Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head
Difficulty/Terrain Rating: 1/1.5
Why this is the Geocache of the Week:
This is the world’s first EarthCache. Placed by geoaware on January 10, 2004, GCHFT2 is located on an isolated stretch of coastline in Murramarang National Park, in southeast Australia. Visiting geocachers are met with striking views of rugged waters, an abundance of geological history, and the occasional kangaroo.
If an EarthCache is “a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth” (www.earthcache.org), then this EarthCache at Wasp Head is some sort of mega-EarthCache. The cache instructions take the geocacher on a geological tour through time past fossilized worm burrows (pictured below), giant boulders dropped by icebergs floating on an ancient sea, and rock channels left by the erosion of once-molten rock.
What geocachers have to say:
“What a great place. We really wanted to see fossils and this place delivered. I loved the rock formations and if geoaware hadn’t told us we would be oblivious to the dike. Thanks geoaware for a great EC.” –igotahunch
“Great tour of the headland. First attempt at geocaching and a great way to start. Thanks.” –Busterandjo
“I was out at the coast back on Oct 2 so I did the homework for this cache. It’s a beautiful spot and it was a fantastic day out. Found everything except the bryozoan fossils but that could have been my poorly entered waypoint coords. (I forgot to preload these before heading off and there’s no reception at gz). I’m always amazed to see fossils in place rather than in a museum. It makes me wonder about such life flourishing such an unimaginably long time ago and what the site would have looked like back at that time. Rather damp I suspect. I’ve attached a pic of a shell I spotted. TftEc.” –StrangeTrousers
What the EarthCache owner, geoaware, has to say:
(Excerpted from 2014 article on the Geocaching Blog)
“Ten years ago I was a lucky guy in the right place at the right time. The Geological Society of America (GSA) had just employed me to work on education and outreach programs, a GSA member mentioned the new game of geocaching to my boss, and I was on holiday here with my kids looking at the rocks in Australia.
So that day we wandered around a rock platform that I had been on a thousand times before but now with a new purpose. How could I bring others here geocaching so they left learning something new about our amazing planet? Fossils, evidence for glaciers, weathering – so much in such a short walk. This was the perfect place. And so EarthCache I GCHFT2 was born—and so was the concept of an EarthCache: a place where the Earth was the treasure. A place where you would learn about the geology of the planet while you geocached. If you have not experienced an EarthCache, its time you tried. It’s a different experience – but who would ever not enjoy learning when it’s fun!” (Von Alex)