Geocaching Melbourne and Oxfam Trailwalker

Over the last couple of days, 16 members of the Geocaching Melbourne community have formed 4 teams to each tackle the grueling 100 kilometer Oxfam Trailwalker to raise some much needed funds for the Oxfam charity. The Oxfam Trailwalker requires each walker to walk 100 kilometers, starting at Jells Park in suburban Melbourne, through the parklands, over Churchill National park, into Lysterfield Lake Park, then across through Bird Lands Reserve, up into the town of Upwey then into the Dandenong Ranges National Park, popping out at Mt Evelyn where it joins the Warburton Rail Trail for 26 kilometers before climbing up and along the aqueduct at the foot of Mt Donna Buang, it then wanders down to Warburton before tackling the nemesis that is Mount Little Joe, finally reaching the finish line in Wesburn.  To say it is a grueling track is an understatement.

Team 1 consisted of Colin (unclecocopops), Michelle (part of Team Smokey Bear), Robin (robinyang) and Darren (Burge). Team 2 consisted of Paul (waferthin), Darragh (Annoying Tarbit), Lauren (Loz6032) and Nicky (Lost_and_found_79).  Team 3 consisted of Karen (carkisser), Shaz (Ruverbug Jam), Donna (Jaktembo) and Tash (arielisme).  Team 4 consisted of Day (day1976), Jenny (Jentrek1), Marc (BendSinister) and Ross (The Welder).

The Friday morning began brilliantly with perfect weather at the start as each team headed out on to the trail. The official support crews as well as many other extremely supportive members of the Geocaching Melbourne community met everyone at various different points along the way to help, encourage and cheer everybody on.  Each team had set themselves a target goal time to complete the course ranging from 20 hours to 38 hours, so the four teams began to spread out through the day.  They enjoyed the walk through the Dandenong Ranges National Park, but the final stint out to Mt Evelyn as the day began to turn to night began to test the teams and unfortunately Team 1, decimated by injuries had to pull out at around 4am on the Saturday morning at Mount Evelyn.

The crack of sunrise at 5:30am on the Saturday morning saw Team 4, exhausted from conquering Mount Little Joe, stumble down the final hill to cross the finish line in just over 23 hours with all members still walking. Later in the day at around 1:30pm, the incredible team 2 also conquered the daunting last mountain to come down the hill and finish the entire course in just over 30 hours, also with all four members still upright.

At around 4:30pm on the Saturday, the only remaining Geocaching Melbourne Team on the trail, team 3, walked into Woori Yallock, half way along the Warburton Trail. At this point they had done 70 of the 100 kilometers, but suddenly, the weather turned against them and a huge storm passed over which stopped all further movement for the next few hours.  The team had to wait, huddled at Woori Yallock for the storm to pass before continuing on.  At around 9pm, Geocaching Melbourne’s Team 3 lost its first member, Donna, who retired from the team.  But the other three girls pushed on, boosted by an ever increasing support crew as they made their way to Millgrove where again they had to wait out another storm front.

Finally they made it to Dolly Grey Park, which is the last official rest stop before the finish line.  The rain was pouring down, the wind was up and thunder and lightning was surrounding the area.  Team 3 was now the last of over 600 starting teams left on the trail and unfortunately Karen had to make the heart-breaking decision to call it a day at the 93 kilometer mark.  The other two surviving members, Shaz and Tash needed to leave in the storm so as to make the finish line before it is closed for good.  They headed off, up backstairs track in the mud during the dead of the night to knock off the final section and arrived at the finish line at around 9am on Sunday morning, completing the entire course in less than 41 hours.

The achievements that all 16 of these wonderful geocachers have done can only be fully realized when you look beyond just this weekend. There were months and months of training out on the tracks.  There were personal hardships that needed to be overcome.  All just to even get to the starting line, let alone then to walk the 100 kilometers.  Lifelong friendships were born during this process and people who before this had never even met, come to rely on each other for support through a very strenuous ordeal.

And then there were the support crews. At each stop along the trail, each team got to meet up with their wonderful support crews who lugged all the supplies that could ever be imagined to each location.  Without a strong support crew, none of the previously mentioned achievements are even closely possible.  All four teams were blessed with some amazing people who volunteered their time as support crews and the fact that many members of these support crews also helped out many other support crews along the way speaks volumes about what kind of people these guys are.

And finally of course there are those who donated. Geocaching Melbourne was proud to be a supporter of these four teams.  Specially minted Geocoins for the upcoming Alexandra Event were sold with images of our mascot, Fern carrying hiking poles.  All proceeds from the sale of these coins were donated to these teams as well as the huge amounts of moneys that all four teams raised by themselves both inside and outside of the local geocaching community.  All up the teams managed to raise over eleven thousand dollars for the Oxfam charity.

