The setting and vetting team have completed their final tweaks to the map, and everything is ready to go. This land is good, fast travelling land, IF you’re a decent navigator. For those who don’t have finely honed navigation skills, then travel fast with care. There are lots of sneaky gully and spur lines ready to lead you astray.
And if the navigation sounds a trifle intimidating, there’s always food and warmth at the Hash House to fall back on.
The caterers are favourites of SA Rogaining – the Peterborough Historical Society. They put on a great spread – good, hot food is always welcome after many hours out in the scrub. Those doing the 8-hour event have it the best, as they’re assured of being at the Hash House for dinner, unlike the die-hard 24-hour rogainers, who don’t come in for that nourishing, energy-providing banquet. (Hmmm, I’m beginning to rethink staying out for 24 hours…)
For those of you who are not just FIFO, but are wanting a bit of a holiday, check out the following sites:
But for those of you who are FIFO, we will have buses collecting people from the airport and bus station. We can’t tell you the times yet, as flights are still somewhat covid-19 haphazard, but as the event approaches, we’ll look at times flights arrive and optimise the pick-up times. We promise not to leave anyone behind.
Super Vet rogainer and self-confessed ‘word nerd’ Bruce Greenhalgh considers the day to night rogaine experience and the up coming Australian Rogaining Championships.
I’m something of a ‘word nerd’, somebody who takes an interest in words: their meaning, sound, spelling, use and abuse. It follows that I have opinions on many words; for example, ‘languid’, which I think is a delightful sounding and very fitting word. At the other end of the scale are words I regard as less successful. ‘Pulchritude’ springs to mind, it means ‘beauty’, but it sounds to me more like a good name for a boil or a bad attitude. ‘Crepuscular’ is similar. I confess I’d read the word a number of times without knowing what it meant (I’ve never heard it spoken) and had to look it up in a dictionary. It means ‘of, relating to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct’. As a word it doesn’t work for me; it doesn’t in anyway evoke twilight, instead sounding, again, like a descriptor for some sort of disease.
Still, it’s a handy way of referring to a significant and memorable period of any rogaine that traverses from day to night (and back, although ‘crepuscular’ is mostly used to describe dusk, not dawn). In our modern lives the crepuscular time of day usually passes without too much notice. When it gets dark we switch on a light or two and carrying on doing what we were doing. We’re normally not aware of the precise timing of the loss of light and generally not inconvenienced by it.
That all changes during a day/night rogaine. You become intensely aware of the fading light and have likely planned for it in some way. Navigation becomes a whole lot harder as day becomes night, as does simply negotiating the terrain. Without any artificial light, apart from your head lamp, you realise how dark, dark is. If you’re attempting a full 24 hours it’s hard not to think that the dark is going to last a long, long time.
After a tumultuous 2020 and the subsequent postponement of the Australasian Rogaining Championships, SA Rogaining are excited to announce that the Australian Champs is scheduled for 29-30 May.
We understand the pandemic-landscape has changed the way we think about travel, with border closures and quarantining now the norm. Regardless, we are optimistic that May will be a good month, with open borders and no restrictions, so SA can welcome competitors from all states. However, if things do go topsy turvy, we guarantee a full refund of the registration fee and bus cost (if booked).
Entries will open at sarogaining.com.au/event/arc2021/, on Monday, 1 March at 7am (ACST) – who will be the first team to enter? Entries will close at midnight on Sunday, 9 May.
The 2021 Australian Rogaining Championship will be held in the mid-north of South Australia, in Mallee country. The event is in the Regional Council of Goyder, an area rich in history. See the story about Goyder’s Line here sarogaining.com.au/news/the-goyder-line/.
After discussions with the ARA council the SA Rogaining association has re-scheduled the 2020 Australian Rogaining championship to the 29/30th May 2021. Border restrictions and travel movements within Australia are becoming more relaxed and we are very hopeful that all states and territory associations will be able to send representatives to this event. Please note that the status of the event as an Australasian Championship and associated WRC qualifications is being considered at the IRF level given Australia’s current inter-national travel restrictions.
The entry system will open during the first week of March and the “early-bird” entry will closed on the 2 May 2021 with a late entry fee applicable up until 9th May 2021. No entries will be accepted after the 9 May 2021. We are hopeful that the costs as previously advertised last year can be retained, but we are currently re-negotiating with our external contractors. Please note that in the event of Pandemic border closures or onerous quarantine restrictions (on return) a full entry refund will be provided.
