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What Is the City Safari?

In Brief...
Navigational contests like orienteering and rogaining usually require you to move on foot. The City Safari lets you use Public Transport: buses and trains! Use your head instead of your legs to get partway to the control points. Each control has a score, the winning team collects the biggest score in the allowed time: 6 hours or 3 hours.

The Safari is a rogaine - form of orienteering for teams. The time period is fixed – but you choose the points to visit and the route. There’s a penalty for coming back late.

Rogaines are usually held in scenic, bush or rural areas. The Safari will have all of these, and the urban jungle too! But compared to the usual rogaine, the Safari has:

  • Shorter distances than usual. You don’t need to be super-fit
  • Easier navigation. The control points are easy to find
  • More possibilities for choosing your route
And the major point of difference - public transport!

How do we Find the Control Points?
We give you a specially prepared map with all the bush tracks and shortcuts that we can find – based on the topographical map but far more accurate!

The points you have to visit are marked by circles, and are all on prominent features such as street addresses, track junctions and hilltops! But you do need to read the map and this makes it excellent training for adventure races and for safety in the bush. GPSs and altimeters are not allowed.

When you get there you prove your visit by answering a simple question, eg “what is the second letter on the direction sign?” No tricky navigation or cryptic questions – the winners will be those with the best combination of speed and choice of route.

What about the Bus and Train Information?
The public transport information is up to you – you’ll have to do some homework! Greater Wellington Regional Council has an excellent website www.metlink.org.nz that provides route and timetable information, including a Journey Planner for specific trips. Or you can request printed timetables.

While you’re out on the course you can always use txtBUS! The map will show stations and bus stop numbers.

How Long is the Safari?
Choose 6 hours or 3 hours. Both events start with a 10-minute sprint around the waterfront and civic centre for extra points.

6-hour teams might bus to Brooklyn or Karori to get right up into the hills, or perhaps the Johnsonville train in the other direction. Wilton Bush is accessible from two bus routes. 3-hour teams will have to be more selective, but may be able to make relatively more use of public transport. Bus routes will get part-way up many of the city’s hills, and of course there’s the cablecar too.

You don't have to stay out for the whole time. You get a result no matter how many or how few controls you visit.

Who can Take Part?
Rogaines are for teams of 2-5, with 2 persons most common. This rule is for safety in remote areas, but we’re sticking with it because it requires teamwork! And it’s a lot of fun in a group too, so there are categories for college and business-house teams.

Entry by 10 days prior is required to order the limited-edition map showing the control points, everyone gets a copy. Fixed number of spare maps and transport passes for on-the-day entries.

What Happens On the Day?
The start is on the Wellington waterfront.

6-hour teams: collect your map, bus and train pass, control list and score card from 8:30am. Start planning your route. 10-minute “prologue” starts at 9:15am. Have a breather, then you’re off on the main course at 9:45. Finish by 3:45pm.

3-hour teams: collect your goodies from 11:00am. Your 10-minute prologue starts at 11:45am. Your main course is 12:15 to 3:15pm.

Use the map and your knowledge of the public transport to visit control points. Hint: most teams feel optimistic during the early part of the course, but the finish time has a habit of creeping up suddenly. Give yourselves some options which can be cut out if you’re running short of time.

Everyone finishes at the same time, so you can compare your routes. We do a quick count-up and declare the results. We'll have a BBQ-type meal for you, and some small prizes. Apart from our transport partners the event is not sponsored, we put all our effort into the map and course!

What Now?
Tell your friends! Organise your team and put in an entry. There's some further nitty gritty such as precisely where the start is which will be published on this website under "Detailed Instructions". It hasn't been written yet, but as a guide you can refer to what we said last year. And there's news and pictures from last time too.

The event is organised by Orienteering Hutt Valley which pioneered rogaining in New Zealand in 1991. You can be assured of a great event - this will be its 90th rogaine! For further information contact the course planner Ph 04 566 2645.

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