Melbourne, Australia is known for being the world’s most livable city. Partly due to its festive culture and cuisine and to its unique sports scene. But on the outskirts of the city, Melbourne provides great views of the Bass Strait and rolling hills. While the Australian coast is the main tourist attraction, geocachers in the area know one secret spot where Melbourne’s first geocache was hidden back in October of 2000—in the outback.
“A Box of Red Herrings” (GC6NQC2) delivers exactly what it promises. The cache itself is hidden with permission inside the Aitkenvale Library in Queensland, Australia. It’s not difficult to spot, but the logbook inside is as well protected as J.K. Rowling’s sorcerer’s stone.
At ground zero you’ll find a three-foot tall cupboard with each of its drawers padlocked. Tackle the bottom drawer first, using instructions on the cache page and letters from a nearby library sign as your guide.
Open that drawer to find over a hundred mostly unmarked keys. You might start to feel like Harry Potter himself as you search through a throng of dud keys to locate one that will unlock the middle drawer.
The middle drawer contains several items. Some may be useful in opening the top drawer and gaining access to the log inside. Most are red herrings. The challenge lies in discerning which are which.
The middle drawer contains the following:
A magnifying glass and a small clue; on the clue some letters and numbers are in bold or capitalized
Two tent pegs which will fit into holes in the drawers
A telescoping magnet
A mirror and a backwards note
Toothpicks and a block of wood – when the toothpicks are pushed into the holes in the wood they spell something in Roman numerals
Several plastic eggs, some with letters on them
A UV torch
Is one of the objects — or are several of them in combination — a clue? Or is there some other trick to getting the top drawer open? We won’t reveal any more than that here, but cachers who make it out to this cache won’t find it an easy one to finish…unless, says the cache owner, they ask for a hint from the local older gentleman who often sits in a chair near the cache.
Impressively, the cache owner, burgo78, has only been geocaching since March of 2016, proving that it doesn’t take years of geocaching practice to design a cool hide. He’s been thoroughly enjoying his first year of caching. “I now have 800+ finds and have 60 hides in Townsville (plus one in the USA, and one in England); some are simple containers but most are either a little harder to get to (boat or remote) or are a little more creative as these are the types of hides I enjoy finding myself.”
Although he’s sure his caches will provide a fun challenge for many, burgo78’s motives may lie elsewhere. “I also hope that this cache my inspire new hides in Townsville as I’ve found almost all of the 400 currently in place and the next substantial city is over four hours’ drive away.” The struggle is real.
Until now, only a few folks have found “A Box of Red Herrings”, but the comments have been unanimously positive. Burgo78 hopes that more cachers will rise to the challenge and won’t be too distracted by the red herrings they’ll encounter along the way.
We can see a lot of work and thought has gone in to this really great cache. We tried many options, slowly and methodically working towards success. My comment when I signed the log, “WOW”. Thank you, a favorite for us.
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