Molonglo River flowing strongly

Thursday morning 9 April: Geocaching (more of the HMAS series) – S/E. A short stroll.

I drove down past the RSPCA in Kirpatrick St Weston and parked down on the edge of the pond.


Distance: 5.7km | Climb: 90m | Time: 10.05am-11.35pm (1hr 30mins) | Grading: S/E; VE(3)

Track Map



Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.

gpx File

Download the .gpx file here. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)

kml File

Download the .kml file here.

So what is geocaching? Put simply, people hide things, publish the location on the Geocaching website, then you go and find the geocache and log (both physically at the site and on the website) the fact that you’ve found it. But it’s more than that …

Pre-history: I’ve see a few geocaches in my time. One, very early on, was at New Fishloch Yards in the Orroral Valley. Another cache in very poor nick on the eucalyptus still near Nil Desperandum and a third at the border marker at the East most point of the ACT. On 8 Dec 13, Kath H (geocacher Kittykatch) walked with me in a party to Red Rocks Gorge and found a cache just behind where we stopped for a swim. I ran into Kath again on 2 Jan 14 – on this trip I saw Kath and friend find one cache, she pointed out a second and helped me discover a third. After having a look around – in particular seeing all the caches in Namadgi National Park – I was hooked. So I created an account as JohnnyBoyACT, looked up a nearby cache on Narrabundah Hill to try and away I went.

History: With Kittykatch as my ‘geo-mother’ I soon found a friend in the Canberra Bushwalking Club to become my ‘geo-mate’. Roger E (geocacher Marmaduke Rothschild) got the bug really bad and we have gone on several lucrative geo-raids. I’ve put on several geocaching walks, which is fine if the bushwalk is advertised as looking for caches and I’m leading it, but be careful of holding up someone else’s walk. Not every bushwalker has a passion for geocaches 😆 .

Varied views of geocaching: As with most things, there are varied and robust views about geocaching. Particularly amongst bushwalkers. Some regard it as ‘littering’ as, usually, small plastic containers are hidden around town and out in the bush. In defense of the activity, CITO events are organised – Cache In Trash Out – and geocachers are just as environmentally sensitive as others. And there is a type of geocache, called an Earthcache, where nothing is hidden – you just go to a location and answer a series of questions.

Why did I get involved in geocaching? Because I’m a list ticker, obviously. Here’s my list of geocaches found. I’m not frantic about it (like ACT border markers 😀 ), but it would be nice to make 1000. What sold me was seeing (you need to be a Premium Member and that means paying an annual subscription – no such thing as a free lunch) all the geocaches in Namadgi National Park! They give me a reason to go back to places I’ve previously visited and a reason to visit places I’ve not been before, because they have a geocache.

Geocaching and Bushwalking: There’s been a nice synergy developing between bushwalkers and cachers. I’m sure it’s always been there, it’s just nice to be part of it. So some geocachers have joined CBC to get the opportunity to visit some remote caches and I’ve met a couple of real tough geocachers who have walked me into the ground. It’s all about using our wonderful open spaces for our sport of choice!

Yet more …: Geocaching comes with a huge lot of frills and I make no pretence of knowing anything more than the basics. For example, there are different types of geocaches such as multi-leg and puzzles; there are caching events where tens and hundreds of people gather; you can get into FTF (First to Find a new cache); or hiding them yourself. People go on geocaching holidays around the world.

Track Notes

Today I had 2 hours whilst dear non-geo-wife was at U3A. What to do? Gardening, housework? No! Head for a nearby series of caches, easy grades, which will help swell my total, get my eye in (like border markers, geocaches need a practised eye to locate them) and allow me to breathe a bit of fresh air.

So a quick jaunt in the old Stromlo Pine Forest area, now between the National Arboretum and the growing Molonglo suburbs. I’d done some of them before. This morning a little circuit to find and log GC56YNM HMAS #80: GEORGE TRYON, GC4V3WH HMAS #83: JAMES RAMSAY, GC56YNW HMAS #84: ROBERT COLLINS, GC4V3WJ HMAS #85: WORLD WAR I, GC56YNX HMAS #86: WORLD WAR II, GC4V3WK HMAS #87: KOREAN WAR, GC56YP0 HMAS #88: VIETNAM WAR, GC4V3WM HMAS #89: GULF WAR and GC56YP4 HMAS #90: RAN.

Great fun.


1 walker – me.