The whole experience is a fantastic example of how strong and also kind the Geocaching Melbourne community is. That we have so many members who so willingly donate their time not just to train and walk this grueling course, but also to provide support or help raise money for such an awesome cause is a testament to the kind of people we are.  Geocaching Melbourne would like to thank each and every one of you for making this Oxfam Trailwalker such a success.  You guys rock!

Alexandra Event Update – 2nd April

First up, we love seeing the ‘Will Attend’ numbers steadily inclining, thank-you to all who have logged so far – we can’t wait to see you all in Alexandra in November!

We still have a long way to go before November hits, and it’s great to see so many people attending our lead-up events being held all over the state – 40 teams ventured as far west as Portland during the Labor Day weekend in March, and today we caught up with 52 teams in Warragul.

Warragul Group
The Attendees

The next event sees us heading up to the border and throwing some free snags on the barbie in Swan Hill on the 7th of May. Now here’s some food for thought: by attending these lead-up events you can still potentially earn shiny new geocoins for your collection! It’s like a reward for getting out and socialising whilst eating bushman’s sausages, courtesy of Anvil Angus and Alexandra Quality Meats. Sweet! (The deal, that is – not the snags. The snags are savoury, not sweet.) We hope to see you there!

Ooh, speaking of geocoins, if you want to get your hands on the first #AX2017 geocoin, now is the time to act. Orders will close forever on this limited edition coin on the 9th April. That is next Sunday people! And remember, this coin is being minted for a very worthy cause – all proceeds from the sale of this particular coin will be donated to the Geocaching Melbourne teams competing in this year’s Oxfam Trailwalker challenge. So it’s a win-win for all – you get a shiny new geocoin coupled with that feel-good feeling of helping make a difference, and our teams get closer to their donation targets. You can purchase your coin here.

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Maybe geocoins aren’t your cup-of-tea? Maybe you prefer pathtags? Not to fear, we have you covered. Well, we will have you covered … In fact, if you are creatively-inclined, we have a competition that may be right up your alley! Yep, it’s a pathtag design competition 🙂 We have an excellent prize up for grabs and all you need to do to be in the running is design five pathtags. Easy, right? You also need to submit your designs to info@geocaching.melbourne by midnight on April 30th 2017. FYI, that is four weeks from now. Put your thinking caps on and see what you can do with this year’s themes: Lake, Mountains, Walking, Kayaking, 4WD and climbing. But enough of the rules, what is this awesome prize, you ask? Well, we are glad you asked … You will, of course, receive a set of 2017 pathtags and an #AX2017 Unobtanium geocoin. But wait, there’s more! You will also receive a set of free steak knives … oh, wait … hang on … we have no steak knives … but we do have something better, from the man with the best steak in town … You will also win a highly-coveted, rarer-than-rare Unobtanium Clever Monkey geocoin, kindly donated by Clever Monkey. Woohoo!

Don’t forget you can order your own unique #AX2107 attire for the occasion too, or any occasion for that matter. Just head to Spreadshirt to place your order. Put your own spin on some #AX2017 shirts, or maybe a g-string thong is more your style? Why not get in early and show us your creative genius? Maybe just don’t show us a picture of you modelling your new underwear, lol!

Finally, just a bit of insider information between you and me, this year is shaping up to be the best yet. Don’t just take it from me though, log your ‘Will Attend’ now if you haven’t already, and experience all the fun first-hand.

Click Here to log your ‘Will Attend’

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Alexandra Event Update – 19th Feb

So Sunday rolls around again and we are another week closer to the Alexandra MEGA event this coming November. Planning on the many facets of this huge event has already well and truly begun.

labccacheThis includes LAB caches. Yep, we are not leaving these to the last minute.  We have selected some of the most creative cache placers in the state to rack their brains to come up with the most dazzling ideas that they can.  And, they have 9 months to plan, design and build some LAB caches that will truly make the Alexandra Event an event to be remembered.  If you’ve never done a LAB cache, then check out this link

 

If you have done LAB caches before and you enjoy them, prepare to be amazed this coming November!

ax2017-geocoin-oxThe first of the geocoins are still on sale and will continue to sell until the 9th of April.  This very special coin depicts Fern out taking a hike and as mentioned previously all profit from the sale of these coins is going directly to the four Geocaching Melbourne Oxfam Teams that are competing the 100 kilometer Oxfam challenge this April.  There will be other coins go on sale later in the year, but if you want the whole set, or if you just want to help support the Geocaching Melbourne Oxfam teams, then make sure you order one of these coins straight away to avoid disappointment!  Follow this link to purchase your coin today!

