Big Trig 2021 — The Nitty Gritty Details

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Note 1 Dec: As we approach entry close-off, be it known that we have a maximum for each of the rogaines. What happens when that is reached is your entry is put on a "wait-list". We may be able to accept more. (Remember the covid rules are not fully clear. We'll take you if we can!!!)

Remember also that we'll be in ORANGE in the traffic-light system. Its almost certain we will be requiring vax passes. If you are not double-dosed, and entered under the old Level 2 arrangements, we have our money-back offer.

It is likely that we'll be at Level 2, and we'll have a limit of 200 people at any one of the rogaines. If we go down to Level 1 we may be able to take this limit off.

Second, if Wellington goes to Level 3 or 4, or there are other covid rules that prevent us from running the event at all, we'll be as disappoinbted as you. In this case we'll make a full refund. But bear with us, it will probably be after the event date.

What is The Big Trig?

The Big Trig is a "rogaine" as defined below under "Rules of the game". Or in this 30th birthday year its a group of FIVE rogaines. For each one the course planner has set out up to 50 controls including close ones that will suit family groups — so there's something for everyone.

You have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 15 hours to maximise your score by visiting control points. Visits are confirmed by successfully answering a simple question. This is usually about a man-made feature or an orange ribbon with a code-word on it. Our tradional post-race rogaine meal was going to come after the final rogaine - but uncertainty about food handling has put the "kai-bosh" on that. We have a plan to serve up pizza by the box. One or more boxes for each team. But at least there will be something.

We expect lots of teams to enter one or two of these rogaines. For those who like to combine foot and mountainbike (calling adventure racers!) consider the three Saturday rogaines joined together by biking. And we expect a small number of "hard-core" teams to enter all five. This will be nearly as hard as a classic 24-hour rogaine, because they will be competing against fresh teams doing one or two! But it wont have the sleep deprivation of a 24:-))

Where is it?

The series will start on Friday night in Wellington, to make it convenient for those working in the city or arriving by air. It will be in and above the Aro Valley which boasts a dense network of bush tracks merging into Central Park and the town belt. On Saturday we start with Korokoro in Lower Hutt, where a bush zone extends from Percy Reserve on SH2 right up to the top of Maungaraki. In the afternoon we'll cross the valley to Wainuiuomata where extensive areas of mature beech near the MTB park enable lots of off-track challenges. And in the evening we'll be in the southern part of Belmont Regional Park - the bush-clad part rising to Belmont Trig. Sunday's rogaine will be in the northern part of the park - with its bunkers, its boulders (Boulder Hill) and its ravines. So the adventure rogaine will do a circuit of Lower Hutt, starting and finishing at the park entrance at Stratton St.

We aren't providing camping as envisaged, but any accommodation in Lower Hutt would suit those from out of town. The "Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park" is actually in Lower Hutt and is in between the Saturday rogaines.

Fee Structure

The entry fee for a team needs to be paid once, for all team members. (OK we'll be glad to have additions but expect admin muckups as we discover and try to match your entries together! Bribes may help. We prefer pinot.) We don't provide medals, tee-shirts, spot prizes or bouncy castles. Just the best maps in the country and the experience that comes from 30 years of rogaining. The fee per person, before the generous discounts, is:

  • 1-hour rogaine $10
  • 2-hour rogaine $15
  • 3-hour rogaine $20
  • 4-hour rogaine $25
  • 5-hour rogaine $30
  • Adventure Rogaine $80 (includes the 3 Saturday rogaine fees)

If you are a member of an orienteering club or the NZRA, take off $5 for each rogaine, or $15 for the AR.

And if you are 13-20yrs on 31 December, halve everything.

And if you are under 13yrs on 31 December pay absolutely nothing - but you must be with a team member 21 or over! The shorter rogaines wil be ideal for family groups.

How to Enter

Head off to our online entry form. The closing date is Friday 3rd December 2021.


You can withdraw by letting us know by the closing date. We'll process a refund after the event when the pressure is off. After the closing date refunds are only for circumstances outside your control, and at our discretion.

