Geocaching with Your Kids

If you are looking for a great outdoor activity that combines modern technology with a traditional treasure-hunt game, then consider Geocaching.

At first glance, it may seem that Geocaching is not an appropriate actively for children, but in truth, it can be a great adventure game that can be safe, fun and extremely rewarding –just like roulette online Canada games– if you know what you are doing.

What is Geocaching?

The word Geocache is a mashup of two words. The prefix, geo means earth as in Geography. The second word is cache, which is another term used for a secure place for storing something of importance.

At its most basic form, Geocaching is a global treasure hunt with millions of treasures hidden all over the world. You might not know this, but there are probably dozens of caches hidden in your neighbourhood alone.

What You Need to Get Started?

In order to find a treasure, you can use your smartphone or handheld GPS device. The treasures themselves come in different shapes and sizes with varying difficulty levels. While some treasures are easy to find, others are disguised in camouflaged containers that are made to look like their surroundings.

The location of these treasures can also vary from urban areas to places off the beaten track. To date, there are over 2 million caches worldwide, so you will never run out of treasures to find.

Once you find a cache, you will find a small piece of paper or a log book to sign. Larger caches can contain treasures, which you swap out with something of your own, like stickers, toys or other trinkets. After signing the log, you close up your treasure and place it back in its hidey-hole for other explorers to find.

Downloading the Geocache App

If you want to get started Geocaching, all you need is a smartphone and a willingness to explore. You can download the geocache app for free to your tablet or smartphone directly from the site, geocaching.com.

Once you have downloaded the app, you can create a free account and immediately start locating caches in your local area. If want access to even more caches, you can pay for a premium membership, but the free membership has more than enough to keep you going for months or years even.

Before You Head Out

Before you head out on your first treasure hunt, it is a good idea is to pack snacks, drinks and maybe a bit of sunscreen for the kids as you might be out an about for a while. Choose a cache with a difficulty level that is easy enough to find for your first couple of outings.

Not only will this be a morale booster for the kids, it will also make the actively fun and rewarding. Once you start finding treasures, the drive to find the next one is simply overwhelming and you might find yourself zigzagging your way across the neighbourhood and foraging in the local parks.

If you start on a cache where the difficulty level is too high, you will end up walking in circles and getting pretty frustrated. The kids will want to go home and the whole actively will be ruined. The idea is to track your progress level and make the hunt as exciting as possible without getting to too technical.

Great Alternatives to New Zealand Great Walks

You may be aware of the fact that New Zealand Great Walks offer an incredible way to experience the ever-famous landscapes of the country, but were you aware that there is also the option to indulge in more multi-day hikes that are not just cheaper, but are also less crowded?

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert tramper, someone who prefers luxury or rustic accommodation, you’ll be able to find something to suit your hiking needs.

Hollyford track

This 2-8 day offers stunning sights all year round, with a well-maintained track, decent accommodation in the form of rustic huts available and the low price of NZ$15 per night, per person.

The Hollyford Track starts in the rock faces of the gorgeous Darren Mountains and gracefully follows the Hollyford River. You’ll pass through an exceptionally beautiful native forest while on an adventure to the west coast.

Pouakai Circuit

If you’re anything like me, your idea of a great weekend is spent lounging in front of a TV or playing a few of my favourite mobile pokies, but even I have to admit this truly is not to be missed.

On this 2-3 day hike you will journey through an exquisite wild forest, sub-alpine wilderness covered in tussock, a wonderful Ahukawakawa Swamp and venture around one of New Zealand’s most magnificent volcanoes, Mt Taranaki.

You can stay in large huts that offer mattresses or bunks, heating and lighting and basic services for just NZ$12 per night.

Humpridge Track

For those of you that don’t like roughing it, this is one of your more luxurious 3-day walks in Fiordland National Park. The Humpridge Track provides some sensational views of the coastline as you journey over subalpine tops.

You can stay in privately owned lodges as opposed to your average DOC hut, with double rooms and 8-bunk dorms available for all. You’ll pay around NZ$175 per night per person, but breakfast is included.

Mt Holdsworth Jumbo Circuit

Grasp the opportunity to explore unparalleled views on a 2-3 day walk on the Mt Holdsworth Circuit. Here you’ll explore the exquisite mountaintops of Tararua Forest park, as well as a quick hike through forest to the top of the mountains where you can stay for the night.

The huts here are just NZ$15 and in spite of their simple style, you will need to book during summer as they do get booked out.

Inland Track

You’ve probably already heard of the Abel Tasman Great Walk, but you really should explore the splendour of this 3-day Island Track hike in the Abel Tasman National Park. The sights and sounds will blow you away, with the call of native birds surrounding you and the beauty of the unspoiled forest enchanting you.

