I was determined to get close to nature without travelling hours out of Melbourne. So, I decided to check out Woodlands Park, a historic nature reserve in Greenvale, just five minutes away from my house. Despite living so close, I have only been there a handful of times, and the park is so big that I’ve barely clocked a quarter of it. It is completely untouched, providing a freakishly real glimpse into the landscapes and wildlife seen by European settlers in the 1840s.
There are so many walking trails to adventure and you’ll see more kangaroos, echidnas and bandicoots than you can count. But do you want to know the best thing about Woodlands Historic Park? It’s a geocaching playground with hundreds of secret containers, waiting for you to find them.
What is geocaching?
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt where you use a GPS enabled device to find a container hidden in a specific location. There are 3 million of them buried in more than 190 countries around the world, so there might be one near you right now.
How to play?
It’s simple. The first thing you have to do is download the Geocaching® app on your mobile device and create a free account. Then you give it access to your location services and start hunting!
Each geocache will have a hint that you can follow to find its location, which could be lodged in a tree stump or hidden down a rabbit hole. Once you discover it, you open the container, empty the contents and sign your name in the logbook, then place the container back where you found it, ready for the next person to find.
My favourite part is reading all the names listed and finding out who discovered the geocache before me. It’s like being in on a secret that no-one else knows about and etching your name in history (well, kind of).
What’s the point?
It’s fun and it’s different. It’s a great way to find remarkable destinations and explore landscapes you might never otherwise see.
After a few hours of geocaching, Shaun and I decided to fuel up from Living Legends, a sanctuary for retired race horse champions including Bullish Luck and Silent Witness. The cafe serves, without a doubt, the best Devonshire tea in Greenvale, and you get to enjoy it while watching race horse royalty graze on grass. We also jumped across the road to the Airport Lookout Viewing Area to witness aeroplanes land. They were so close that if I kicked a footy high enough, I’d smack them in the wing. And they even have an ice-cream truck (that also serves kebabs). Yum.
So, if you’re looking for something to do on a quiet afternoon in Melbourne, come visit me and the local kangaroos down at Woodlands Park.
Happy hunting, friends!