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Growly Bear: As there's been significant issues with this cache for an extended period of time and the CO has not responded, I'm temporarily archiving this to keep it from continually showing up in search lists. Just contact us when you have the cache repaired, and assuming it still meets the guidelines, we'll be happy to unarchive it.


We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo... (Auckland)

A cache by FaberOptimé Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/21/2009
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Call it an insect cache (having six legs ), set within the renowned Auckland Zoo.

This cache is intended to take pretty much a whole day, designed to complement broader enjoyment of this treasured national location.

View the ratings for GC1JWGY Parking Car parking at
S 36° 51.896 E 174° 43.188
or if full
S 36° 51.808 E 174° 43.110

About Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo has New Zealand's largest collection of animals and is recognised as one of the most progressive zoos in the world.

Click here to visit the official web site.

A winner of national and international environmental-related awards, it is home to 179 different species and over 1,300 animals.

Providing specialised environments, skills and resources critical to the preservation of species both domestic and exotic, the Zoo's mission (as stated opposite) is one dedicated to conservation.

"To focus the Zoo's resources to benefit conservation and provide exciting visitor experiences which inspire and empower people to take positive action for wildlife and the environment."

Whilst this cache encompasses exploration of much of the Zoo's collection and locations, it is far from comprehensive. Ensure you take time to enjoy the many other opportunities to see and learn during your adventure.

About the Geocache

Obtaining this geocache will involve your very own tiki tour of discovery and learning around Auckland Zoo.

Open every day except Christmas Day, access times are restricted. If you're four years old or older (and not a Friend of the Zoo), an entry fee will apply. Click here to check the current opening hours and pricing.

All aspects of this cache (including all answers to questions and the final location) are in (100% wheelchair accessible) public areas. (For your own personal safety!) do not enter (or put any part of your body in to) any enclosures.

Expect the six legs to each take the best part of an hour (with dalliances). Though designed to be carried out sequentially, legs/questions can be done in any (and/or in reverse) order. Highlights of any visit, you should plan your day around the scheduled Eye to Eye Animal Encounters (daily times/availability vary). Check out the published times in advance, here. N.B. there are various ad hoc encounters and/or encounters may need to be cancelled/re-scheduled throughout the day, so keep an ear out for P.A. announcements.

A copy of the Zoo's map will help you. You can download/view an interactive copy online, here, though you may wish to purchase a printed copy (with the current encounter times, from the Zoo Information Centre) when you come in.

To find this cache:

  • The cache is physically located (within the Zoo) at: S 36° 51.ABC E 174° 43.XYZ.
  • A, B, C, X, Y and Z each denote a leg of the cache (see below).
  • When you solve a leg, you obtain the respective single digit of the final cache location.
  • For each leg:
    • There's six questions (plan to attempt them all). You'll need to get at least four answers correct.
    • Questions:
      • May refer to specific animals (shown in bold). Check out the respective exhibits.
      • All have unambiguous answers (and no trick questions) of whole numbers.
      • Take all answers exclusively from what you find within the Zoo. Google search results may not accord with intended results.
    • Calculations:
      • To solve a leg, you must perform one (or more) of the (four) simple calculations provided, to obtain a single, whole digit (0-9).
      • Usual operator precedence rules apply (e.g. work out bracketed expressions first, etc).
      • All four calculations give the same result.
      • Only one of them (labelled "Perfection") requires you to have all the six correct answers. You should seek to walk the path of perfection!
      • The other three calculations (that only require four differing answers each) are really only there to give seekers a back up shot of still being able to find, even in case of having problems with particular questions.
    • A checksum is given for each calculation to enable you to double-check the accuracy of your answers. Calculate as follows (see worked example - it's easier than it sounds!):
      • Add the answers together.
      • Iteratively add together the digits of answer(s) obtained, until you end up with a single digit.
      • If your checksum checks out, you're all good!! Go on to perform the simple calculation. If not, revisit your question answers.
    • There's no fractions appearing in any of the puzzles, so if you see anything other than whole numbers whilst you're working out calculations, you've gone astray somewhere! Check your calculation/question answers.
  • See the following worked example of how to complete a leg.
  • Once you've completed all six legs, check the Final Notes below, then proceed to the revealed coordinates.

