What is Orienteering?
Orienteering is a sport which anyone can enjoy. It exercises your brain and body at the same time. The whole family can take part together. Every event is different – you can choose your own adventure. Orienteering events can take you round the corner to your local park, or around the world.
Competitors use a map to navigate to pre-determined control sites, aiming to complete the course in the fastest time, or with the highest number of points. Newcomers are very welcome at any orienteering event. For most events, there is no need to pre-enter or pre-pay.
When are events held?
Park and Street events are held every Monday and Wednesday evening year round, as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings in summer (Oct-March), and Saturday afternoons in winter (April-Oct). Events are held all over the Melbourne suburbs, using black and white maps. No special equipment or navigation experience is required. You can choose any running course from 3-10 km, or a 1 hour Power Walking course. You do not need to pre-enter – just arrive 30 minutes before the start, and instructions will be provided. More information: www.vicorienteering.asn.au/parkstreet
Bush events are held during winter, on Sunday mornings. MelBushO is a popular series and ideal for newcomers, with all events located close to Melbourne. You can choose any of five courses, and we provide coaching. The Easy course follows a combination of tracks, water channels and fences. This course will be about 2 kilometres long.
The Moderate course takes you into the bush, but you will be looking for obvious features such as hill tops, saddles and major gullies. You will generally be close to roads or fences. This course is about 3 kilometres in length.
There will also be three Hard courses designed to fully test your navigation skills. These are approx 3, 4 or 6 kilometres in length. More information: MelBushO
Do you have to be fit and fast?
No. If you are capable of walking through the bush you are capable of doing an orienteering course. Some people choose to run around courses. Others choose to walk briskly, or to take a leisurely stroll. The choice is yours.
Are there any age limits?
No. Dandenong Ranges Orienteering Club has regular orienteers aged under 8 and over 75, and everything in between.
Do I need any special equipment?
No. Come dressed comfortably for a walk or run in the forest – shoes with some grip are useful if it’s wet. A watch should be worn, and you should bring some water on warmer days. At bush events, the club will lend you a compass and a special timing device worn on the finger, called a Sportident stick. Maps are supplied as part of the event entry fee.
If you decide to purchase some orienteering equipment, check out the DROC Shop, which supplies compasses, gaiters, headbands and Sportident sticks at very reasonable prices.
Does anyone get lost?
No. At times you may be unsure where you are on the course. Working out where you are is one of the skills of the sport. No-one has ever been properly lost at the end of the day at one of our events.
How much does it cost?
This is a sport that is gentle on the pocket. Park and Street entry fees are $5 for adults and $3 for juniors (under 21). MelbushO entry fees are $12 for adults and $6 for juniors (under 21).