1. What is Orienteering all About?
  2. Can I Do It?
  3. I Might Get Lost!
  4. Where and When are the Events?
  5. What to Wear and Bring?
  6. Orienteering Maps
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  8. Control Descriptions & Map Symbols
  9. Getting Started Guides

What is Orienteering all About?

It’s an adventure that everyone can enjoy. It’s called 'orienteering’ and events are held in parks, through streets, in the bush and on farmland. You get a map with your course drawn on it. A course is made up of a number of controls (flags) numbered from one to about twelve. With your map to guide you, you have to find each control in numerical order.

Some people race but many jog or walk, preferring the personal challenge of finding the controls and getting outdoors for fitness and fun.

For some, orienteering is a competitive sport. For many, it’s a fun, recreational activity that friends or the whole family can enjoy together. You decide just how serious you want to be.

If you would like a quick introduction to orienteering please watch this video!

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Can I Do It?

Of course you can. Everybody can have a go. Just how hard it is to find the controls and how much exercise you want depends on the course you choose. All orienteering events offer a range of courses to suit all ages, levels of experience and fitness. An easy course is about 2km and on tracks. The hardest course might be over 10km and require cross country running. It takes about 30 to 90 minutes to complete a course depending on which one you choose or how fast you go.

You can go orienteering by yourself, with friends or as a family group. Put the baby in a back pack. Let the older children run ahead, calling them back before they get lost. Challenge your teenager. Who can find their way around in the fastest time?

I Might Get Lost!

Of course you will. That is part of the fun. Even the best orienteers in the world make mistakes and run about in circles trying to find out where they are. Nobody actually gets really ‘lost’ though and neither will you. We’ll give you some tips before you start to make sure you head in the right direction.

Where and When are the Events?

More information is available HERE

What to Wear and Bring?

Wear comfortable clothing and foot wear suitable for walking or running and taking into account the weather. Long pants are a good idea if you plan on doing a course that takes you off tracks and through the bush.

Orienteering Maps

Orienteering maps are specially made for the sport. They confirm to a world wide standard so that a map here will have the same symbols as a map in, for example, Japan! During an event, the controls that need to be visited are also described using a world wide standard set of symbols. However easier courses also use "plain English" descriptions! The following documents illustrate the symbols you can expect to see on standard and sprint orienteering maps. And the way that controls to be visited are described.

Control Descriptions & Map Symbols

Title Version Description Download
Control Descriptions 2018 Download
Sprint Map Symbols 2019 Download
Standard Map Symbols 2017 Download

Getting Started Guides

Orienteering Australia has released several Getting Started guides. Please see the OA website.