If your idea of Geocaching has been inspired by Indiana Jones and the Goonies then you won’t be disappointed in Townsville. For the adventurous there are caches on local peaks and trails, around bays, on cliff faces, up trees, underground and even underwater. 4WD’s, boats, kayaks, climbing gear, tree fishing poles and ladders have all been employed around the region. There’s even one hide that requires both a boat and a ladder (GC7P58W).
For the hikers, Townsville is surrounded by some magnificent national parks and challenging bush walks. Close to the city, the Town Common and Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park offer beautiful, varied vistas of the islands and the lagoons and creative caches to collect (Breaking Bad Series.) Head north to Paluma and step back in time, visiting abandoned mine shafts at Wolfram Mines (GC8FV0Q) and Mt Spec Tin Mines (GC95XM2). Wander through the disused train tunnels of Hervey Range at GC8BM2M (Hervey Range Train Tunnels) and GC8T4VD (Palm Tree Creek Tunnel Vision) and climb the Rock (GC1RR6C) to be rewarded by 360 degree views of the area. The Pinnacles offer a handful caches along a very challenging hike with the final destination, South Pinnacle 700m asl (GC7T1EY) being the most remote. Mt Halifax Peak (GC9104J) is the tallest and steepest climb in the region at 1063m and provides arguable the toughest challenge.
If you have access to a boat, then Magnetic Island is a must. The 5 Beach Bay Series (GC6F8QP), Bay Explorer Wherigo (GC8E6H0) and old 2006, Bay Rock Cache (GCV6DZ) can only be accessed by watercraft. If you time it right, then visiting the mangrove lined S.S. Adelaide (GC7V99M) wreck off the coast is possible on foot. Bring your snorkel or hire some scuba gear to dive down to the Moltke – Pirate Cache (GC6VGM0) to seek a real sunken treasure chest. If you have more time for exploring, then the Palm Island Group offers an unspoilt archipelago to uncover. Search a WW2 Catalina wreck on a deserted island to uncover its ‘black box’ (GC6WM4D).
The mouth of the Ross River and the Bohle River also have plenty of hides on offer. As mentioned previously the Bohle even has one that requires a boat and a ladder (GC7P58W). There you will also find the letterbox – Tidal Choice (GC6GQ5R), which can alternatively be attempted on foot at low tide if you’re brave enough. Just don’t forget your baseball bat in case you encounter any big green lizards. *Please be advised that estuarine crocodiles have been sighted in the Bohle and the saltwater section of the Ross and a kayak is strongly discouraged in these sections.
If the only watercraft you have to hand is a yak, there’s still plenty to do. The freshwater section of the Ross, towards the dam has a good number of hides to fill your day in a very picturesque location.
If you want a real challenge, then GC_Diver’s Ross River Challenge Multi (GC8TTGY) will certainly require some effort (and also a drone) to claim the justified 5/5 rating.
If the Hervey Range tunnels are too tame for you then burgo78 has three more offerings, The claustrophobic Tunnel Vision 1 (GC75XMP) and 2 (GC7C8GZ) in Bushland Beach and the Adventurers Challenge (GC89VKJ) along the Ross. BenM70 also has the fantastic Cowabunga Dude (GC8G52B) deep in the heart of the city.
For the monkeys head to Anderson Gardens for Natures Spiral Staircase (GC7H2GK), Ropes Required (GC8YDNB), 99% Monkey Challenge (GC8RWMG) and the dauting ‘Fear Factor 5’ (GC82QQZ). If you’re interested in something a little different then try clinging to the side of a bridge on (Not) out of (h)arm’s reach (GC80EQ7).
If you have ropes then be sure to seek out T5 on the hill (GC7WBXY) by Karicka and Fortunate Favours the Brave (GC8F1F3), as both will have you hanging off the side of iconic Castle Hill. The Strand Pier (GC5N1Z4) is another popular point from which you can hang from in search of a smiley. At night is the best time to attempt this one.
In Plain Sight (GC702VA), Danger! Danger! Danger! (GC8TWNQ), Climb a Billboard (GC8E0VJ) and Helter Skelter (GC97F2V) all require a ladder, and the nerve to climb while being watched by passing traffic.
Tree fishing is a relatively new to the region with more planned before the event. Geocaching is Free (GC8DKHC), Just Hanging Around (GC8JJAK) and Sanctum Reserve Fishery (GC91X29) are just three of this expanding sub-genre.
Fancy some fun in the mud then head to the Bohle salt pans to pick up the Boneyard Series (GC94PJV). Just be careful as to how far you push your vehicle as you may end up stuck in this vehicle graveyard.
If these sound like they are up your alley, then check out this Bookmark List for the links to these caches and more.
Ross River Power Trail
Townsville is blessed with a great river, and some fantastic cycling/walking trails that follow almost it’s entire length. What better way to encourage cachers to get out and explore these trails but to line them with caches, to form Townsville’s first Power Trail.
First started in 2013, the RRPT stretches 28km from the mouth of the Ross River all the way to the Ross Dam, and boasts 99 hides along the riverbanks for walkers/cyclists plus a further 31 which can only be accessed by boat or kayak.
CacheQLD intends to add further hides, in addition to the 30 recently placed, to the power trail in the lead up to the Townsville Mega event at Easter 2022. These are filling in gaps on the northern bank, and populate the southern bank, creating a two 10km loops between Bowen Road and Nathan Street and Nathan Street and the Ring Road. With over 100 hides this should be ideal for cyclists.
Click on this link to visit a list of the RRPT caches
Click on this link to visit a list of the RRBPT caches
Click on this link to learn more about the Ross River Parkway
Tools of the Trade – Hire Options
Feeling Adventurous? Then check out these local hire companies if your TOTTs won’t fit in your carry on. (Prices correct at time of writing, and you should confirm prior to making a booking)
(Who kindly support our event)
Outer Limits Adventure Fitness
85 Chandler St, Garbutt
Kayaks (sit on top) – single $50/day, double $80/day,
Ocean Skis – $75-$120/day
Stand Up Paddleboards (inflatable) $25/day,
Bikes $30 per day
0421 484 211
Skin Ski + Surf
320-322 Flinders Mall, Townsville CBD
SUP’s $50 day, Bikes – Cruisers $30/day, Mountain Bikes $40/day, Electric Trikes
Townsville Boat Hire
Boat Hire or custom private tours
4.1m, 40hp, 4 person capacity, $190/day, 4.55m, 70hp, 4 person capacity, $260/day
$50 launch and retrieval fee if you don’t have a towbar
0421 354 233
Get Around Island Boat Tours and Hire
Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island
0448 434 292
Arcadia, Magnetic Island
Scuba Dive Courses and Hire. Snorkelling – Mask, snorkel, fins and stinger suit $25/day
Scuba – Full kit $70/day, Refresher Course $175, Introductory Dive $150 (no experience necessary)
(07) 4778 5788
Sealink – Magnetic Island passenger ferry
Adult return $34, Concession return $17, Child return $17
1300 MAGGIE (1300 624 443)
Magnetic Island Car Ferry
Standard car up to 5.5m including passengers return $240 (Easter weekend) $216 (standard)
07 4796 9300
Mini Moke Hire
07 4758 1111