Ben and Karen McAdie are cachers based in Ballarat. They are often seen with their children Eddie and Maeve (who both have geocaching accounts). As I am relatively new to wider Victoria I had been trying to see as much of Victoria as possible and attending events was how I was trying to go about it. So I met them at an event in Ballarat in October 2014. We got to chatting over their then very new baby Maeve (very cute: see photo). I have caught up with them at several events since then and we are both members of the Ballarat Geocachers Facebook group.
I sent them a few questions and here is what they had to say.
How did you get into geocaching?
We saw an article in Australian Geographic about Geocaching in 2006. We happened to be living in Horsham at the time and when we looked at the website there were no geocaches anywhere close. Six months later we moved to Ballarat and found the magazine while unpacking. We checked the website again and there was about 50 in town. We marked a couple in the map book and found them using the hints. The next day we bought a GPSr and haven’t stopped since.
What do you enjoy most about geocaching? Do you have a “style” of hide?
We like getting out and seeing places that we didn’t know existed. It is fun to know something about a place that other people don’t know all because someone placed a geocache to show us the spot.
Not sure if we have a style of hide, but we do enjoy placing EarthCaches. We don’t tend to make our hides hard to find either. We believe it’s more about the journey to the cache rather than the actual find.
I see from your profile you are quite fond of Earthcaches. Are they your favorite? and why?
Yes Earthcaches are our favorite cache type. There is just something about seeing the Earth up close, and thinking about what might have occurred to create it that is fascinating.
Just imagine what the area looked like when a volcano was erupting right where you are standing only a few thousand years before for example!
We have seen some amazing places from extinct volcanoes to petrified forests in Western Victoria and pancake rocks, lava pillows and glaciers in New Zealand to name just a few.
Can you tell me about a cache you enjoyed finding?
Very early on in our caching we went to Tasmania. On our trip around the island we found a cache called “Harridge Falls (GCPNY8)” where we had to park on a bend in a winding mountain road and walk through rainforest, following marker tape to a waterfall. It was amazing to think that this place existed just a few hundred meters from the road but was unmarked on tourist maps. It was a very cool and special find.
Where are you both from? How did you meet? How has having Eddie and Maeve made caching different for you?
Ben is originally from Ararat and Karen is from Yackandandah. We met in Albury while at University and have been married for 10 years. Caching certainly changed once Eddie was born. No more spontaneous caching trips, no more “big” days, park and grabs took a minimum of 20 minutes to get going again (if you are lucky). It was a big adjustment.
Now we seek out playgrounds and carry swaps to eke out the caching a bit more. Maeve is 6 months old now and we have done a lot more walking to find caches lately. She can get carried and Eddie runs off some energy. It is fun to see Eddies face when he finds the cache himself or sees a swap he wants to trade.