This event will be held under the guidelines required by a SA Health Covid Safe Plan. As such there may be some new administration procedures in the lead up to the event date and at the event site which inter-state competitors may not be familiar with. The SA Rogaining association held numerous events in the final 6 months of 2020 working under the SA Health guidelines and have developed procedures and practices to meet the changing requirements.
Bus Schedule Revision
To assist with travellers wishing to depart Adelaide airport on the evening of Sunday 30 May 2021, the departure time for at least one of the buses will be 2pm (at the latest) with arrival at Adelaide airport estimated to be around 5.30pm (6pm at the latest).
Those wishing to avail themselves of this early bus departure time, from Bri Glen Springs event site to Adelaide airport, should advise the ARC organisers ( email@example.com ) so that seat allocation can be arranged.
Departure times from Adelaide on the afternoon of Friday 28 May 2021, is still planned to be around 1pm to 2pm (so that arrival at the Hash House site will be in daylight) and will be finalised once numbers are confirmed and in-coming flight times of participants are known. If you are flying into Adelaide and will be using the bus service, please advise the ARC2020/21 organisers of your flight schedules so that our “meet & greet” volunteers are available to direct you to the bus departure location.
Currently there are restrictions on taking fruit and vegetable outside the Adelaide metropolitan zone.
If required, the bus will make a stop at a supermarket to allow for last minute purchases outside the metropolitan restriction zone.
Please note that South Australia has strict laws regarding bringing fruit and vegetables into the state.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the ARC2020 event management team have closed entries to the event and are advising that the event is being postponed to a date yet to be decided, possibly 2021.
We believe this is a socially responsible stance to take in response to these challenging times and current restrictions which are being imposed by the state and federal governments. The decision was not undertaken lightly and we realise that this will cause issues for some with pre-planned travel arrangements etc.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that overseas and inter-state competitors will find it difficult or impossible to travel to the event and/or return home afterwards. Also, it is highly likely that part of the organising volunteer group will be restricted or in isolation in the lead up to the scheduled event date making it very difficult to physically host the event in May.
Full refunds will be made, if required to any entries already accepted, or held in trust pending re-opening of entries for the event on a date to be decided. The Organisers will be in contact via email to all entrants in the near future.
We hope that you and your loved ones will be safe during these trying times and look forward to seeing you in more happy times, hopefully in the not to distance future.
On a dark rainy windswept night in 1989, the young girl trudged up the road in the glow of torchlight after 14 hours in the wilderness, lagging behind her companion who turned back to her, map in hand, and they conferred about whether to head towards the hash house and a warm bed in a dry* tent, or else venture further into the Deceptive Lands…
Present Day: Interview with the not-so-young-any-more girl, Jenny Casanova
(Chief Conspirator for the Deceptive Lands)
Q: Introduce us to the setting team.
A: Well, the bossy one is me, Jenny, and after the magnificent and extremely well-organised 2012 ARC at Angorichina in the Northern Flinders Ranges I started thinking about who I could get to help me showcase my favourite rogaining terrain to the rest of Austral(as)ia. So, I asked my favourite past-and-present South Aussie team mates: Mark Corbett, Zara Soden and Steve Cooper, to be part of the setting team.
*Photo of setting team (L-R: Zara Soden, Steve Cooper, Jenny Casanova, Mark Corbett) poring over maps on a rare day when it was actually too wet to be outside*
Also, the extended Corbett clan has been giving us assistance and advice. We are very lucky to have Craig Colwell as the event coordinator; he focuses on all the logistics and we primarily need only concern ourselves with preparing a 24-hour which we wish we ourselves could compete in.
Q: Where are the Deceptive Lands?
A: Only half as far from Adelaide as the Northern Flinders
(Approximately 240km, just over 3 hours’ drive depending on how often you stop at a bakery.)
Q: Why did the setters choose this area for the Australasian Championships?
A: I’ve always loved the mallee country east of the Barrier Highway, and we’ve been coming here for 30 years now, orienteering in little pockets of it, and have built up a good relationship with a number of the farmers in the region. With my parents and Zara, I set the 2013 God’s Country; Beyond Hell’s Gates 12 hour in this vicinity and we enjoyed every minute of doing so.
