Orienteering is finding
one's way across country using a detailed map, usually with the help of a compass.
It can be enjoyed by both young and old, as a relaxing recreation or as a competitive
An orienteering course involves
visiting a number of locations in the bush in the correct order. These locations,
called controls, are marked with orange and white flags. Some typical control
features are track junctions, creek bends, and boulders.
At the start of the course,
the competitor is given a map on which the course is marked. Orienteers have
to find their way to each control, taking whichever route they choose.
Typical route choice decisions
involve deciding whether to go over or around a large hill, to follow tracks
all the way in comfort, or to strike out through the forest taking a short cut
to save time.
Naturally most people choose
different routes, tailoring the course to suit their preferences.
To complete an orienteering
course may take as little as 20 minutes for a short easy course, or up to 3
hours for a longer difficult course.
Anyone! Well, all types
of people that is. Orienteering is an activity which is well suited to people
of all ages and physical abilities.
A typical orienteering event
may have half a dozen courses to enter on the day. These vary greatly in the
difficulty of navigation, from the very easy, following fences, paths and creeks,
through moderate navigational and physical difficulty, to the very difficult.
This allows for a gentle introduction to orienteering with plenty of opportunity
also for improving orienteers.
The lengths of the course
vary greatly too, from about 1.5km for the shortest course, suitable for children
as young as 5 or 6, through to about 18 km for the longest course for elite
Although you don't have
to be a member of a club to participate in orienteering events, some benefits
of joining a club are:
See the Membership page for a membership form and further details on how to join a club in your area.
NB: In general, dogs are
not permitted at orienteering events as they may disturb native wildlife or
stock. Dogs are welcome when it is specifically stated that they may be brought
to an event.
events in New South Wales are organised by one of fourteen clubs
affiliated with the Orienteering Association of New South Wales (six
based in metropolitan Sydney and the other eight in regional NSW).
Events are usually completed in one day but are occasionally held with
races on two consecutive days.
A key feature of orienteering
is that you should find your way around your course without help from other
orienteers. Competitors on the same course therefore have different start times,
usually at 2 minute intervals. You may choose your own start time on the day,
within the time specified by the organising club (usually between 9:30am and
12:30pm for Sunday events).
You should arrive at an
event in time to be able to register, mark up your course on your map if required
and get to the Start location before the latest start time given. As a rule
of thumb allow 30-45 minutes for this.
If you are new to orienteering,
coaches are available to help, just ask at the Registration desk, or look for
someone wearing an 'Ask Me' vest or armband.
Once you have chosen a suitable
course from those listed on the day, you register your entry and start at your
preferred time. Make sure that you finish by the latest time given in the event
instructions, or if you can't finish in time, make your way directly to the
Finish location so the organisers can bring in the controls and go home.
When you have finished your
course, your time will be calculated and hung up on the Results Board, usually
within 5-10 minutes of finishing.
Now is a good time to set
up the barbecue, make a start on lunch and have a drink, relaxing in the clean
forest air away from the stress of the city.
Current & Upcoming Major Events
Suppliers of Orienteering Gear and Equipment
Supporters and Sponsors
Official website of the Orienteering Association of NSW
ABN 45 062 472 184
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