To celebrate Conservation Week DOC has launched the National Geocaching Challenge, an outdoors treasure hunt using GPS to find hidden ‘caches’.
One-and-a-half year old Corban and his mum Tracey share his very first geocaching adventure with us.
With a clean nappy, a pair of red band gumboots, warm clothes and loads of energy following a nap Corban was ready to begin his first geocaching adventure!
We drove the winding road up to North Egmont Visitor Centre on Mount Taranaki arriving at about 11 am. The plan was to walk along the short Ngatoro Loop Track to the ‘goblin forest’ geocache. This was an ambitious walk for a toddler and mum.
As soon as Corban got out of the car he was pointing at birds in the sky and towards the trees.
At the age of one-and-a-half Corban has only been walking for 6 months he recently mastered a new skill; jumping. This was his first time walking on the mountain and everything was new to him.
As we started the track it was interesting to see how his confidence changed, walking over tree roots and on uneven surfaces, this is something he had not encountered before. It was so worth it! All of the new experiences.
Corban’s hands were pointing towards noises the whole time—the kererū that swooped just above our heads, the grey warbler singing in the trees and then pointing towards the sound of the river.
The ‘goblin forest’ gets its name from the twisted moss covered tree trunks. The moss in the trees soaks the moisture up like a sponge. Long after rain, the forest will still be dripping. Corban broke into laughter as a drop landed on his head.
The geocache was easy to find hidden at ground level under a fallen tree. Corban had his name entered into the log book, and investigated the contents of the container before hiding it again.
When we arrived back to the visitor centre we went inside for lunch. The Kamahi Café served up delicious flat whites and a very special drink for Corban. It is safe to say he enjoyed the day.
Getting kids into nature isn’t hard it just requires an adventurous spirit, a few spare hours and strong arms (or a front pack) for the parts challenging to a toddler.
Find out more about the National Geocaching Challenge and the many other events and activities on the DOC website.