Event schedule

  • Your maps and answer sheets will be available 40min before the start times. There'll be a briefing 10min before.
  • Some of the areas have limited parking, please try to carpool if you can. We also give public transport advice.
  • Friday 7–9pm 2 hours Aro Valley, Wellington (mostly daylight, sunset 8:46)
    Start Tanera Park, entrance off Tanera Cres, Brooklyn. Best route may be up Brooklyn hill, R into Ohiro, left into Tanera. Parking area at the pylon, when that’s full exit and try Ohiro Rd (paths connect). 10-min service on bus route 7 Brooklyn/Kingston.
  • Saturday 9–10am 1 hour Korokoro, Lower Hutt
    Start Frank Cameron Park, London Rd Korokoro. From Lower Hutt take Korokoro Rd over the motorway near K-Mart and go right twice into London Rd. From Wgtn exit SH2 in the Petone 80kph zone into the very short Priests Ave, you’ll do a R-L-R to get into London Rd. Frank Cameron is on the right, care turning in, speeds are high. Overflow on London Rd. Bus 154 from Petone Station is hourly, the 8:36 would suit if you can plan fast!
  • Saturday noon–3pm 3 hours Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt
    Start Parkway Family Playground, Parkway, Wainuiomata. From Lower Hutt head over the Wainui hill, left at first roundabout into Parkway. The playground is on your left. There are parking restrictions on Parkway but side streets should be fine. Bus 160 Wainui North goes right past, bus 170 Wainui South gets you close too. Both run from Queensgate and Waterloo Station at 30min intervals.
  • Saturday 7–11pm 4 hours Belmont Regional Park, Lower Hutt (50% dark, sunset 8:47)
    Start Stratton St roadend. From the Dowse Interchange on SH2 take Dowse Drive uphill for several km, a small descent gets you to a crossroads and St Aidans church. Left here and left again gets you onto a narrow and windy country road though sealed. Several parking zones around “the woolshed” which is our base. No public transport here, but Bus 150 runs hourly past St Aidans, a person with a backpack is sure to get a lift from other rogainers.
  • Sunday 10am–3pm 5 hours Belmont Regional Park, Lower Hutt
    Start Stratton St, same start and directions as above.
  • Sunday 2:45pm Unless we dicover it is against some rule we'll have pizza on a box per team basis. But bring water in your vehicles for rehydration, that's not something we can provide.

The Adventure Rogaine will start at 8am Saturday at Stratton St, Lower Hutt, and require biking to the 1hr, 3hr, and 4hr rogaines. Participants will be sent additional information about this.

Check-Out at the Start

When you arrive at the start we ask that you wear a mask while not on the course. Scan the QR code with the covid tracer app, and show us your covid pass please. Keep social distancing, there will be up to 130 people at the various events. The same applies at the finish.

Do not attend if you have cold or flu symptoms, or if you or anyone in your household is awaiting covid test results.

From the appointed time you can pick up your (named) control sheet and maps. Control locations and questions are on the back of the maps. These will be organised by alphabetical team name. By picking this up you indicate that:

  1. Your team is there and will go out on the course
  2. The people on your entry form are all present and
  3. You have the mobile phone number that the team leader used when entering.

If any of these has changed, report the changes to us before the start. For the 4 and 5hr rogaines the package will also contain a B/W version of the map for you to give us your intended route to assist us in the event of incident. We want this handed in before briefing.

Check-In at the Finish

  1. Mark your return on the board provided, that is the first priority. This will be organised by alphabetical team name.
  2. The second is to note the finish time on your score sheet. There will be a clock, or maybe a person calling the time. We're going to time to the minute, if you are clever you can have an extra 59 seconds!
  3. The third priority is to add up your score and hand your sheet in.
If you are going to be late let the organiser know (phone number on the map) if physically possible. We want to grow the number of rogainers so we dont want to lose any!!

Chatting is good. We are all vaxed, but we ask that you put your masks back on, except when you are eating and drinking. Covid spreads in mysterious ways and no system is perfect.

Rules of the game

If you haven't done a rogaine before, it's a navigation contest for teams. You score points by visiting points marked on a map, choosing your own route so as to finish before the time limit. Big-time rogaines are run in rural terrain and last up to 24 hours. Getting started rogaines are run close to home from one hour long. Either way you choose the points to visit and the route to suit your inclinations — competition or recreation. Rogaines always have both sorts of people.

