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 four, Hobart based permanent course areas available:
Queens Domain (New maps available as at December 2017)
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 (New maps available as at December 2017)
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.
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.
Permanent Course Downloads
The following download types are available:
- An information sheet explaining what to do.
- A colour orienteering map in PDF format showing the location and identification number of all controls including a control description describing each control location.
- Sample Long, Medium and Short courses. These courses will be changed every year or so.
- A map legend explaining the features seen on the map
The downloads are available in a "kit" form or as individual files.
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 https://youtu.be/JRUvSWiDgc8