On a hunt for local treasure
THE Tweed has a wealth of hidden treasure; you just have to know where to look.
Geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunting craze sweeping the globe, has arrived on the Tweed and residents and visitors are jumping on board.
Geocaching is similar to orienteering but with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device rather than a compass.
Equipped with my iPhone, which was freshly installed with the Geocaching application, and a sense of adventure I headed out to see what all the fuss was about.
A few seconds after launching the app it had found my location through satellites and I had a list of 10 caches, ranging from 1km to 3.4km away.
Wanting to start slow I chose the closest, Bat’s Off, which a map showed me was just around the corner from the Tweed Daily News office.
Parking on Enterprise Drive at South Tweed I read the description and was directed to a small park just across the road. I’ve driven past this park many times but had never taken any notice of it.
Up close I enjoyed the “visual puzzle” artwork, which changed from different angles.
After walking around for about 10 min- utes and having a peak at the hints, I still couldn’t find anything.
I decided to move on to the next cache on the list, thinking maybe this one had been found by a muggle, someone who does not geocache.
Disappointed but not disheartened I jumped back in the car and headed over to the next cache, Minjungbal.
Following the map I found my way to the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Kirckwood Drive.
Getting out of the car I switched from the map view to the compass and ended up in front of a small cluster of trees.
And there it was. Hidden in the fork of a tree I found my first “treasure”, a small container full of all kinds of goodies and knick-knacks.
A monopoly house, blue key, army man, sharpener and more were tucked inside the container with a small logbook and pencil.
After writing my name and date, I swapped the Tweed Daily News notebook I brought for a small magnet and was on my way.
Although I have only geocached for an hour I learnt some very important lessons: Wear flat shoes (heels were quite inappropriate); take a friend (people tend to look at you a little weird when you’re walking around on your own with your phone in front of you); and be sure to wear mosquito repellent – lots of it.
Top iPhone Apps
There are more than 250,000 apps available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Reporter Kirsty Noffke shares her favourites:
Facebook (free): Facebook for iPhone makes it easy to stay connected and share information with friends.
Words With Friends ($3.99): Similar to Scrabble, Word With Friends allows you to play with friends anywhere in the world at your own pace.
Shazam ($7.99): Just point your phones towards the music source to identify and buy the song.
Sleep cycle alarm ($1.19): An alarm clock that analyses your sleep patterns and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase.
4 Ingredients ($3.99): Recipes from the bestselling 4 Ingredients cookbooks. You can search by ingredient or categories.
Skype (free): With Skype at your fingertips you can make and receive calls for free with anyone else on Skype, wherever they are in the world.