What is The Big Trig?

The Big Trig is a "rogaine" as defined below under "Rules of the game". There is a 6 hour and a 3 hour rogaine. 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 6 or 3 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 meal including pizza by the box follows the end of the rogaines.

Where is it?

Somewhere near the Akatarawas .

Parking and the event centre details will be provided nearer the event. Please try and car pool to the event if you can.

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 non-member Adult fee is:

  • 3-hour rogaine $20
  • 6-hour rogaine $30

If you are an Adult member of an orienteering club or the NZRA it's $5 off.

If you are a Junior (aged 13–20yrs on 31 December) it's at least half the Adult price.

And if you are under 13yrs on 31 December pay absolutely nothing but you must be with an Adult team member (aged 21 or over)!

How to Enter

Head off to our online entry form. The closing date is midnight Sunday 3rd December 2023.


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.

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

Event schedule

Your maps and answer sheets will be available 40min before the start times. There'll be a briefing 10min before the start.

  • 6 hour event
    • 9:20am maps available
    • 9:50am briefing
    • 10am start
    • 4pm finish
  • 3 hour event
    • 11:50am maps available
    • 12:20pm briefing
    • 12:30pm start
    • 3:30pm finish
  • Sunday at completion 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.

Check-Out at the Start

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. The package will also contain a black & white 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!!

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
  • 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.

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!

Last year's map

We'll post an example from last year as soon as we can - the details may vary.
  • Sheets: TBC. May be A3 or A4
  • Scale: TBC. May vary from 1:10,000 to 1:18,000
  • Contours: 10m
  • Legend: will be on each map. 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 (check the 'Change Log' on the left)
    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 will exist for parts of the map 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. 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 (the top items are per person, the bottom ones are per team).
    • Thermal top
    • Parka
    • Long pants (thermal or over-trou)
    • Hat and gloves
    • Suitable footwear must be worn
    • 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.
  • 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 register

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.

In particular:

  • Risk of exposure up top (although no controls above the treeline)
  • Roads (and tracks) may have other users. Especially 4WD & motorbikes in the Akas and MTBs coming down the Red Tape downhill track.
  • 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.