D - Dummy Leg

This is just a general, worked example leg to illustrate the problem-solving approach to be used.


A - A Little Local Difficulty

Focussing upon the Zoo and domestic New Zealand fauna, this first leg starts and finishes at the main cache published coordinates.

A1 Head to the Kiwi & Tuatara House - the only public nocturnal house featuring kiwi and tuatara in Auckland.

The very survival of both these iconic New Zealand species remains threatened.

How many kiwis are estimated to be lost to predators each day?

A2 A brown kiwi is thought to have a natural life expectancy of how many years?

Kiwis are very shy creatures! Good luck in your viewing (patience is a virtue!). Check the undergrowth - they're natural foragers, looking for small bugs and worms. If you're fortunate enough to see one, remember that flash photography is not permitted.

Even if you don't manage to see a live one now, you can see a taxidermic specimen later in the NZCCM.

A3 An onomatopœia is a word (or a grouping of words) that imitates the sound it is describing, such as "crash", "bang", "oink" or "moo".

The ruru has another English name, said to be onomatopœic.


How many letters in this English name (singular)?

A4 The tuatara is the only surviving member of a group of reptiles known as Sphenodontia.

How many million years ago (two digit answer) are the other creatures of this order thought to have died out?

A5 See notable New Zealand native birds outside, such as the kaka, brown teal (pateke) and blue duck (whio).

Find the two Wilderness NZ signs here and add the two numbers.

A6 Find as shown opposite.

On what date in December 1922 was the Zoo officially established and opened by New Zealand's Governor-General, Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa?

A Perfection (Checksum: 5): A6-((A4-A1-A2)/(A3-A5))

A1, A2, A4, A5 (Checksum: 7): ((A1+A2)/(A4/A5))+3

A1, A3, A4, A6 (Checksum: 5): A6-((A3-(A4/A1))*5)

A2, A3, A5, A6 (Checksum: 7): A6-A3-(A2/A5)+3




B - Forward with Pride

From the main entry plaza, put your best foot forward and enjoy a mini safari as you explore the Zoo's Pridelands area, where you can immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Africa, ending up at the Elephant Clearing.

Head towards S 36° 51.836 E 174° 43.318 (Waypoint STAGE2), where you'll find the answer to B5.

B1 Venture down the Pridelands boardwalk.

The first viewing platform was proudly sponsored by a particularly relevant organisation.


How many letters appear just in the logo shown on the sign?

B2 A giraffe's tongue is over how many centimetres long?

Try not to miss the giraffe encounter, where you can see up close and personal for yourself!

B3 Check out the Zulu huts (that may provide a home for seven or eight people) built by master hut builder, South African Jasiah Mgidi.

About how many days does it take to build such a Zulu hut?

B4 Enjoy seeing the king of beasts, Panthera Leo.

Though don't expect to see too much activity - even in the wild lions sleep 90% of the time!

An average adult male lion weighs approximately the same as how many domestic cats?

B5 The generous patronage to the Zoo of Laura & Grant Cole (amongst many others), is remembered here.

Dated the 17th of what month in 1998?

B6 Burma the ElephantMeet the Zoo's most popular animals in the Elephant Clearing.

Kashin was made honorary elephant ambassador for the Auckland Arthritis Foundation by Dame Catherine Tizard on what day in October 2001?

B Perfection (Checksum: 7): (B2+B4)/(B1+B3-B5-B6)

B1, B2, B4, B6 (Checksum: 2): ((B2+B4)/3)-B1+B6

B1, B3, B5, B6 (Checksum: 7): (B1/B3)-B5-B6-2

B2, B3, B4, B5 (Checksum: 5): ((B2/B4)+B3+B5)/2



C - Getting In Deep Water

From the Elephant Clearing, head down Hippo River (reminiscent of Africa's marshy wetlands), via Sealion and Penguin Shores and the Central Lawn, to Darwin's cafe/Kidzone for lunch/fun.

