top of page

Seasons, Series and Carnivals


Orienteering NSW plans around a 'Summer' calendar (Oct-Mar, daylight savings), and a 'Winter' calendar (Mar-Oct).  Despite this, all events simply appear in Eventor (the Australia-wide event information/entry/result listing) according to a regular 52-week calendar.


A series is simply whatever events an organiser wanted to string together for promotional purposes.  Go to just one, or all events: each event has its results listed separately.  For some Series, there is a cumulative score over the months based on your percentage time behind the winner, or on your ranking at each event (sometimes you only count your best 6 out of say 12 events, for example).  That said, the Easter 3-day National adds all three days' times to determine the winner.


A carnival is just a group of high quality events held over a week or so.  They rotate the states, and might take in the Australian or Oceania Championships.  Organisers go the extra mile to create a bit of spectator pizazz, music and a commentary with what's happening out in the forest and down the finish chute.  Carnivals provide great value family holidays in very interesting corners of Australia (e.g. see Aus Champs 2022).  Go to just one, or all events.  Results for individual events are always available.  Notably, membership of an Australian O club extends entry to most overseas events and carnivals as well.

Orienteering Series

  • NSW State League:  Events are held in bushlands outside the Sydney basin as 'double-headers' (one on Saturday afternoon, the other the following Sunday morning).  Courses cater for beginners to elites.  For 2022 your best 12 events out of 17 count.  Leave the city behind, enjoy what NSW has to offer, support our rural communities.

  • Sydney MetroLeagueAn annual inter-club competition for Greater Sydney metropolitan clubs run from March through  August/September (6 events: one Sunday morning per month).  Moderately easy to hard courses so most club members can participate.  Every competitor who finishes earns a point for their club.  Email our Club Captain Jamie Kennedy if interested.  Enter on the day courses are generally available for those not wanting to join a team.

  • Saturday Orienteering SeriesAmed at capturing beginners, especially children, these events are very popular with experienced orienteers too.  Run by Barbara Hill from Garingal through her Bold Horizons entity, the events are held predominantly in school grounds to provide a secure environment for children.  And do not be fooled, some schools are spatially quite complex, even to the point that 3-D orienteering can be offered.  Four courses typically on offer: a Sampler, Short Line, Long Line and Score.  You can do more than one for the price of one. 

  • Sydney Summer Series (North)Started in 1991, this highly popular series of Wednesday-after-work 45 minute Score events runs for 26 weeks during daylight savings.  Often with over 200 competitors during the 2hr start window, the atmosphere is quite social.  Events spread from the Northern Beaches to Epping, Hornsby down to both northern and southern sides of Sydney Harbour.  

  • Sydney Summer Series (South)Now called the River and Bay Series as events are centred around the Cooks River Valley and Botany Bay.  A Score course and long/medium/short line courses are on offer late Sunday afternoons.

  • Sydney Summer Series (West)Short Line, Medium Line, Long Line and Score courses are on offer Sunday mornings in the more western suburbs of Sydney and the Hills District.

  • Sydney Sprint Series: Sprints are the newest format of orienteering, and are like the T20 of orienteering: Fast and furious, often won by just one second.  The variety in route choices make it interesting no matter your speed.  Mainly held in areas with many buildings (uni campuses, former hospitals, schools).

  • Moonlight Madness: For those having withdrawal symptoms after the Sydney Summer Series, the Wednesday evening before a full moon for some six cooler months of the year, there is a 45-minute Score event starting around 5.30pm generally held around the northern suburbs of Sydney (same format as Sydney Summer Series).  Headlamp or torch definitely required.

  • National Orienteering League Series:  States select their Elite Teams to be pitted against each other at a series of high calibre events across Australia where courses are also available for all ages - the state with the highest point score at the.


Orienteering Carnivals in Australia

  • The National 3 Days This rotates the states, is always at Easter, and determines who is consistently good over a range of O formats. There are actually 4 days of top quality events open to everyone, even beginners.  Good Friday offers a competitive Prologue event for the elites, a Family Relay, and a fun sprint for the rest of us.  Your times  on Sat/Sun/Mon are cumulative.  If you bomb out on one day, you still compete the remaining days but you are out of the rankings.  Some events are selection trials for elites to represent Australia at the World Orienteering Championships, Junior WOC, or University WOC, and might be IOF World Ranking events.

  • The Australian Championships Carnival:  Open to all ages and skill levels, even beginners.  Typically held over 2 weekends and midweek late September school holidays.  The carnival rotates the states.  Weekends generally see the Australian Championship events (and perhaps a state championship thrown in).  Midweek is for a fun 3-day series held concurrently with the Aus Schools Champs.

  • Australian Schools ChampionshipsHeld midweek during the Aus Champs, both individual and state team competitions.  Only open to junior and senior high school students who have been selected as representatives for their state.

  • Christmas 5 Days: Open to anyone, always a low-key fun series with a mix of Sprint/Middle/Long courses.  Day 1 starts late afternoon, the other days start early morning.  Hence, plenty of time to be a tourist, chill out, and be home for New Year's Eve.  Your best 4 out of 5 times are accumulated to determine the class winners (no age classes, just 5 Hard courses, a Moderate, Easy and Very Easy).  A tradition is a small prize for Day winners in each class, plus random lucky-dip prizes for those at the daily presentations.

  • Oceania Orienteering Championships:  Held alternately every two years in NZ or Australia, this is another great family holiday.  International-grade events, open to anyone, all skill levels even beginners.  Behind the scenes, based on current form in major events, top participants are assigned to represent Australia in every age class (A courses, not AS) in a Point Score competition against New Zealand.

Orienteering Carnivals Overseas


The World of O is probably the best online Calendar of overseas orienteering events.  Unless specified, events are also open to all members of any Australian club.

Some events that Garingal members have participated in are listed below.  Contact the President for more info and which members can give you an appraisal of these carnivals

bottom of page