Event Postponement – Coronavirus

Event Postponement                                                                                                                                      

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 o

f 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.



Craig Colwell

Event Coordinator






Intervarsity & Bus Transport Update

News update

An Intervarsity category has now been added to the ARC2020 web site entry system. This category is for teams comprising students who are enrolled in the same university. The Australian National University (ANU) located in the ACT has dominated this category in recent years and the pressure will be on them to maintain their high standard against some of the local SA Uni teams.


Bus Schedule Revision

To assist with travellers wishing to depart Adelaide airport on the evening of Sunday 10 May, 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 to Adelaide airport, should advise the ARC organisers ( cuculain@iinet.net.au  ) so that seat allocation can be arranged.


Departure times from Adelaide on the afternoon of Friday 8 May is 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 organisers of your flight schedules so that our “meet & greet” volunteers are available to direct you to the bus departure location.


If required, the bus will make a stop at a supermarket to allow for last minute purchases. Please note that South Australia has strict laws regarding bringing fruit and vegetables into the state, however there are no restriction between Adelaide and the event site. See https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/fruit_fly/travelling_to_south_australia.

A Tale of The Deceptive Lands

30 Years Ago; The Story Begins…

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…

*it turned out that the tent had leaked, anyway!


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.

Setting team L – R : Zara Soden, Steve Cooper, Jenny Casanova & Mark Corbett

*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

Jenny Casanova

“Drought breaker”

Whilst the summer monsoonal rain thwarted the Setting team’s planned 2020 Australasian Rogaining Championships site visit this weekend as the access road and surrounding paddocks were awash after the 50 – 60mm of overnight rain, this was a godsend for the parched countryside and local wild-life.

The Setting team and associated organisers were forced to spend a pleasant morning huddled in a café, reviewing maps and Control locations and discussing other Rogaine event management details.

Hopefully there will be further rainfalls in the coming weeks to provide relief to the farmers and start to green up the area.

Setting team L – R : Zara Soden, Steve Cooper, Jenny Casanova & Mark Corbett (with “Draft” maps cleverly concealed)
1st February 2020 SA rainfall map

What to do before and after a Rogaine!

There’s lots to do and see apart from Rogaining at the 2020 Australasian 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.

View PDF version

The Goyder Line

The event area for the 2020 Australasian 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.

Getting there is half the fun!

The Australian Championships are a 24-hour event, starting at midday on Saturday, 9 May 2020.  The championship event will conclude at midday on Sunday, 10 May. The non-championship event is a straight 8-hour event also starting at midday, 9 May, and finishing at 8pm.

The entry system is now open, and the top ranked Australian team of Julie Quinn and David Baldwin from the ACT have been the first to enter and are now listed as Team number 1.  Julie and David took out first place in the recent 2019 Australasian Rogaining Championship held at Binalong Bay, Tasmania ahead of their arch-rivals from the west, Dave Symons and Paul Williams.

Getting there is half the fun!

Whether you live in Adelaide or are flying in from interstate or overseas, why not take the hassle out of getting to the event site, and book a seat on our bus which will deliver you to the event site late Friday afternoon and bring you back to Adelaide late Sunday afternoon.  Seat prices are a low $35.00 each way, which is much cheaper than hiring a car and/or the cost of fuel to get there and back.

The bus is a great way to meet and socialise with fellow rogainers, as well as being a safe way to get home if you are planning on spending a sleepless night under the stars on the Deceptive Lands in Goyder Country SA.

For those with more time to spare each side of the event dates, why not explore the nearby Clare Valley with its numerous wineries and bike trails? The historic mining town of Burra also has many attractions as well as bakeries and cafes.

If pre-event rogaine training is required, then a visit to the Caroona Creek Conservation Park would be an ideal spot to visit.  This was the location for the SARA 2016 Spring 12-hour event and the map is available here.


ARC 2020 Site

In recent years the average minimum and maximum temperatures for the 2020 Australasian Rogaining Championships event area during 9/10 May have been 3oC minimum and 16oC maximum. Having good quality thermal clothing is highly recommended and if you are unsure, check out our IO Merino clothing range in the “Buy” section of the event website.  Additional weather statistics can be seen in the graph below (thanks to the BOM).

The Hash House camp site is nestled alongside Bri Glen Springs Road and one of the massive, dry creek beds this area is known for.  Camping is available among the Mallee trees or in the more open terrain. The picture below shows the Event Coordinator, Craig Colwell (wearing the 2012 ARC event shirt) camped on-site during one of the many field site inspections.

South Australia is hosting the 2020 Australasian Rogaining Championships

Set in beautiful Mallee country only 3 hours’ drive north of Adelaide, the 24-hour Australasian Rogaining Championship (ARC) will introduce competitors to complex creek networks, deep erosion gullies and spurs, fabulous views from the hilltops and absolutely no spinifex!

If the championship event sounds too intimidating, there will be a concurrent 8-hour event, commencing at midday on Saturday, 9 May and concluding at 8pm that evening.

While you’re in the area, explore some of the local attractions such as the Burra mine site. Known in South Australia as The Monster Mine, in the 1850s it was the largest mine in Australia, and produced 89% of the world’s copper. Grab a Burra Heritage Passport Key from the visitor centre and visit some of Burra’s historic places or, on the drive out to the rogaine site, stop at Cobb and Co Corner to grab a selfie in front of the Midnight Oil House. Stay a few days in the Clare or Barossa Valleys and soak in the region’s best wines and food.