This GPS cache was located in the Lane Cove National Park, in the lower-north suburbs of Sydney, NSW, Australia. It was Australia's first cache, planted 18th May, 2000. It has now become a "virtual cache" because of its unfortunate position (please read below!!!). DO NOT GO TO THE EXACT SPOT. There is nothing to see, and with the cache removed, and 7-metre accuracy, I can't even recognize the exact spot myself.
Note that it is illegal to plant caches in national parks without permission. Something which should be obvious, but the sort of people who would hang around a newsgroup like sci.geo.satellite-nav are not necessarily experts at the bleeding obvious, unlike Sybil (ref: Fawlty Towers).
This spot was chosen because it was believed to be remote and uninteresting, so that no-one would ever stumble on it by mistake. Unfortunately, life isn't that simple. Some places in the park have been designated as remote places suitable for growing rare plants. I managed to place mine where they were growing Darwinia Biflora. Secondly, people normally stick to the walking tracks (as they are supposed to), rather than heading into the scrub. So placing the cache there provides unexpected attention to some normally undisturbed scrub. Thirdly, your shoes carry weeds from one place to another, and with cache hunters arriving from unexected directions, this causes unexpected problems. Fourthly, during bushfire season, backburning may be done, and the rangers need to know of unexpected people before they commit homicide! :-)
However, history can't be changed, and these are the coordinates of Australia's first geocache, and people still regularly go to it. Some consider it to be the Mecca of Australian geocaching, and indeed, it was the site chosen for the Australian gathering of the 10 year (and 15 year) anniversary of geocaching. In addition, I was wrong about it being a non-descript area. I actually went so deep into the bush (from the nearby park with toilet facilities) that I almost reached an official walking track. The official walking track even has stairs. Do not go to my cache via any entrance other than the official stairs!!! In addition, the walking track takes you to a beautiful outlook (located S33 47.252 E151 08.804) to the Lane Cove River, so make sure you see that.
There are a number of entrances to the National Park, and the one I used was at S33 47.5649 E151 09.3768 and (as of 2010), it costs $7 to enter the national park with your car. However, if you're just here for the cache, there is free and convenient parking at the end of Plassey Rd (S33 47.322 E151 08.584). You get there by turning off Delhi Rd. Unfortunately I don't have a waypoint for the corner of Delhi Rd and Plassey Rd. Could someone please mark this location and send me an email? Also can someone send me the coordinates of North Ryde Station? It would be good to have a real location from a GPS, preferably averaged for greater accuracy. After parking your car, it is a short walk (400 meters, maybe 5 minutes walk) to the stone stairs you need to go to. You will pass by a park which has toilet and BBQ facilities. In actual fact, sometimes the gates are open so that you can drive even closer to the stairs. You probably can't park exactly at the stairs and instead will need to park at the park.
The cache's position was averaged for about 30 minutes so has an estimated accuracy of 7m.
Since this cache is now virtual, please email me with the answers to the following questions:
1. How close can you get to GZ without leaving the track that goes around it? [hint - this also doubles-up as an incentive to stay on the walking track, because that's where the answer is, not GZ]
2. You enter the walking track via a set of stone stairs (S33 47.225 E151 08.801) on Plassey Rd. How many steps are there at this location? Count both the bottom step and the very top. I just need the number for the single block of stairs. Don't worry about the wooden steps a little further from the top, and the solitary sandstone step after that.
Please do not put the answer to these questions in the log, otherwise I will encrypt the log. Also, since most people will get the answer right (this isn't rocket science), if you don't receive a reply from me within 24 hours, you can assume that you are right and log the visit. Note that I operate on the honor system. I do read and validate the answers provided, but I do not reply unless there is a direct request or question. So if you would like me to do something specific, please speak up. Note that we are attempting to get a plaque of some sort placed near GZ. Hopefully something will come of that in the future. In the meantime, enjoy!
Here is a summary of the important waypoints:
CACHE S33 47.2527 E151 08.7752 Do not go here, nothing to see
BEAUTY S33 47.252 E151 08.804 Beautiful outlook to Lane Cove River
FREEPK S33 47.322 E151 08.584 Free parking in Plassey Rd
PAYENT S33 47.5649 E151 09.3768 $7 entry fee on Delhi Rd
INTERS Intersection of Delhi Rd and Plassey Rd - someone please provide
NRYDET North Ryde train station - someone please provide