Aim to end up at S 36° 51.801 E 174° 43.206 (Waypoint STAGE3), to answer C6.

C1 The world's fastest animal, cheetahs can reach speeds of about 80kph, with bursts up to 112kph.

But to avoid exhaustion, for about how many seconds can a cheetah sprint before it needs to rest?

C2 Would it surprise you to learn that, second only to mosquitoes, hippopotamuses are actually responsible for more human deaths in Africa than any other animal in the Zoo (including lions!)?

Weighing up to 8,000 pounds, able to gallop at around 30kph and walk along riverbeds for more than five minutes without taking breath (time them!) - they're fearsome adversaries, both on land and in water.

The mouth of a hippopotamus can open to how many degrees?

C3 African athletes and active hunters, servals are capable of jumping three metres high (as high as a basketball hoop!), to bring a bird down from the air.

With extremely good visual acuity, they naturally shy away from humans. To enable covert viewing, at the end of the exhibit there's a sheltered hide.

How many viewing windows are cut into the serval hide?

C4 Go and visit the enchanting Sealion and Penguin Shores now.

Looking Good...

Before you venture down to see and enjoy it for yourself, find out how many millimetres thick the sealion viewing window is.

C5 Most of the big fish appearing on the wall next to the Central Lawn (outside Sealion and Penguin Shores) have a single body colour (with differing lip/fin/tail colour(s)).

How many big fish (like the one shown) have more than one main body colour?

C6 Time Check

Ever seen an analemmatic sundial?

You will now!

  • How many of the brass markers (just those as shown opposite) appear?
  • This question denotes the mid-point of the cache.
  • Presuming sufficient sun, follow the instructions on the exhibit and include both the actual and shown times of your visit in your log.
C Perfection (Checksum: 8): C1-C2+C3+C4+C5-C6

C1, C2, C5, C6 (Checksum: 7): ((C2/C6)+C1)/(C5+13)

C1, C3, C4, C5 (Checksum: 5): ((C1+C4)/C5)/(C3*8)

C2, C3, C4, C6 (Checksum: 4): (((C2-C4)+C6)/C3)-3



X - Primate Scream

Starting from the cafe/Central Lawn, meander down the Primate Trail and check out the Rainforest.

Jamuna Plaza, at S 36° 51.686 E 174° 43.226 (Waypoint STAGE4), marks both the location where you'll find the answer to X3 and the end of this leg.

X1 Though not primates, as featured on previous Telecom adverts, Auckland Zoo's meerkats kick off this leg and make for fascinating viewing!

For kids/the more intrepid, best seen up close and personal by way of the viewing domes (entry down  and behind the exhibit). Bonus points for including pics of seekers in domes (preferably with meerkats in pic too!) in your log.

How many viewing domes altogether feature in the meerkats exhibit?

X2 Check out the ring-tailed lemurs, perhaps best seen whilst basking in the sun.

How many species of lemurs are estimated to still be in existence?

X3 Just as naturally, seasonally occurs here, the steps leading up into the rainforest are adorned with leaves.

How many big metal leaves (just those as shown opposite) can be found embedded in the steps?

X4 Rainforest Riches

Though home to over half of the world's species, rainforests are estimated to cover just how many percent of the world's surface?

X5 Lending A Hand

Check out the display near the siamang gibbons.

How many brass hands are there?

X6 New Zealand Going Naked

New Zealand has rainforests too!

Though what percentage of New Zealand's rainforests are estimated to have already been lost forever?

X Perfection (Checksum: 4): (X6/(X1+X2+X3))+(X4-X5)

X1, X2, X3, X6 (Checksum: 9): (X6/(X1+X2+X3))+1

X1, X3, X4, X5 (Checksum: 1): X5/(X4-(X3/X1)-3)

X2, X4, X5, X6 (Checksum: 7): (((X6+X2)/X5)+1)/X4




Y - Rotunda Runaround

Start the penultimate leg at Jamuna Plaza and explore the northern reaches of the Zoo, ending up in Tiger Territory.

