Red Kiwi Orienteering Course
Orienteering is an increasingly popular pastime for many.
It's a competitive sport which appeals to all ages and both sexes. In Wanganui, groups and schools have set up temporary courses and the Bason Botanic Gardens has been a popular venue.
The first Red Kiwi Orienteering Club was established 30 years ago by visiting Australian Larry Sykes a member of the Red Kangaroos. Clubs usually meet once a month and visit different courses which have been set up throughout NZ. The Red Kiwi Club from PN, with its Wanganui members, have used the Bason Botanic Gardens for temporary events many times and have now set up a permanent course which will allow many more people to enjoy the sport.
Orienteering involves cross-country running using a map to find your way around a set course. It requires physical fitness, skill in map reading, compass work, mental alertness and decisiveness. Orienteering teaches the participant to assess, understand and 'read' the countryside as well as to appreciate the beauty and variety of the terrain they travel over. It's inclusion as one of the available activities at the Bason, reflects the philosophy of the Gardens benefactor, Stanley Bason.
A standard orienteering course consists of a start, a series of checkpoints called controls at different features in the terrain, which must be visited in order, and a finish. Participants use a detailed map of the area to find the controls. There are currently 15 permanent orienteering courses established throughout New Zealand.
Maps for the Bason Red Kiwi Orienteering Course are for sale from the Wanganui Information Centre and Westmere Garage. If you don't have a map, just see how many 'posts' you or your team can find in 15 minutes!