 

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The second one of the lead up events went off amazingly yesterday in Wedderburn. 44 teams attended the event and ate 80 of the best bushman’s sausages in Australia, kindly donated to us by Anvil Angus and Alexandra Quality Meats.  It is sensational to see so many people making the trip out to Wedderburn with many teams staying in the area for the weekend.  The next lead up event is in Portland on the 11th of March.  You can follow this link to the event listing.  We look forward to seeing you all then!

 

eventtshirtsOf course the merchandise continues to sell and it is fantastic to see The Alexandra Event t-shirts, jumpers and polo shirts appearing at events around the state already. The feedback so far on the quality of the merchandise is that it is of excellent quality and the couple of issues that people have so far reported have all been quickly resolved by spreadshirt.  You can follow this link to our spreadshirt shop to design and build your own shirt and if you are not completely happy with the end product we of course encourage you to contact spreadshirt immediately.

 

We hope you are all enjoying getting out and finding lots of caches. We look forward to seeing you all in November and remember, if you’re hoping to come, make sure you log your “Will Attend” on the event listing today!

Change at the Helm

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Geocaching HQ co-founders Bryan Roth, Jeremy Irish and Elias Alvord

Jeremy Irish recently posted the below statement in a geocaching group. Basically he swapped seats with Bryan Roth at Geocaching HQ.

What does that mean for the future of geocaching? Your guess is as good as mine and we’ll see what “to work on smaller projects to help the core team improve the game” actually means.

Cheers
Philipp from Geocaching Melbourne

Hey folks!
I wanted to give you some shocking news. I’ve stepped down as president of Geocaching HQ (formerly known as Groundspeak, formerly known as Grounded, Inc.). I’m now Senior Vice President and Bryan Roth has taken the helm as President.
Yes, shocking… maybe. It’s been 16 years as president, and I’ve realized that running a company isn’t my passion. I’m an idea guy and the game itself has grown incredibly large over the last 16 years. I’d rather think about ways to make geocaching better and have some time (and resources) to work on smaller projects to help the core team improve the game.
I have been honored to work with Bryan over the years and believe he is the right person to take the helm at Geocaching HQ. He has a deep knowledge of the game and I have always envied his personal skills, both as a leader and as a communicator. He is also someone who doesn’t step away from difficult challenges.
And he’s a good friend.
I appreciate the opportunity to have some time to think about the game more and come up with ideas that will improve upon it. I believe this hits my talent sweet spot and feel like the company will benefit from the change.
So I’m still here, just changing roles to where I believe I should be.
Jeremy
Ps. Can you share this with others? Sure! We aren’t publishing an official press release. But if you want to tweet it, blog it, or whatever, you are welcome to do so. I don’t plan on doing any interviews, though. Sorry.

The Alexandra Event Update – Feb

Its update time for the Alexandra MEGA Event that is coming up in November….

1stvisit1st – A couple of members of the organizing committee had our first meeting with the president of the showground’s committee this week onsite and had a good look around.  There is plenty of room to spread out and lots of undercover areas if the weather should dare to be inclement.  There is also a large area for non-powered camping as well as a limited number of sites available for powered camping.  These sites will be on sale through the showground’s committee soon and we will provide you with the contact details once they have worked out a suitable layout for the camping.

ax2017-geocoin-oxThe first of the Geocoins went on sale a couple of weeks ago. This one is a very special limited edition coin that will only be available for purchase between now and the 9th of April this year.  There will certainly be other geocoins available for purchase through the year and of course at the event, but this one is strictly pre-purchase only and can ONLY be purchased between now and the 9th of April.  For this coin only, all proceeds are to be donated to the 4 fabulous Geocaching Melbourne teams who are completing the Oxfam Trailwalker event this year.  So if you want to get yourself a wonderful geocoin that is sure to be a collector’s item in the future, as well as support the Geocaching Melbourne members who are all walking 100 kilometers for the Oxfam charity, this coin is fantastic value at only $25.  Purchases can be made through our website, just follow this link.

jostshirtMerchandise has been on sale for a while now and little by little we are seeing more and more very creative “The Alexandra Event” clothing appearing at events and in photographs taken all over the state. It’s quite easy to do to, just head over to our spreadshirt shop at http://ax2017.spreadshirt.com.au/ and start creating.  Not only t-shirts, but aprons, hats, beanies, pants, shorts, backpacks, mugs, phone cases, umbrellas, bandanas and even a pillow case if you so desire!

