Keep up to date with the latest news, updates and announcements from the NZ Mega 2020 team. These are listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent news items at the top.
Newsletter #8 - GC45's 20th Birthday!
12 May 2020
Well it was 20 years ago today that geocaching spread beyond the borders of the United States and became an international sport. All because one pioneering individual in Rotorua, New Zealand decided to join in the fun and bring the game to New Zealand - the first geocache outside of the US was hidden: GC45.
So today, since we couldn't all get together to celebrate, we've had a virtual party instead, to wish GC45 a happy birthday, and also announce the unveiling of a memorial plaque commemorating GC45 and its important place in the early history of our beloved sport. And you can be part of the history by helping to fund the installation of the plaque!
Check out our latest newsletter that covers the plaque, a geocoin series in tribute to GC45 and the memorial plaque, along with further discussion around NZ Mega 2020's postponement and some ways you can help out the NZ Mega Team from wherever you are in the world. Stay safe!
Happy Blue Switch Day!
02 May 2020
20 years ago today, at the direction of US President Bill Clinton, the US Government switched off Selective Availability on the GPS system, and this meant that civilian GPS receivers were suddenly a lot more accurate - down to just a few metres.
Before May 2nd, 2000, GPS signals for civilian users were subject to built in fluctuating errors of up to around 200 metres, and while that was ok to find where you were generally on the planet, it wasn't good enough for accurate positioning within a local area.
With selective availability switched off, and accuracy down to just a few metres, it paved the way for many more uses of GPS technology, including our favourite location-based game, Geocaching. Thanks Bill!
Normally on Blue Switch Day, if you log a find on any geocache you would receive a special Blue Switch Day souvenir, but this year because of COVID-19, this has been extended so that any find logged from today through to the end of the year will earn the souvenir!
20 Year Birthdays and Live-streams!
01 May 2020
In a couple of days the geocaching world will begin celebrating a number of 20 year milestones of the sport, beginning with May 2nd's 20 year anniversary of Blue Switch Day - the day that the US Government switched off "selective availability" bringing the accuracy of civilian GPS devices down to within a few metres. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be celebrating two more significant 20 year birthdays with YouTube live-streams.
The big one for New Zealand will be the 20 year birthday celebration for GC45 - the 9th geocache in the world, the first cache hidden in New Zealand and also the first cache hidden outside of the US. This live-stream replaces a physical geocaching event, that has had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 situation. We will now be celebrating this one with a live-stream by New Zealand geocaching YouTubers thecuriouskiwis. Don't miss this one as there will be 1 or 2 big surprises revealed during this live event! Join in the fun on the live-stream at 10am NZST on May 12th.
But first, on May 4th at 5am NZST (yes it's early but this one is coming all the way from Denmark where it'll still be May 3rd), NZ Mega 2020 special guest renelm will host a live YouTube event all about his geocaching adventures in New Zealand. If you're thinking about coming to NZ Mega 2020 but not quite sure, then you won't want to miss the chance to get the low-down from Rene, who is by now a veritable New Zealand geocaching travel expert! Expect lots of photos, and information about how to get around and where to stay.
30 April 2020
Breaking news in this newsletter - the big topic of the day being the postponement of the NZ Mega 2020 event. It was a really tough call for the team to make, but we feel it was the right decision. The newsletter goes into some detail about the reasoning behind it and answers some burning questions we know will come up as a result.
Also in this newsletter, some tips for coping with lockdown and we also announce a special YouTube live-stream to celebrate GC45's 20th birthday coming up on May 12. This replaces the "First NZ and First Outside the US" event that was going to be held near Rotorua on May 12, which can no longer go ahead due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and alert level. Geocaching YouTubers thecuriouskiwis are hosting the live-stream for us, and there is guaranteed to be a great surprise, so make sure you tune in at 10am NZST on the 12th of May!