You should be warned, however, the track is slightly more rough than the ones you’ll find in the Great Walks, but that’s just a little extra adventure! The accommodation is 2 standard DOC huts that will offer a mattress or bunk along with heating for a mere NZ$5 per night per person.

Plant Your Own Magical Moon Garden

We often think that the bright light of day is the only time it’s possible to appreciate the beauty and peace of a garden. It’s true that many gardens look their best during the day, but Mother Nature has ensured we can also appreciate her beauty at night.

Spending time in a garden is one of the best ways to recharge after a busy day at school, a hectic week at the office, or during a well-deserved vacation. A moon garden is the perfect excuse to get outdoors and recharge at night.

Like Day and Night

Many plants have flowers that bloom and release their fragrance only at night, while others have white or light-coloured flowers and foliage that is silvery or grey. With just a few careful choices and a little bit of hard work during the day, you can experience the magic of a garden that comes alive at night.

Why not involve the children, and create a moon garden as a family holiday project? It is a wonderful opportunity to teach children the basics of gardening, the cycles of nature, and gardening safety tips and first aid for insect bites and stings, as well as minor scrapes and bruises.

Single but not bothered enough to mingle? A moon garden would be a perfect spot to chill out between playing online blackjack Canada, watching DVDs, and eating pizza on the couch.

Location, Location, Location

The first thing you need to do when planning a moon garden is to spend some time in your garden on moonlit nights. Find the spot that gets the best light at the times you would most regularly visit your garden at night.

You would also need to ensure that daytime conditions are suitable for the plants you want to include. After all, they still need sunlight, water, and good soil in which to grow.

Lunar Flower Power

When deciding on plants to include in your moon garden, check that they are suitable for your climate zone. Gardening websites and local nurseries are a wealth of this helpful information.

Try choose plants of different colours, heights, textures, and shapes. Be aware that some flowers are beautiful to look at, but yield little fragrance, while others may not look too impressive, but could rival the complexities of designer perfumes. It is also important to note which plants are toxic, and to take the necessary precautions if including them in your garden.

Among the many different plants suitable for moon gardens are Snow White cornflower, Sweet Alice Lobularia, moonflower (Brugmansia), Diamond Frost or Snow Euphorbia, white bougainvillea, white agapanthus, Felicia daisies, St Joseph’s lilies, snowdrops, white roses, evening primrose, night phlox, evening stock, night gladiolus, Dusty Millers, silver thyme, mugwort, sage, lamb’s ears, and jasmine.

If you have a pond in your garden, you could also plant arum lilies and water lilies. If keeping koi is not too daunting, you could even consider added pearl-coloured koi to the pond.

Planting by the Moon

Creating a moon garden is also a good opportunity to find out if there really is something to gardening according to the moon’s phases. New moon promotes balanced root and leaf growth, so it’s a good time to plant, as is the moon’s second quarter.

If you need to transplant, do it around the full moon, and if you need to prune, do it during the third quarter. The third quarter is also a good time to mow the lawn, while the fourth quarter can be used to harvest, prune, transplant, or just enjoy a good rest.

Traditional Childhood Games

A survey conducted in 2012 revealed that traditional games that kept children and adults entertained across the centuries are dying out. Hopscotch, Marbles, and other games filled the air with laughter, even when some games came at the risk of a few bruises.

Traditional games, however, still have their place, and the best thing about most of them is that they seldom require anything more complicated than a piece of string.

The Value of Play

There is no reason old-fashioned games should be limited to children’s parties. They also have value as team-building ice-breakers.

Anyone who plays many of those games can learn a few valuable lessons about interpersonal relations, risk management, problem solving, and usually get some good exercise while doing it.

Here are the basics of some of the games that provided gran and grandad, their grans and grandads, and countless others before them with hours of good fun. Why not learn some of these games, and keep the good times going?

Hip Hip for Hopscotch

The least you need for Hopscotch is a stone and a patch of dusty ground, or a stone, a piece of chalk, and a quiet sidewalk. Good weather is also recommended, although if parties are rained out, many players are happy to entertain themselves at a CAD Casino and other gaming websites.

There is no set way to draw the course made up of single and double squares, so players can make it as easy or as difficult as they like. It is a game in which balance and timing is everything.

A player needs to throw a stone onto the course, and then hop through the entire course. You need to land on one foot in a single square, and with both feet on double squares, but you need to avoid the square with the stone in it. If your stone lands on the edge of a square, or if your feet touch the edge of a square while jumping the course, you forfeit your turn.

Once you have completed the course, you need to return along it, stopping only to retrieve the stone. There is no official way of scoring Hopscotch, so players can decide on a method themselves.

Don’t Lose Your Marbles

Anyone who thought that the only ball games capable of turning into an intense battle of skills are limited to sports fields probably never played marbles. Another player and marbles, the beauty of some rivalling even that of Murano glass, are all you need for a game.

