Favorite Earthcaches - Pin

Sometimes, Geocaching is not all about signing a log or trading swag.  Sometimes it’s about introducing you to cool scientific landscapes.  This form of Geocaching is called EarthCaches.  We enjoy discovering EarthCaches because it teaches about our home landscapes, as well as other unfamiliar landscapes while we travel around the world.

 GC18Z99 – Pu’u’ula’ula (Red Hill) Haleakala Volcano Summit

Maui, Hawaii

Sunrise 2

View of the sunrise at Heleakala crater, on Maui Hawaii

This is probably one of our favorite EarthCaches this year!  We were able to grab this EarthCache while watching the sunrise above the clouds on the island of Maui, up on the summit of Haleakala.  We had to get up at 3 AM to be able to make sure we were in place at the summit in time to watch the sunrise, but it was a memory and an EarthCache that we will never forget.

Josh on top

Picture of Josh that Liz took from Observatory on the top of Haleakala

GC21VP4  – Sydney Harbour Bridge EarthCache

Sydeny, Australia

Views from Park

View of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia

We were fortunate to be able to explore Sydney, Australia during a layover.  So of course, we had to check out the iconic Sydney Harbor bridge.  Since we only had a 9 hour layover, we did not have time to explore all of Sydney, but we were also able to see visit the Sydney Opera House, and the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens.  Read more about Geocaching during a Layover – Sydney, Australia.  Also hear more about our tip and tricks for Layover Geocaching on the popular podcast, PodCacher Geocaching Podcast.

GCN98H – Punakaiki Pancakes EarthCache

South Island, New Zealand

Pancake Rocks - NZ

Pancake rocks in New Zealand

During our time on the South Island of New Zealand, we were told that we couldn’t explore the West Coast of the South Island without seeing the famous Pancake Rocks.  We learned that this is a popular National Park in New Zealand because of the crazy, and very interesting rock structures which have been formed over the years by the crashing waves.  Even after all of our travels and the many different types of EarthCaches that we have discovered, we have never seen anything like this before.  And as you can see, the beautiful backdrop of New Zealand speaks for itself.

GCQV5H – Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. – Rain Forest & Lava Tube

Big Island, Hawaii

Lava Tube

Walking inside a lava tube in Hawaii

Have you ever walked through a lava tube?  Well we could not miss our opportunity to experience walking through one of these interesting structures during our visit to Hawaii.  It was a unique, and almost erie experience to think that at one time this tube was full of lava making its way to the sea….and it’s so big, that you can actually walk through it!  After starting off on a bridge and hiking through a rainforest, you descend into the lava tube and begin your walk through the cool tube.  Really a sight to see.  We also learned that ancient Hawaiians used these tubes for safe refuge too.  Pretty cool!

 GC2NTRK – The Secret River

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Rio Secreto

Rio Secreto – Mexico

There are many wonderful EarthCaches all over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico!  We especially loved discovering EarthCaches in the Yucatan because many of them involved water and caves, which was a great way to cool off from the hot day.  On this trip we took a guided tour of the famous Rio Secreto, and they gave us the scoop on how the underground river system was formed, and other unique facts about ecosystem underground.  It was an awesome experience that you should not pass by if you are traveling around the Yucatan region of Mexico.

GC1EGG5 – Black Sand Beach – Plage de sable noire – 14

Maui, Hawaii

Black Sands

Black sand beach on Maui

We were fortunate to actually spend the night camping in the state park where this EarthCache is located.  Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on this black sand beach was pretty incredible.  And, walking on the sand was a unique experience.  In some areas, the rocks are large and feel strange!  But in other areas it has eroded to a very fine sand, that is similar to some of the white sand beaches that I remember growing up.  But most of all, it is just crazy to think of black sand and the fact that this all used to be lava!  Definitely an experience that you should bypass if you are on Maui.

GC2BT93 – Red Sand Beach

Maui, Hawaii

Red Sand Beach

What…a red sand beach???

