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barefootjeff: Brisbane Water National Park is closed until further notice due to the approaching 3 Mile bushfire. Please don't attempt this cache until the park is reopened.


The Elephant has left the Room

A cache by barefootjeff Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 03/08/2015
2.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Enjoy the splendor of Patonga's Elephant Rock then find where the elephant has gone.

When I moved to the Central Coast in the mid 90s, I saw mention of Elephant Rock in a bushwalking guide and soon made a visit, soaking up the extraordinary geology and magnificant views of the lower Hawkesbury. Twenty years later, as a geocacher, I thought it'd be nice to bring others to this spot via a themed cache I called Elephant in the Room, using a wind-eroded alcove under the edge of the rock as the location for my ornamental elephant cache. After getting a favourable response from a park ranger, I submitted the formal application to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, only to have it rejected two months later. C'est la vie, such is the way of bureaucracies. Life moves on, the little elephant morphed into The Rememberer of Secrets (GC57GA8) and I thought no more of it, not until it became a point of discussion at a recent caching event.

The elephant has left the room; there's no physical cache there now. Instead, while enjoying the magnificence of Elephant Rock, here's a little field puzzle to lead you to another location where cache placement is less problematic.

Depending on your carrier, there may be no mobile data available in this area, so best to print out the cache description and photos before embarking on your elephant hunt.

Leave your chariot at the parking waypoint, then follow the cleared track into the park until you reach the trackhead coordinates. From there, climb onto the rock and proceed to WP1, which was to have been my original hiding spot, the room in which my elephant was to have resided.

Now for the puzzle.

Question 1: What special feature of this alcove made it such an appealing home for my elephant?

  • Honeycombed walls because it loves honey (A = .065).
  • A tree trunk for it to wrap its trunk around (A = .047).
  • A skylight because it's afraid of the dark (A = .080).
  • A separate entrance and exit because it's too big to turn around (A = .096).

Question 2: Walk back along the elephant's spine and find WP2 where a much younger barefootjeff is admiring the view.

In the direction he's looking, which of these sights did he see?

Question 3: Now that same young muggle is celebrating the expanse of the Hawkesbury. Take your trusty GPSr to where he's standing, mark the position and fill in the missing numbers for the coordinates of that spot. Make sure your GPSr has acquired its full quota of satellites, which should be easy here as there's an unobstructed view of the sky. Accuracy is everything!

S 33° 32. _ _ _
E 151° 16. _ _ _

Finally, from this location subtract A from the minutes south and B from the minutes east to find where the elephant has gone.

GZ is well protected from muggles (this is where it gets the T3 rating), but there's a relatively easy way in without trampling the bush if you take it slowly and explore a little first. Please try not to create a geotrail.

The container is a reasonable size (small) but the opening is narrow. A geocoin or small TB will fit, but that's about all. Make sure that whatever you put in can be taken out again. A 10c or 20c coin may help in opening it but is not essential. Turn clockwise to open.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[WP1] - ybbx haqre gur rqtr. [WP2] - fgenvtug hc sebz gur Genpx Raq jnlcbvag. [WP3] - gur cubgb jnf gnxra sebz arne JC2. [Final] - pybfr gb gur ebnq, haqre n ebpx yrqtr.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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