About Orienteering

What is Orienteering -  an adventure based sport for all

Orienteering is a sport where competitors visit a number of points marked on the ground, controls, in the shortest possible time aided by a map and compass. A small portion of a map is illustrated below. Full size maps can be seen on another page.  Orienteering has several formats, in South Australia most events are done on foot.  Mountain bike orienteering events are also held - see the Mountain Bike Orienteering page.

At your first event, you could do an orienteering course as a pleasant stroll along tracks through the bush if th event is in the forest. Or have a pleasant walk around a suburban park at an urban part-street event.

As your navigation and fitness improves, you can start doing harder and longer courses. At most orienteering events, there is a wide range of courses to choose from, ranging from easy and short, to hard and long. The time it takes to complete a course varies, it may take as little as twenty minutes, but up to two hours for a longer course. Orienteering can be enjoyed by both young and old, either as a recreational activity or a competitive sport. 

Why Orienteer?

Competition - Fitness - Recreation - Lifestyle - Social

Orienteering : 

  • a family sport  - groups, pairs, individual
  • a sport for life  - 8 – 80 years, age grouping
  • a thought sport  - combines running with map reading skills
  • a natural challenge  - satisfaction of completing a course, exploring the bush, builds self confidence
  • an elite sport  - international, national, state
  • cunning running  - problem solving, route choice decisions
  • an adventure sport - in multi discipline adventure sport


  • run the country -  takes you to all parts of  the country
  • can compete worldwide - 5-Day in Sweden 10000+ competitors

Orienteering: Who Participates

Participants at any event include both club members and non-members.  There are benefits in joining one of the five Adelaide-based and four country clubs.  Although you do not have to be a member of a Club to participate in Orienteering events (other than S.A. and Australian Championships), some benefits of joining a Club are:

• significantly reduced fees at events;
• you receive the SA Orienteer  and Australian Orienteer containing details of coming events, results and articles of interest on orienteering;
• Club newsletters and social activities, and opportunities to meet and know more people.

For more information about clubs, go to the Club menu at the left.

Orienteering: When and Where

March – October 

  • Main season of Cross Country orienteering  Events are held on Sunday morinings in bushland areas in the Adelaide Hills and other parts of country South Australia 
  • Street and Park orienteering - Events held Saturday afternoons and some Sundays

November – February

  • Twilight Summer Series followed by Sprint Series, Friday evenings Street and Park orienteering

For more details of all events refer to the Events page.

Other Sponsors and Supporters

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Principal Sponsor

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