about South Australian history and present it in a more unique way.


Stay tuned

In the lead up to South Australia’s History Festival there will be more about Geocaching History posted through this blog, as well as through History SA’s social networks. In the meantime feel free to follow Worst Cache Scenario’s Instagram account to see some of our geocaching adventures.

8 Comments

  • Paul Rees says:

    Excellent. I was looking into Geocaching recently. I thought there may be some way of participating that the Motor Museum could do. What app do you use?

    • David Walker says:

      Hey Paul. The Androids among us use c:geo (http://www.cgeo.org) which has always worked pretty well. I can find out what the Apples among us use, but there aren’t many of them 😛 We’re still in the planning stages with Catherine at the moment, but I’m sure she’d be happy to hear you’re interested in getting involved. We’re looking forward to scoping out some locations around the Motor Museum :)

  • Richary says:

    For Apple – Geosphere is your friend.

  • Susan (aka petan) says:

    Fantastic idea. We are both history buffs and geocachers and currently have about 25 history themed caches in our part of the world, with a few more in the planning and research stage. As members of the local historical society we gave a presentation at a recent meeting on using geocaching as a tool to introduce visitors (and locals) to some of the history of the area. Yes a proportion were ours but we also highlighted caches which also had a historical story or brought visitors to a historical site. It was well received.

    Good luck with this project, Would love to come and ‘do’ some of your caches but since I am roughly 1600km away, It might be a while yet.

    PS Our preference for an Apple Geocaching app is Geosphere, yes it does cost but its not company dependent, meaning you can use it to search for both geocaching.com and Geocaching Australia Caches infact any of the alternative cache listing services.

    • Catherine Manning says:

      Thanks for your comments Susan, that’s great to hear. Would love to know more about your part of the world and the caches you’ve linked to local history. David and his team have been doing an amazing job coming up with links to existing caches and creating new ones, working with us here at History SA to identify links to our history and stories to highlight. We can’t wait to see the project officially ‘launched’ on 1 May.

    • David Walker says:

      Thanks Susan. From the sounds of it your presentation was pretty spot on for what we’re trying to do with Geocaching History. We are creating a series of new caches, but also highlighting existing caches that cover local history or are located at historical landmarks,

      We will have a small website up soon, but the full site (including the list of caches) won’t be live until the start of the festival in May. When that happens I encourage you to have a look. Even though you won’t be down this way to do the caches for a while, the history and cache info will still be an interesting read.

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