All the answers can be found somewhere around S 36° 51.733 E 174° 43.178 (Waypoint STAGE5).

Y1 A fully grown Galapagos tortoise can weight 260Kg.

How many zoo keepers does it take to lift one?

Y2 Cross Meola Creek and find the fountain pictured opposite.

Immediately above it, there's a technicolour plaque bearing something of heraldic note (you may have seen this somewhere before!).

It shows a single word - stating precisely what you and all of Auckland Zoo's staff and activities seek to do.


How many letters appear on the plaque?

Y3 The eponymous centrepiece of this leg is surrounded by a large lawn of four sections, demarked by a circular, tarmac path.

How many trees are growing within these lawned sections?

Y4 Fukuoka is Auckland's sister city in Japan.

On the 7th of what month in 1990 was the commemorative Japanese Friendship Garden opened?

Y5 Take a walk through the Lorikeet Aviary into the Aussie Walkabout.

Most of the posts in the walkabout are unpainted, but some (including fences and signage) are painted in aboriginal style, as shown.

How many painted posts are there altogether?

Y6 Panthera tigris sumatræ are truly awesome killers, having the biggest canine teeth of any predator.

Up to how many times bigger are they than a human's teeth?

Y Perfection (Checksum: 6): Y1+Y2-Y3-Y4-Y5+Y6

Y1, Y2, Y5, Y6 (Checksum: 2): (Y6/Y1)*(Y2/Y5)

Y1, Y3, Y4, Y6 (Checksum: 1): (Y1/Y3)*(Y6-Y4)

Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 (Checksum: 9): Y4-Y3-(Y2/Y5)




Z - Conserve Me

Starting from near to the cafe (refreshments anyone?), the final leg concentrates upon the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM).

To complete this leg you must be able to access the NZCCM's public viewing gallery, only available between 9.30am-4pm. Those with particular veterinary interest may wish to also make a point of choosing a day when a live encounter is available (not every day - check published times).

Head for S 36° 51.777 E 174° 43.150 (Waypoint STAGE6).

Z1 Take a look at the Asian small-clawed otters.

You can see into the exhibit through glass panes, from both a deck above and below.

How many panes of glass are used altogether in just the otter exhibit?

Special Geocaching insiders' tip - bring an empty plastic carrier bag. Find a quiet spot near the viewing windows and crunch the bag with your fingers to make a noise. Watch the otters run over to you!

Z2 Check out the Himalayan Red Pandas.

Find the explorer's diary and read Wednesday's entry.

Alongside topical notes , a plant, both a critical foodstuff for red pandas and crucial to holding the land together, is mentioned.


How many letters in this plant's name?

Z3 Go into the NZCCM now.

On the immediate left as you walk through the doors, a plaque notes the names of the Trustees of the Auckland Zoo Charitable Trust involved in raising funds for the NZCCM.

How many names are listed on this plaque?

Z4 There are many differing sorts of procedures required to provide health care to such a diverse range of animals.

Providing a rare opportunity to observe some veterinary processes in action, how many rooms can be seen through the main viewing gallery windows?

Z5 Getting the Gas

Anaesthetic gas may be helpful to sedate animals during examinations/procedures.

An endotracheal (ET) tube may be used to facilitate this.

What size of ET tube (in millimetres) would fit a sealion?

Z6 Defying (Specific) Gravity

Monitoring for parasites is an important part of ongoing preventative care.

Find out about one common technique used.

What reference number is shown for the faecal matter of the golden lion tamarin?

Z Perfection (Checksum: 7): (((Z1/(Z2*Z4))+Z5)/Z6)+Z3

Z1, Z2, Z3, Z6 (Checksum: 8): (Z3/(Z1/Z2))+Z6+2

Z1, Z3, Z4, Z5 (Checksum: 5): Z5-(Z1/Z3)-Z4+1

Z2, Z4, Z5, Z6 (Checksum: 1): Z5-(Z6*((Z2/Z4)-1))




Final Notes

Fingers crossed you've managed to solve all six legs and now have all the digits of the final cache coordinates.