True, the scenery may not be as grand as some parts of the Flinders Ranges where previous ARCs have been held, but there is nothing quite like the view to the north and east from a high hill, with wedge-tailed eagles soaring overhead. When I am out there, I never want to go back to the city!
Q: Tell us what the terrain is like.
A: Rolling hills, deeply-incised dry creek networks more numerous than can possibly all be shown on the map, some enormous channels which have actually been flowing when the tail end of a summer cyclone comes through, very little undergrowth in the mallee scrub, some fast open flood plains, and absolutely no spinifex…
Q: Why is the rogaine titled “Deceptive Lands”?
A: We toyed initially with something on the Goyder Council theme; Goyder having been the surveyor who in the 1860s undertook a detailed study of South Australia’s vegetation, and identified that crops would not be viable north of a virtual boundary which he drew on maps. In this region, Goyder’s line is almost visibly painted on the ground in a drought year.
The name Deceptive Lands came about because it’s the title of a book written in the 1960s about the history of the Terowie region, referencing the fact that in a good rainfall year this can seem like excellent cropping & grazing country, but appearances can be deceptive…as they can also be when following up a watercourse amongst the mallee, looking for a side gully at two in the morning.
Q: How has the drought affected this area?
A: In the midst of the mallee, nothing appears to change, although local farmers had been carting water and feed for their stock for over a year now, so it’s an absolute blessing that there have been recent summer rains. There are some permanent springs & soaks in the area, as the original Ngadjuri people would have been well aware; these must have been a lifeline for them in dry years.
Q: How can we get to the 2020 ARC?
A: By standing on the side of main North Road and thumbing a lift as fellow rogainers go past!
Although the HH is not so very far from an airstrip, you would need to bring your own light aircraft, and the trains eventually stopped running to Terowie over 40 years after General MacArthur stood on the platform and famously declared “I came out of Bataan and I shall return”. Seriously though, buses will be organised for competitors who require transport to/from the airport, and info on booking the bus can be found on the ARC website https://sarogaining.com.au/event/ara-championships-2020/ plus there are plenty of car hire options.
Q: Why should we come to the Deceptive Lands?
A: Because it will be such a fun event, with great catering at the centrally-located hash house, unlimited space for free camping Fri-Sun nights, and 80 controls to choose from, plus there’s an 8 hour option for those who don’t feel inclined to do an entire 24 hours. And you can check out the antiques in Burra, or the wineries of the Clare Valley, on your way to and from the Deceptive Lands. And don’t forget to purchase a commemorative Deceptive Lands shirt from https://topsbytash.com.au/collections/rogaining-champs-2020
There’s lots to do and see apart from rogaining at the 2021 Australian Rogaining Championships. So if you have time before or after, or if your support crew are looking to see some sights while you are busy with your cross country navigation, check out the attached tourist map which our resident Orienteering Guru, Adrian Uppill prepared. There should be something for everyone with old trains, dinosaur bones, ruins, gold mine diggings, mountains to climb and lots of kangaroos and emus.
The event area for the 2021 Australian Rogaining Championships has a fascinating history. In 1865 with barely 30 years’ knowledge of this new country, George Goyder, the then SA Surveyor General was asked to map the boundary between those areas that received good rainfall and those experiencing drought.
After traversing an estimated 3,200kms on horseback he submitted his report and map to the state government in December of that year. The map showed a line of demarcation, the areas to the north being judged to be “liable to drought” and the areas to the south being arable.
Unfortunately, ample rains fell during 1865 prompting farmers to ignore Goyder’s report and settle in the north, starting farms and planting crops. A few years later, Goyder was proved correct and many had to abandon their properties as the land was indeed unsuitable for cropping. Many farmhouse ruins can be seen in the vicinity of Goyder’s line.
There were other periods of development north of the line, but invariably, adverse conditions proved decisive. Entire towns and farms were abandoned when there was a return to longer-term average rainfall patterns.
As you leave the Adelaide environment you will quickly notice the changing pattern of terrain as you head to the dryer mid-north section of the Flinders Ranges and approach the Goyder line. North of Burra you will pass through vast fields of wheat but as you head north and east of Hallett the land becomes more sheep oriented, with numerous wind turbines scattered along the ranges either side of the Barrier highway.