Learn to navigate your way through the terrain, use your brain and brush up on your map reading skills. Some events also cater for mountain bikers and wheelchairs. All you need are appropriate shoes and clothes for a walk or run in the outdoors, and a compass may also be helpful.
Spencer Park has 4 graded courses (1-4):
- white 1.1km
- yellow 2.0km
- orange 3.3km
- red 4.0km.
Maps are available from the Camp Shop at the Park which is open 7 days a week, 8am–6pm, $3 per map.
Victoria Park on the Port Hills offers four permanent graded orienteering courses. These were planned and installed by the Peninsula and Plains Orienteering Club (PAPO), with the co-operation and assistance of the Port Hills Park Rangers and with additional funding from the Community Trust.
Maps can be purchased from the Beckenham Service Centre. The map for each course shows the start, a series of control sites marked by a circle, and the finish. The control sites are numbered and linked on the map by lines to show the order you should visit the sites in. Included in the map pack are full instructions, including clues describing where you will find the control site within the circle marked on the map. Due to the terrain, a straight-line from one point to the next is not usually practicable, so picking the best path and navigating your way is all part of the fun.
The courses are of varying degrees of difficulty. Course four (1.5km) is the easiest, suitable for first time orienteers and primary school children, and should take between 15 minutes (running) to one hour (walking with small children) to complete.
Course one is the longest (3.3km) and most difficult and would take an hour or more to run.
There is also the Score Course. This uses all the different controls from courses one to four (that’s 36 altogether). You can also make your own course using as many of the control points as you like in any order.
All these courses start adjacent to the main carpark near the Port Hills Visitor Centre in Victoria Park.
As the Port Hills Visitor Centre is not always staffed, if you wish to purchase a map pack from there, it pays to phone first. Groups planning to use the course should let the Port Hills Park Ranger know beforehand.
Bottle Lake Forest Park, The Groynes Reserve and Hagley Park are just some of the sites where orienteering events are held. The Peninsula and Plains Orienteers website has more information on orienteering events held in the Canterbury area.
Beckenham Service Centre
Phone: (03) 941 8999
66 Colombo Street
Port Hills Park Ranger