There were numerous candidates for the inaugural Geocaching SA Cache of the Month, but Scott Creek Multiple stood out as an obvious choice. A multi-cache placed on the 3rd of February 2001, it is now the oldest active multi-cache outside of the US, and the 7th oldest overall, ensuring it is a target for many geocaching visitors to South Australia. In fact, this cache listing is so old, the individual waypoints are still described as stashes, a reference to geostashing, an early alternative name for geocaching. Located in Scott Creek Conservation Park, formerly a colonial mine site, this picturesque location is a hidden gem in the southern part of the Mount Lofty ranges. We are very lucky to have the cache owner Alex, who’s geocaching handle is simply alex, still involved in the South Australian geocaching community to this day. That Alex was able to secure his own name for his profile is a strong indicator of how early he became involved.
Given the age of Scott Creek Multiple, it should be no surprise that most of the Geocaching SA committee had already gained a smiley on this cache. However, a few had not so on Sunday a small group made its way down to complete this old cache. It also provides finders with a great opportunity to mark off a rare spot in the Jasmer Challenge grid. Best approached via Dorset Vale Road, which has convenient parking, it is a short few hundred meters to the cache’s listed waypoint.
Located 30 kilometers south of Adelaide, near the hills community of Cherry Gardens, Scott Creek Conservation Park encompasses some of the most diverse areas of native vegetation in the Adelaide Hills. The park’s 706 hectares of steep sloped valleys, lush creeklines and rounded ridgetops are home to a wide variety of native plants and animals. The park is popular with walkers interested in viewing native vegetation, birds, or exploring ruins of the historic Almanda Silver Mine.[efn_note]Excerpt from the National Parks South Australia brochure, which can be downloaded here.[/efn_note]
Originally comprising six waypoints arranged as re-directors to subsequent stages, the cache now only contains five, with the Department of Environment closing a horizontal shaft deemed too dangerous to be left open to the public. This waypoint was to the side of a bridge that spanned a flooded vertical shaft deeper in the cavity. Despite the loss of a unique waypoint, the remaining five are each interesting in their own way, and provides geocachers with a journey to some of the parks hidden gems and beautiful views. Each waypoint in the multi-cache is hidden in a different style as well, keeping finders on their toes and adding to the experience. Check out some of the locations that are visited while completing this cache below.
At the time of writing, Scott Creek Multiple had 32 favourite points against 87 finds, a ratio of just over 36%. Considering favourite points were not introduced until one month short of a decade[efn_note]Favourite points were introduced in December 2010.[/efn_note] after this cache was placed, that is an astoundingly high rate for a vintage cache. Having now earned a smilie, it is obvious why this cache remains popular. An old school style cache, with large containers at each waypoint, and a picturesque and tranquil backdrop makes for an exceptional caching experience. A special thank you to Alex for keeping this old cache alive for new cachers to experience over the years and into the future.
Inline with Geocaching SA’s goal of promoting the past-time of Geocaching is South Australia, each month the association will be highlighting a cache that warrants recognition. There are no specific criteria, and suggestions are welcome, but final discretion lies with Geocaching SA.