Congratulations! Go get it!

It's discreetly located in a wheelchair accessible, yet highly muggle frequented area (hey, as is pretty much the whole Zoo!) - please exercise extreme discretion when retrieving/replacing and ensure that you replace carefully so that it remains hidden.

Before you leave, to thank the Zoo for their kind geocaching support and to let others know about the sport, please share a log of your Zoo adventure with the rest of the muggle world! Drop into the Zoo Information Centre on your way out and sign the Visitors Book.

About the Cache

A 1.2l Sistema container, with a little green camo.

Initial Contents

  • Launch of Time Flies! TB
  • 3x other assorted TBs
  • Geocaching compass
  • Seahorse
  • Badge
  • Smiley faces
  • Bubbles
  • Gel pen
  • Log book, pencil, sharpener and silica gel.

Take Action!

Reflect on what you've learned. Much of the world's natural inheritance of flora and fauna remains at risk from current human activities.

Consider how you can change your lifestyle, habits and consumption to minimise your environmental impact.

The Zoo also provides a wealth of exciting, practical ways you can more actively contribute or participate in conservation work. Find out more at the Zoo Information Centre or on the Zoo's web site.


Faber Optimé defined.Tried real hard and just can't find the answer to a question? Used the additional hint? Ensure that you've checked thoroughly all around the relevant exhibit/location. However, from time to time, Zoo exhibits change.

During your hunt, if you're really stuck, you can refer to the Zoo Information Centre to help check your answers/for further support. As a last resort, you can txt 021 184 6246 for help.

Didn't finish/DNF and/or just had a great time and looking forward to coming back soon? Ask at the Zoo Information Centre about getting a pass.

Geocaches need maintenance from time to time (as do we all?!). If this one looks in need (changed/missing info/new log book/container maintenance/other), please let us know.

Note: Published with special permission from Groundspeak/

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[A1] Fvta @ Ubhfr ragel. [A2] Fvta vafvqr.
[A3] Avtug jvfr. [A4] Ybbx bhgfvqr.
[A5] Ybbx hc. [A6] Oynpx fgbar zbahzrag.
[B1] Ba terra fvta. [B2] Fvta jurer lbh'yy zrrg rz.
[B3] Fvta arne svefg uhg. [B4] Fvta evtug bs cngu.
[B5] Oevpx haqre sbbg, prageny frg, gbc evtug. [B6] Ybbx sbe gbbgu qrpnl.
[C1] Abg oberq! [C2] Fvta @ rapybfher obggbz.
[C3] @ raq. [C4] Fvta hc gbc bhgfvqr.
[C5] Fznyy ahzore. Prageny Ynja. [C6] Oruvaq Qnejva'f.
[X1] Ybbx nyy nebhaq. [X2] Fvta nqwnprag gb cyngsbez.
[X3] Pbhag nyy nebhaq. [X4] Oruvaq fcvqref.
[X5] Unaql qvfcynl. [X6] @ envasberfg raq.
[Y1] Ernq fvta. [Y2] Haqre ebghaqn.
[Y3] Orfg frra sebz ba gbc. [Y4] Cyndhr bhgfvqr.
[Y5] Purpx pybfryl obgu fvqrf. [Y6] Pbeare fvta.
[Z1] Pbhagvat cnarf. [Z2] Hc fgrcf.
[Z3] Vafvqr yrsg. [Z4] # Ovt ebbzf.
[Z5] Obkrq va. [Z6] Purpx lbhe qenjref!
[FINAL] Haqre fgrcf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



87 Logged Visits

Found it 56     Didn't find it 2     Write note 15     Archive 1     Needs Archived 1     Temporarily Disable Listing 1     Enable Listing 1     Publish Listing 1     Needs Maintenance 4     Owner Maintenance 1     Post Reviewer Note 4     

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