The Big Trig is a medium-sized rogaine with some of the labour-saving features which have enabled Orienteering Hutt Valley to run more rogaines than anyone else in New Zealand. Read the full NZ Rogaining Rules here. Here are the rules as they apply to the Big Trig:

  • You must take part in a team of 2–5 people.
  • The objective is to maximise your score. The control points are marked on the map with a circle and a number. Control points are worth the "tens" digit of the number multiplied by 10. That is, number 25 is worth 20 points, control 101 is worth 100. Not this time, but we sometimes use numbers 1-9 which are worth 5 points. And we sometimes make up artificial numbers, eg after we get to 39, we go on to 3A, 3B etc which are also in the "30's" group. The start/finish is shown with a triangle.
  • There's a penalty for returning late: 10 points per minute or part thereof. Highest score wins, in the event of a tie the earlier team to finish is placed in front.
  • You prove your visit to each control point by answering a simple question about the landmark and writing it on your control sheet which must be named and handed in at the finish. Swapping information such as the answers to questions , or guessing, is cheating. Obviously we can't police it, we rely on you to play fair. Take a pencil and a spare. Actually an "Inkjoy" pen is cheap and works in the wet!
  • Sometimes there isn't a suitable landmark, we also use bright orange ribbons and the question will be "what is the code word on the ribbon?". Sample at the start. If the question is not crystal clear when you are at the landmark, don't spend more than 5min puzzling. Write down "claim" and carry on. "Democracy" will decide whether claims are allowed, ie did a significant number of teams have trouble? This is not a championship!
  • Except in the case of emergency, team members must stay together, especially when visiting control points. You are not allowed to send the fittest team member up the hill to get the answer! If a team member has to drop out for any reason during the event you must tell us back at base; and from that time you are a new team starting with a score of zero.
  • You must travel on foot. Exception: Adventure teams may travel by bike between rogaines.
  • You must use the map we provide to navigate by. Navigation by GPS is not allowed. No objection to you carrying your GPS in tracking mode for later analysis (that's how we improve the maps) but it's not part of the game.
  • No dogs. Leave any gates as you found them, both on the course and the access roads. If you open a gate do not leave responsibility for closing it to anyone else. You open, you close.

The Premium Competition

This is for teams doing all the rogaines (or perhaps most of them). We'll compute a league table that represents your overall result. The principle is that the 5hr rogaine will be worth 5000 "super-points", and teams will get a proportion of that according to their score relative to the winner. And the 4hr rogaine will be worth 4000 super-points, and so on. You don't have to enter the premium competition, all teams are in it automatically.

There's a bit of detail to write down, such as what happens if the team changes its members etc, but that's the principle. It worked quite well for "Waitangi21" which was a 21-hour series 9 years ago. Watch this space. We won't be having categories for men, women, mixed, old, young, colour of eyes etc etc. Haven't you noticed how well mixed and veteran teams do in rogaines?

The Adventure Rogaine

This is for teams doing the three Saturday rogaines, and biking between them. Your adventure score will be the sum of your three rogaine scores, plus points for MTB controls that you choose to visit. You'll also be eligible for "super-points" in the premium competition, see above.

There's a bit more detail to write down, but that's the principle.

Maps and answer cards

Maps are printed on waterproof paper and there are copies for every participant. The scale for the foot rogaines will be enlarged a LOT compared to the standard topo map. If you are used to an orienteering map it will be steeper than the contours you are used to. If you are used to a topo map it may be flatter than you think!

The adventure rogaine will use the topo map. There will be detailed supplementary instructions where the topo isn't detailed enough, eg highway over and underpasses.

Last year's map

We'll post an example from last year as soon as we can - the details will vary over the five rogaines.
  • Sheets: this was A3, the 1-2-3-4hr rogaines will be A4
  • Scale: this was 1:15,000, the scales will vary from 1:10,000 to 1:18,000
  • Contours: 10m
  • Legend: will be on each map except the AR/topo one. There will be a scale bar showing 500m.


  • The bush is mapped as medium green and rogainers would not expect us to show fast and slow. If there's a control in the medium green you can expect there's a sensible way to get there. We sometimes show very passable trees as light green. And when we discover some awful stuff on a logical route choice, we have used a very dark green. The message is that the majority is middle green and its quite variable. Of course we haven't traversed it all!
  • Open land - Really smooth stuff like playing fields is bright yellow, most of it is rough stuff in pale yellow. This may have scattered scrub on it but is generally passable. Yellow with green spots is in between bush and open, perhaps logged and regenerating. Usually nasty.
  • Out of bounds is shown in a couple of ways. Private land that we don't have permission for (eg the residential area, and lifestyle properties) is gray. There are areas that we SOMETIMES use but not this time. These are covered with a purple cross-hatch and you can't even use the tracks through them.
  • Fences are generally not shown on our rogaine maps (there aren't many anyway, and the topo ones are sooo out of date). We do have most of the tracks mapped. The shorter the dash the rougher the track.
  • We have a special "indistinct track" symbol, its a dashed line with every third dash missing. They could be be possum bait lines shown by small brightly coloured squares on trees, or routes marked with old less visible markers on trees. Bait lines don't necessarily follow good features like ridges. You should be able to follow one of these when you are on it. But they would be very easy to miss if you are coming at them at right angles.

