SPEERS Point Park is set to be "rocked" when online community NSW Rocks hosts its first Christmas rock hunt next week.
The park is one of 83 drop locations across the state taking part in the event which is organised by Newcastle rock painting enthusiast Janelle Jobson, who decided to go state-wide following the success of the Easter rock hunt at Speers Point Park in April.
The two-day Christmas rock hunt on December 14 and 15 will be held at parks, walking tracks, ovals, and hospitals, with team leaders designated in each suburb to ensure there will be plenty of rocks at every location.
Jobson, who lives in Macquarie Hills, says thousands of rocks will be dropped in Speers Point Park alone, along with 20 other locations in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, the Hunter Valley, and Port Stephens.
"I have been working on it since May, so as soon as Easter was done, I was straight back into it because I knew it would take a lot of organising to get people involved," Jobson says.
"We had to pick team leaders for different areas so we could guarantee that all of those drop spots and suburbs listed will have rocks dropped at those spots over the two days."
Jobson plans to drop 100 of her Christmas rocks each day. "There will be thousands and thousands of rocks dropped across the state," Jobson says.
"Most team leaders I know are dropping a minimum of 200 rocks, but they also have people on board that are also doing that many. I will drop 100 in the morning at Speers Point, then I will have someone coming at lunchtime to drop 100 more and then another person coming in the afternoon to drop 100 again, so that way it's spread out throughout the day.
"Then you have people that will come along and drop five or 10, and then some people will come with none, and that's fine as well."
Jobson says everyone is welcome.
"You don't have to be part of the Facebook to come and join in," she says.
The community's interest in painted rock "hide and seek" has grown rapidly since the NSW Rocks Facebook page launched in May 2017.
Maddy Sen, from Campbelltown, founded the Facebook group after reading an article about WA Rocks.
"I thought it was a great activity that the family could do together," Sen says.
The group has increased from 30,000 members to 60,500 since April.
"It is growing really, really fast. It's really popular," Jobson says.
"Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and around our region is one of the most popular areas for it in NSW."
Jobson joined the NSW Rocks Facebook group last year after she found a colourful hand-painted rock at Warners Bay.
The finder of the rock is encouraged to post a picture on the Facebook group page so the original owner can track its movements.They can choose to either keep or rehide the rock.
Most recently, Jobson's own rock creations have travelled as far as New Zealand and Tasmania.
The activity, which started in the US as a way of spreading happiness in the community, has taken off in Australia where there are Facebook groups in every state.
Jobson, who volunteers her time as an admin and event organiser, says the joy it brings to the community keeps her motivated.
"It has been very challenging to get the whole of NSW going . . . but I love to see the happy little kids faces when they post a picture with their rock find," she says.
"We have the roll over of people dropping, hunting and rehiding for the whole two days," Jobson says. "We are encouraging everyone to be thoughtful of others and just keep a few of your favourites and rehide the rest that they have found."
- Speers Point Park, Cemetery Track, Cooranbong; Poppethead Park and Bridges Hill Park in Cessnock; Lizard Park, Muswellbrook; Miller Park, Branxton; Jubilee Park, Dungog; Maitland Park, Maitland; Hyde Park, Denman; Coon Island, Swansea; Seaside Estate, Fern Bay; Max McMahon Oval, Rutherford; Ray Lawer Reserve, Morpeth; Lakeside, Boomerang and Riverside Parks, Raymond Terrace; Rathmines Park; Toronto Foreshore; John Hunter Hospital; Rose Park, Singleton; Lemon Tree Passage Marina; Tarro Recreation Park; Bagnalla Beach Park and bike track, Salamander Bay; Fly Point, Nelson Bay.