New to Bush Orienteering

Bush orienteering events take place in forested areas, generally in central Victoria (Ballarat, Castlemaine, Bendigo or the Central Highlands) or northeast Victoria, as well as in areas within an hour of Melbourne to the north, west and southeast.  Events take place most weekends from March to late October.

Bush orienteering involves using a map to navigate around pre-determined control points within the forest. A compass may help to orientate your map in the right direction. The difficulty of the course varies from Easy – where controls are located on or close to marked tracks; Moderate – where there is usually an option to use a track or take a direct cross country route; or Hard – where navigation is almost all cross country, using contours and other features to find your way.

It will generally take 45-90 minutes to complete a course, depending on your choice.   Most courses are line format, where you must find all the controls on your course in a set order, in the fastest possible time.  Some events have a score format, where you can visit controls in any order, but you must return to the finish within a certain time.

Most bush events use an electronic timing system named “Sportident” which enables you to compare the time it took you to get to each control with others on your course.

Get started with MelBushO – a series tailored for newcomers. This is the perfect way to get some experience in bush orienteering without travelling far from Melbourne. Events are held from April to September, on Sunday mornings.

At the event

Please park as directed, then head to the Registration table.   If this is your first event, tell the registration people and they will assign someone to help you choose a course and enter the event.  They will also organise some instruction to get you under way.  After registering, you will go to the Start, and follow the starter’s instructions.  You will receive a map pre-marked with your course, and a list of descriptions outlining the features the controls are located on.

After finishing your course, walk to the Finish table to check back in, have your time recorded in the event database, and hand back any borrowed gear – even if you did not complete the course. Your results will be displayed at the event, and posted on Eventor.  We encourage you to talk to others about what you did; orienteers are always happy to give advice and encouragement.

What to bring along

You don’t need a lot of gear to go Bush orienteering. Have a look at what is recommended.


Getting Started

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