Bring a compass

  • Controls may be referenced by a direction from a prominent feature – e.g. 20m NE of track junction.
  • A compass is one of the required gear items.

Proof of control visits

Control visits in these rogaines are claimed by answering a simple question. The list of questions and the map feature they are on, is on the back of each map. Slightly differently from afterwork rogaines, you write the question number and answer on a waterproof score sheet, one per team. Make sure your team name is on your score sheet. Don't forget a pen or pencil and a spare.


When you return you MUST report to the finish board and enter the time against your team - there will be someone assisting with the official clock. This is our record that you are off the course, which is vital for safety. DON'T give us your "couldn't find number 37" tales at this stage — checking you in is more important. Then move out of the way to add up the score on your answer sheet. Hand your completed sheet in WITHIN 10 MINUTES at the result board. No sheet no result.


  • Although mostly within cooee of civilisation this rogaine covers rugged areas and sensible precautions are required. We expect all participants to:
    1. Read this "Nitty Gritty" section of the website during the week before the event
    2. Read any last-minute warning notices at the events
    3. Attend the briefings ten minutes prior to the starts.

  • Advise us of all changes to your team composition before you start. Your team sticks together unless help is required in an emergency. You report in together at the finish. If you're not back we'll generally start preparations for a search within 30 minutes of the finish time.
  • Take at least one mobile phone with you — the one you confirmed at check-in. Cellphone coverage is good over most of the courses but there are dead spots. The mobile number of the event organiser will be on the map. If you have an incident you should try and get a message to us, moving to higher ground if necessary. In poor coverage a text is more likely to get through than a call. Likewise, tell the event organiser as soon as you can if you are expecting to be more than 15 minutes late. For major safety issues of course try to phone 111 direct. Help other teams in trouble.
  • If you need to attract attention e.g. call another team in to help with an incident, the whistle signal is not set down in any rogaine rule. The general NZ outdoor code (from the Mountain Safety Council) is three of whatever you have at hand — shouts, gunshots, or blasts on your whistle. But never mind the number, several short blasts, then a long pause, then repeat.
  • Give us a "flight plan" before you start (1, 2 and 3hr rogaines excepted). This is a black & white copy of the map on which you sketch your intended route. Don't forget to name it, and don't forget some direction arrows! You will probably modify your route but it may help in an emergency.
  • We cannot guarantee the hot sunny weather that we obviously hope for. You must be prepared with the normal bad-weather gear. There's a list below which is compulsory for all teams. Yes, on a nice day it may seem like overkill but let me tell you about an immobilising injury we had in the bush about 5km from downtown Lower Hutt. The patient couldn't walk, the helicopter couldn't drop a line, the wheelie stretcher couldn't wheel, in the end the patient just HAD to struggle out with a helper each side. Prepare!
  • Here's the minimum gear list for the 3, 4 and 5hr rogaines (the top items are per person, the bottom ones are per team). Only the cellphone is compulsory for the 1 and 2hr rogaines.
    • Thermal top
    • Parka
    • Long pants (thermal or over-trou)
    • Hat and gloves
    • Food and water appropriate for the distance.
    • Torch (each for night events, per team for daytime)
    • Whistle and compass per team
    • Survival blanket or bag, and simple First Aid kit per team
    • A charged cellphone per team is compulsory, it may not work in some locations but it is so useful if it does.
    • Obviously you'll need a pack to carry this in.
  • There are additional requirements for the Adventure Rogaine which apply when you are biking. They are per person.
    • Bike and helmet
    • Front white light and red rear light
  • If it is very HOT then take extra water with you. The risk of giardia is present in many NZ streams and we are not going to give you any assurances. You may replenish water from facilities identified on the map.

Site-specific hazard registers

Our responsibility is to draw your attention to the risks of participation, your responsibility is to read it. A small number of specific hazards may be given at briefings. This is particularly so for the adventure rogaine.

A GENERAL hazard results from a record-breaking (for December) rainfall we had earlier in the week. You won't be crossing larger streams or rivers but everything is still very slippery. In particular:

  • Many of the well-used tracks have polished sections of rock or clay. Watch for these, and put your feet where the knobbly bits poke through, or on the grassy edges where your shoes will sink in a bit.
  • Take care in stream travel, well they ALWAYS have slippery bits or loose rocks.
  • Roads (and tracks) are open to all. Care and courtesy.
  • Finally, the forecast is for showers. But not like last Monday:-))