Canada had one of the worst summers on record. Many of the days were cold and many were very rainy. On top of that the Weather Office acknowledged that never before had they been so wrong in so many places for so long! Thankfully I missed the Canadian summer. It was our fourth trip to Australia.
My wife and I were finally going to visit many of the places in Australia we had not been to. It turned out we had an extra day around Adelaide in South Australia. We decided that spending a day geocaching would be an interesting way to see the city. After logging into Geocaching.com and typing in post code 5000 we were surprised to see so many caches. Results showed over 400! I loaded them up into the GPS and we set out around the city.
While we were traveling we were at the mercy of internet cafés and their rates. Rather than printing out all the geocache pages, we decided to use the WAP browser on our mobile phone. For those of you unfamiliar with WAP, basically it is a scaled down web browser you can use on your cell phone. Australia is a great place for mobile phones. Rather than paying my provider back home $3 per minute for local phone calls, I picked up a pre-paid phone card. The GSM chip fit nicely into my Sony phone from Canada and I was in business, at a fraction of the price my home provider charged. The WAP site of geocaching (try www.geocaching.com/wap) from your mobile phone is nice for looking up cache information when you notice a nearby cache on your GPS.
As we drove around the city of Adelaide to see the sights, the GPS indicated we were approaching various geocaches. At that point we would park the car and type in the cache name into the WAP browser and it gave us most of the text information that it has on the web site. It will even provide the hint from the web page! Even in the rain we were able to locate Sitting Down on the Job. The white spots in the picture being the raindrops captured by the flash of the camera.
Adelaide is an amazing city. With a population of around one million, It is very well planned. The entire downtown CBD (Central Business District) is completely surrounded by parkland. See the downtown map here.
The residential area is on the other side of the parklands. In these parklands lie many geocaches, including many caches deep in the heart of the city. Like Port of War which is located on the median between 4 lanes of traffic.
Outside the CBD were also numerous caches, as well as outside the city. Geocaching certainly seems to be a popular pastime in Adelaide. There aren’t too many places in the world where you can see wild parrots and use your mobile phone while geocaching.
The wildlife was plentiful Outside of the town too where this blue tongue lizard was taking a leisurely walk across the road.
There were a few drawbacks to our day. Firstly, our success rate was the worst yet! We only managed to locate about half the caches we looked for. Add this to one of the biggest rainfalls in years, and one of the coldest winter days in ages (+6°C hardly cold by Canadian winter standards) and it might have sounded like a rough time. Just the opposite. Although we could have done without the rain and the poor success rate, spending the day geocaching allowed us to see one of Australia’s most beautiful cities in a new and interesting way.