Start off by both throwing your marbles on the ground; ensuring your throwing marble isn’t among them. You then take turns trying to hit one another’s marbles using your throwing marble. Whether you play for keeps or limit it to friendly matches, the game certainly is an exciting one.

Conkers: Watch Your Fingers

Played with horse chestnuts, known as conkers, and pieces of string, Conkers makes for sometimes-painful fun. In the past, serious players would think nothing of giving their conkers an extended vinegar bath to toughen them up.

Players prepare their conkers by making a hole in them, sliding a piece of string through the hole, and then knotting the string to form a handle. To play, you and your opponent need to take turns to try demolish each other’s conker using your own.

Play the Game

Basic, sometimes brutal, but always a lot of fun, traditional games have much to offer. It may take your friends some convincing, but if you have no luck with them, wait until the nieces and nephews come to visit, and introduce them to something new.

10 New Zealand Destinations for Outdoor Adventure

10 New Zealand Destinations for Outdoor Adventure

New Zealand is one of the greatest destinations for lovers of the great outdoors and there is an activity suitable for everyone.

From surfing to skiing and everything in between, New Zealand offers gentle adventures suitable for the whole family and plenty for lovers of extreme sport.

Great Barrier Island

Great Barrier Island is the fourth largest of New Zealand’s islands and this mountainous landmass is the last stop on the outer edge of the Haruki Gulf before the seemingly endless blue of the Pacific Ocean.

Ninety kilometres from downtown Auckland, it’s off the electricity grid and boasts stunning beaches and lagoons.

Surfing in Raglan

Raglan’s Manu Bay was featured in the 1966 seminal surf movie Endless Summer and it’s easy to see why – it’s well known for possessing the longest left-hand break in the world and a particularly good wave can carry a surfer up to two kilometres.

Pair this with the riveting main street complete with fantastic bars, restaurants, and top-notch accommodation and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Maruia Springs

Maruia Springs - New Zealand Destinations

Heading off inland along Lewis Pass, down to the east coast of the South Island, will lead you to the breath-taking Southern Alps and the Hanmer Springs spa village.

However, if you drive further west to the smaller and less tourist dense Maruia Springs, you will encounter an idyllic setting with thermal mineral pools.

Queenstown

You can’t afford to skip Queenstown during your tour of New Zealand, as tourists visit this alpine town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu for skiing in the colder months (mid-June to mid-September) and stunning beauty all year round.

If you’re looking for indoor fun, SkyCity Casino Queenstown offers plenty of thrills, but if online casino fun is more your vibe, you can always enjoy online blackjack Canada as online casinos are completely legal in New Zealand – as long as they operate offshore!

Beaches of Auckland’s West Coast

The beaches of Karekare, Muriwai, Piha, and Bethell are all within easy driving distance of Auckland’s city centre, separated by the misty cliffs of the Waitakere Ranges.

Expect big beaches with black volcanic sand, big rocks, and big surf.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is without a doubt New Zealand’s top tourist destination.

Situated in the Fiorland National Park, the slim sea entrance hides a breath-taking wonder: pristine interior bays flanked by sheer rock faces rising to over 1200 metres, waterfalls, and rainforests. Penguins, dolphins, and whales visit these waters.

Milford Track

The Milford Sound is also the end point of the incredible 53-kilometer Milford Track, beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau, which can only be reached by ferry or by climbing Dore Pass from the Milford Sound road.

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage Site, contains three major peaks: Tongariro, Ruapeha and Ngauruhoe.

Tongariro National Park - New Zealand Destinations

Highly popular amongst hikers, its famous track – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – passes through volcanic terrain, much of which is still active.

Rotorua Geothermal Zone

An enjoyable three hours’ drive from Auckland, Rotorua is New Zealand’s primary geothermal destination, boasting a variety of geysers, hot springs, and Maori cultural attractions.

The Polynesia Spa is often voted one of the top 10 spas around the world and offers alkaline rock pool bathing in a variety of temperatures.

Franz Josef Glacier

Situated in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, the 12-kilometre long Franz Josef Glacier is one of the fastest flowing glaciers in the world.

The glacier is unique in that it flows from the peaks of the Southern Alps to a rain forest growing at just 300 meters above sea level.

Asia’s Most Popular Recreational Activities

Recreational Activities in Asia - Outdoor Activities

No matter what time of year you visit, Asia is always alive! Whether the sun is shining, the stars are out, or rain is coming down in torrents, there is always something going on, always something to do.

Find out more about the most popular recreational activities in Asia. Just this little bit of prep could open doorways to fun adventures and opportunities to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Keep Busy in China

China’s city parks are usually hives of activity throughout the day, and are popular venues for sports and traditional activities. Tai Chi Chuan, an ancient sport that helps people relax and build muscle strength at the same time, is one of the most popular of all recreational activities.

