Permanent Courses

What is a Permanent Course?

A permanent course is a public area, usually suburban parkland, on which permanent orienteering "controls" have been placed in strategic locations. These controls take the form of an 8 cm x 8 cm numbered plaque showing the orange and white orienteering symbol, attached to or adjacent to the feature on the map.  Each control also has a unique pin punch to mark the appropriate square on the map.

Permanent Course Locations

At present there are five, Hobart based permanent course areas available:

Queens Domain

Situated in the middle of Hobart and within walking distance of the CBD the Domain is a 4 km x 3 km expanse of largely undisturbed parkland, so undisturbed that it contains many native plant species which are rare elsewhere. It is alive with birdlife, particularly parrots, yet has many excellent orienteering features such as overgrown pits and quarries, rockfaces, ruined buildings, shallow gullies and tricky route choices around sports grounds and areas of suburban housing.

Risdon Brook Reserve (Maps currently not available)

The Risdon Brook Reserve is located 15 km from Hobart just off the East Derwent Highway. It is within a reserve which has limited opening hours - approx 8.00 am until 4.00 pm. So always ensure your run is timed so that your vehicle is not locked in the reserve for the night! Risdon Brook has great sandstone features on the eastern side and hilly spur and gully on the western side. Long courses going right around the dam and totalling over 7 km can easily be put together with this map. A feature of the area is that wildlife is abundant particularly wallabies and wombats with kookaburras in the trees.

Upper Ridgeway Reserve

The Upper Ridgeway Reserve is only 5 km from the city centre, nestled under Mt Wellington accessed up Waterworks Road from Dynnyrne. Courses here work their way around the hillside visiting boulders, track bends, earth mounds and shallow gullies with the longer courses extending along steeper hillsides and including old sandstone quarries. Wallabies abound on the hilltops and the views everywhere are superb.

Waterworks Reserve

The Waterworks Reserve is adjacent to the Upper Ridgeway Reserve accessed up Waterworks Road from Dynnyrne. It offers a very scenic location with an opportunity to combine orienteering with a BBQ at the supplied facilities in a fantastic bush location.

Coningham (Maps currently not available)

The Coningham State Recreation Area is just past Snug on the Channel Highway 20 km south of Hobart. This location can be accessed any time and the map offers a number of alternative starting points. It consists of a range of steeply sided hills dissected by a number of gullies. Most of these gullies exhibit rock features including some sandstone cliffs up to 3 m high. Forest is generally open with some grassy areas but gullies can be very scrubby.

Gordon's Hill Nature Recreation Area

The Gordon's Hill Reserve is located in the suburbs of Montagu and Rose Bay on Hobart's Eastern Shore a short drive from the city centre. The map includes the grounds of the Rose Bay High School as well as a steepish but attractive forested hill. There are great views from the top to Hobart city and Mount Wellington (kunanyi).

Other Information

There is a good youtube instructional video produced in Britain about how to use permanent courses.  The only difference is that they use a pencil and paper to write down the number on each control rather than use a punch.  See

If you have any permanent course enquiries or would like to report damage or other issues please contact OT's Permanent Course Manager

Permanent Course Downloads

The downloads are available in a "kit" form in a ZIP file containing:

  1. An information sheet explaining what to do.
  2. A colour orienteering map in PDF format showing the location and identification number of all controls including a control description describing each control location.
  3. Sample Long, Medium and Short courses. These courses will be changed every year or so.
  4. A map legend explaining the features seen on the map

The files are free to download after registering as a User on the OT website. Existing Users can log on to the OT website and they will be able to download files. Please Create an Account or Login to an existing account using the Member Login form to the right of this article. Once logged in the kits will be available HERE.

When you download a file you are required to agree to the terms of use for the file. Upon registration you will be subscribed to Orienteering Tasmania's weekly email bulletin. This contains useful information about orienteering generally and upcoming events. If you wish to unsubscribe from the bulletin there is an Unsubscribe link available.