The 10 months to MEGA event at Pakenham went off amazingly well on the 15th of January.  The next one is on at Wedderburn on the 18th of February and then another one at a new location each month.  Remember, there are prizes available to those who attend multiples of these events, so get out and explore the countryside, meet some locals and maybe win some prizes!

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce the organizing committee for Alexandra. It is a good mix of locals, new members and some experienced ones too.  The organizing committee this year is…

Ahomburg, LouiseAnn, TeamSmokeyBear, day1976, Clever Monkey, scody, º, xsurfergirlx and BernieH

Hoping you are all enjoying your geocaching and look forward to seeing you in November.

Regards

The Alexandra Event Organizing Committee.

Sweet Shirts for Valentines

You might have noticed that there are some geocachers wearing pretty cool shirts, hoodies and aprons when they hit the trail. Yes the official #AX2017 Clothing Shop opened and this weekend you can grab a 20% off for two or more items deal.

  • 20% off any order of 2+ items
  • Run Time: February 3rd – February 5th, 2017
  • Coupon Code: GET20
  • Cannot be combined with other discounts or coupon codes
  • ax2017.spreadshirt.com.au

And of course we would looooove to see you in this fine couture. Please post plenty of pictures!

Cheers 🙂
The Geocachers of Victoria

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The First of the Geocoins for the Alexandra Event

A very quick announcement.

The first of the geocoins for the Alexandra Event have just gone on pre-sale through the geocaching.melbourne website.  You can follow this link.

The coins are a special edition and are designed to support the 16 Geocaching Melbourne members that are taking part in the Oxfam 100 kilometer charity walk this April. The coins feature our friend Fern out having a hike and come with their very own tracking code.

ax2017-geocoin-ox

All proceeds from the sale of this coin will be donated to the Geocaching Melbourne Oxfam teams that are completing the challenge this year. So for only $25 you can get a limited edition geocoin for the Alexandra MEGA this year AND support the Geocaching Melbourne walkers and Oxfam.

This is the first of the geocoins for the Alexandra MEGA and further ones will be released throughout the year, so if you like completing a whole set, make sure you stay tuned. This first geocoin will only be available for purchase between now and the Oxfam trailwalker on April 7.  Pick up is available at the Alexandra MEGA, or for an extra $8 you can get it posted to you anywhere in Australia.

Rinse and Repeat

The Surf Coast Event 2016 was a great success and we have to thank everyone who got involved: The organising team, the geocachers who attended and of course all the awesome volunteers. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Oh yes! It’s all happening again!

Now the year is coming to an end and everyone is busy buying Christmas presents and bumping up find numbers in a rush before the holidays start. But hold it for a second – we got an early surprise for you. The Alexandra Event 2017 has been listed as a Mega Event.

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One of the AX2017 logos – Climbing

Geocaching HQ has seen our track record of great and enjoyable big events in Victoria and supports our efforts to do it all over again.

There are plenty of things to do in the Murrindindi Shire and the local caches offer some fantastic experiences. From enjoyable family friendly activities like kayaking on Lake Eildon, lovely walks, 4WD geocaching to the more sporty things like tree & rock climbing. There really is an adventure for everyone around The Alexandra Event 2017.

Join us and celebrate this great game which brings a colourful bunch of people together. We’re looking forward to welcome you in Alexandra next year.

The Alexandra Event 2017

Enjoy the festive season and Merry Christmas
The Geocachers of Victoria

2016 Award Events

The Award Events for 2016 have been published. As last year there are the Victorian Cache of the Year Awards as well as the Victorian Geocaching Adventure Festival. There isn’t much of an overlap in the award categories of each event so it’s definitely worth nominating caches for both and of course also voting and attending the events. Go check them out:

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Both Nomination Forms are already open so you better get your list together 🙂 And of course I got a hint for you as well. If you’re looking for good pictures to nominate, check out the gallery of some cachers:

  • Just go to geocaching.com/find
  • Type in the username of a cacher you suspect to take cool pics (e.g. mine would be º )
  • Click on the 5th tab “Gallery”
  • Browse and select

Enjoy the awards and best of luck with the nominations as well as voting for all cache owners

Cheers Philipp

Surf Coast – last competition

Good news people, there is one more competition from the Mega!! We are so keen to get your feedback about the Surf Coast Event last weekend, we are offering another gold unobtanium geocoin and a year long premium membership for geocaching.com. All you need to do is fill in the survey linked to below!! The more information we get from you now, the better we can make our next event.

https://goo.gl/forms/QduWAmEgZLG0OCPr1