Other popular activities include Majiang, a board game played with tiles, flying kites socially and in competitions, and playing badminton or table tennis.

Have Adventures in Macau

The South Chinese autonomous region of Macau is in a class of its own. The most popular recreational activity there among tourists is undoubtedly gambling in one of the city’s many glitzy casinos, where real money blackjack and baccarat attract huge numbers of players.

Other than having a flutter in a casino, you could also do Skywalk X around the Macau Tower’s outer rim, brave the world’s highest bungy jump, take a ride on the cable car, watch kart racing at the Macau Motor Sports Club, or go 10 Pin bowling.

Feel Alive in Japan

Japan is one country you need to see before you pop your cogs. Try some of the most popular recreational activities when you visit, and watch your friends and family turn green with envy when you tell them all about it.

If you visit Japan in early spring, be sure to be there for Hanami, the ‘flower viewing’. Cherry and plum trees blossom across the island, and parks fill up with groups of people enjoying picnics under canopies of flowers.

Other popular activities you can indulge in include visiting a karaoke bar, visiting an ikebana show or doing an introductory course to the ancient art of flower arranging, visiting manga and anime stores, watching sumo wrestling, and experiencing a traditional tea ceremony.

Hanami - Cherry blossoms - recreational activities

Have Fun in Korea

If you ever visit the South Korean capital of Seoul, you are sure to agree that it is in that city that one can really feel the soul of Asia.

Of course, popular recreational activities are not limited to the city, so you can enjoy interesting experiences wherever you go.

Hiking is a popular recreational activity, and a number of national parks cater for day hikes as well as overnight hikes.

You could also consider activities such as visiting a traditional sauna known as jimjilbang, exploring the city and its parks by bicycle, and participating in Noraebang, a form of karaoke where you get your own private room to have fun.

Stay Active in Thailand

Thailand has a fine reputation for friendly, fun-loving people and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It helps that the region has the climate in which to enjoy its natural wonders and to meet and mix with the locals.

Sport is hugely popular. Whether you want to watch traditional kickboxing, football, volleyball, table tennis, or a host of other sports, you can enjoy plenty of opportunities to do so.

Going to the cinema, attending masked Khon performances and traditional puppet shows, and visiting bars and pubs are other indoor recreational activities you could do while on holiday.

Top Outdoor Activities for Sunny Days in Canada – Have Fun While the Sun Shines

sunny days - outdoor activities in Canada

Anyone who has experienced a Canadian winter can appreciate why we head outdoors and make the most of our summers. It certainly helps that we are spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor recreational activities.

If you love spending time in the sunshine, you might some new inspiration in some of the things we love to do in Canada. It’s possible to enjoy many of these activities by yourself, or with family or friends, no matter where you live.

Read on to find out how my friends and I keep ourselves busy. Why not pick a few of the activities to try for yourself next time the sun is out?

Be a Tourist for a Day

A great way to enjoy a sunny day is to become a tourist in your town.

Get up close and personal with local history and culture by visiting landmarks, a museum, going on a walking tour of an interesting part of town, or taking in tourist attractions with little more than a guidebook or a map and your camera.

Head to the Beach

If you are lucky enough to live at the coast, spend a morning or afternoon on the beach, soak up the sun, breathe deep, and relax.

If there is no beach nearby, why not head to a dam or lake, a public swimming pool, or a water park? Don’t forget the sunblock or money for ice cream!

If you are heading out by yourself, remember to never swim alone, and take your mobile phone along so you can play games such as the online slots Canada is crazy about.

Keep an Eye on the Local Calendar

Summer is the perfect time to find outdoor events that offer action, fun, and excitement. Visit tourism or events sites that cover your town and surrounds, read the local newspaper, and take note of posters that appear on street lamps or in store windows.

You might discover an interesting market, a fun fair, a music festival, or an enlivening cultural celebration.

Use Pedal Power

A bicycle, no matter how fancy or humble, can provide you with hours of entertainment on a sunny day. If you don’t have a bike, you can probably rent one for a few hours, a day, or even a weekend from bike shops that offer rentals, or you could pick one up for a bargain on a classifieds website. Go for a ride and see your surroundings in a new way, or visit a bike trail in a beautiful nature spot.

Top Outdoor Activities - Picnic

Go on a Picnic

Nothing says easy summer livin’ the way a long, lazy picnic does. If you wake up to good weather, pack a picnic basket, grab the blanket, cushions, and a few friends, and head off into the garden, a park, or a nature reserve close by.

Some venues sell freshly packed picnic baskets to feed different numbers of people, so if you do not have the time, inclination, or skills to put together the perfect picnic lunch, pay others to do it for you.

Get Your Backpack and Boots Out

Canada, like many countries around the world, is rich with trails that are perfect for leisurely day hikes. Grab your boots, your backpack, a healthy lunch and snacks, find a local trail, and get back to nature for a few hours.