You can not go all the way to Maui and see a black sand beach without also seeing a red sand beach.  Yes, red sand!  This gem of a beach is located near the popular tourist town of Hana, and even our host and friend on Maui didn’t know about this unique beach.  But this was an EarthCache which we had to earn.  It is not an easy trek to get to to this beach, and you either had to know about from word of mouth, or through Geocaching.  Here is another great example of how Geocaching can take you off the beaten tourist track and show you some cool stuff that not many people know about.

GC23Q1Z – Fox Glacier

South Island, New Zealand

Fox Glacier 1

Getting up close to a glacier in New Zealand

Fox Glacier was a sight that I will never forget.  This was one of my first glacier experiences, and honestly, the best part for me was the walk to the glacier!  It takes you through a chilly valley alongside a flowing river of pure glacier water, which is the most beautiful blue color!  This peaceful hike up to the glacier was challenging, yet a lot of fun.  But beware that the glacier itself is slowly moving and melting away, so not only is the area a bit dangerous, but one day it will no longer be there.  So see it while you can!

Walk to glacier

Our walk to Fox Glacier

GC177KB – Delicate Arch

Utah, United States

Arches

Great view if you hike up to the arch!

Arches National Park was a stop on our cross country trip that was unexpected, but we simply couldn’t pass it up when we were so close by!  Arches National Park is full of some wonderful EarthCaches and of course the delicate arch is the highlight for many visitors.  There are some lower viewing areas of the arch, but you are not very close.  So taking the hike all the way to the arch itself is definitely something that you shouldn’t pass up.  You will feel as though you are walking on a different planet because of the color and texture of the ground.  It’s a difficult hike, and be careful with the heat! If you make it to the top, we highly recommend standing in the middle of the arch so that you can feel the true size of this massive, natural structure.

GCQV5G – Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. – Caldera and Crater

Big Island, Hawaii

Lava at Night

Yes, there is lava in there!

Seeing an active volcano is an experience that will stick with you forever.  As we were exploring Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, we wanted to make sure that we stuck around to see the lava at night.  During the day you cannot see anything but steam coming out of the crater.  However, we took the advice of our friendly Ranger and stayed around the park until night so that we could grab a shot like this; when the lava illuminates the sky!  This is an awesome experience, and it’s crazy to think about all that hot lava hiding out down in that crater.

After getting a great shot of the glowing lava, step back and look up into the sky.  If you are lucky enough to have a clear night, then you will be amazed at all the stars you can see…and how bright they are!  It honestly felt as though we were in a planetarium, we could even see the Milky Way Galaxy – what an amazing experience!

GC23P1R – Glaciers at Aoraki / Mt. Cook

South Island, New Zealand

Mount Cook - NZ

A tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, at Mt. Cook in New Zealand

While exploring the beautiful South Island of New Zealand we could not pass up seeing the highest peak in all of the country.  The trek into Mt. Cook National Park is one that you have to see for yourself.  You go from wide open spaces and flowing bright blue rivers to being engulfed by huge mountains with year round snow caps.  And for those of you who may be interested, the area pays tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, the first many to summit Mount Everest.  He was from New Zealand and used these mountains to train for his expeditions.  Definitely take some time to check out the museum at the top!

GC1MN52 – Milford Sound

South Island, New Zealand

MIlford Sound 3

It doesn’t get more stunning than Milford Sound in New Zealand

And last but not least, I’d have to say that Milford Sound in New Zealand was my favorite EarthCaches so far.  Just driving into the area took my breath away, but cruising out into the Sound itself is a memory that will live with us forever.  Words are not normally tough for me to come up with, but when trying to describe Milford Sound, I have come to the conclusion that I will never be able to do it justice.  This landscape is like no other I have seen before around the world.  Truly breathtaking in every way.

So Many Great EarthCaches Yet to be Created

One thing that Liz and I have noticed on this crazy journey around the world is that there are so many great spots that have yet to be set up as EarthCaches.  Many times we have found ourselves searching our Garmin for EarthCaches to mark off at destinations that were incredible or unique sights.  We were sure they had to be EarthCaches, but they were not.  This made us realize that the opportunity for the growth of EarthCaches is huge, and we really wish more of them could be discovered by others.

J & L on top

We absolutely love discovering EarthCaches all around the world.  And we look forward to all the #AdventureCaching experiences to be had in the future while we search for the next great EarthCache.

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