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12 02 2011

After a month’s holiday in New Zealand it all had to come to an end of course, and I returned to family and work. As with the outward bound journey, the route home was via Sydney and Beijing wih an eight hour stopover at Beijing Capitol Airport. It was an ideal opportunity for me to review all the caches I found in New Zealand and write most of the text for this article.

For my travels around New Zealand I started off in Christchurch on the South Island, then some days after my arrival I set off up to Picton at the northern part of the south island, then by ferry to Wellington and a trip around the North Island that took me to Whanganui, Taupo, Rotarua, Whakatane, Gisborne, Napier and back to Wellington. Some of my activities have been covered in earlier blog posts.

As I have seen most of the South Island I didn’t get too far outside Christchurch, mostly limited by lack of transport. Within the city there is a good bus network with frequent services and low prices (compared to Sweden). In addition to rental cars, again cheaper than in Sweden, I was fortunately able to borrow a car on occasions.

One of the targets I set myself for 2011 was to hunt and find difficulty and terrain combinations that I have not found earlier. Looking through the caches in the Gävle area of Sweden it it difficult to find all of the combinations, so I know that I will have to travel. At the end of 2010 I had twenty eight of the possible eighty one combinations left to find. Now after the weeks in New Zealand I have pared it down to nineteen. The terrain in the country lends itself to high terrain values and in fact of the nine new D/T combinations I found, five of them were T4.5 and T5. If I had focussed even harder on just caching I could have found a further five or six.

My difficulty - terrain matrix on Jan 1 2011

D/T matrix after trip to New Zealand

The grading of the caches is subjective which means that there are a number of incongruities in how hard the caches really are. The walk up Mount Herbert to find the Sign of the Polar Bear was definitely more difficult at a D3/T3.5 than Scouting out a Bonus at D2/T5 and even though Pirates Peak had a high adrenalin factor due to being perched half way down a cliff, (D3.5/T5), it was not as demanding as the 17 km tramp to find Tussocks and Tarns which was a D2/T4.5.

Part of the track from Tussocks and Tarns

All in all, I was happy with the number and type of caches that I found. Of the total of 169 finds, twenty were earthcaches, and twelve had a difficulty or terrain rating of four or greater. I also found a smattering of multi, puzzle, whereigo, event and virtual caches so quite a lot of variety. I’m still kicking myself for not solving the puzzle for The Enigma which would have given me a D5/T1.5. The puzzle itself is not that difficult once it is set up in the right way. I used to solve this kind of puzzle by the dozen.

So now back in the winter of Sweden I can see that, as usual, my geocaching activities will be at a low level for a while. Perhaps I can use the time to solve a few mystery caches. One thing that I would like to see on them is a link to so it’s possible to verify that the coordinates for the cache are correct before looking for it. I can see that I need to do this for my caches and of course this is the right weather for that kind of cactivity. I can only hope that I get the possibility to travel through work and have the chance to grab a couple or more caches on those trips. Roll on spring!




4 responses

20 02 2011

Wow! Good work on the DT matrix. Those high terrain ones are tricky, aren’t they? The majority of the ones we need are high terrain. We’re hoping a visit to the Peak District (You can guess why from the name) will give a much needed boost for us!

21 02 2011

Actually, I prefer a six hour slog up and down a mountain looking for a cache, to one that has an adrenelin high like Good luck with your D/T hunt. There are some great places to visit in the Peak District.

25 02 2011
Geocaching – NZ « Halléns Geocachingäventyr

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25 02 2011

Great story about your geocaching in NZ! I visited New Zealand in 2007 and had a great time hiking and Geocaching .
Per Hallén (In Geocaching: Hallén)

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