Know your Compass

Some of the harder navigation may require you to know your compass points beyond the primary cardinals N,E,S,W. This compass rose breaks things down to 128 points.

Some other ways of determining a direction may be:



US Mils

Russian Mils

We suggest you purchase the "About GPS Vehicle Navigation in Australia" publication from our Navrun Shop.

GPS Co-ordinates

55H 455930E/5821150N This GPS point is at "Store Point" near Walhalla in Victoria. Starting with the Zone - 55H (see map) 455930 meters East and 5821150 meters North. This gets much simpler when narrowed down to one map, and your only dealing with 10's of klms.

In this case the co-ordinate can be simplified further, but with less accuracy by using a grid reference (GR) eg: GR 559211 would get you within 100m as long as you know which map the reference was taken from.

Three Norths?

You should know the difference between the 3 Norths; True North, Grid North and Magnetic North.

True North points to the North Pole.

Grid North points to the top of your map

and Magnetic North is the direction your compass needle points. This is constantly changing by a very small amount, and may not be an issue, unless you are using an old map.

Maps and Coordinates notes

Maps are graphic representations of the Earth. Cartography is the art and science of expressing the known physical features of the earth graphically by maps and charts. No one knows who created the first map, but we have the military to thank for refining maps and designing GPS systems because of their demands for accuracy and detail.

Map Coordinates

Coordinates are a mathematical way of defining a point or a region. Map coordinates are usually shown in one of two ways: the geographical coordinates, given as latitude and longitude values in degrees, minutes and seconds; or the grid coordinates, given as easting and northing values, in metres. The geographic coordinates system aligns with most Global Positioning Systems (GPS).


Scale refers to the relationship between the size of the map and the actual size of area that is mapped. If the scale of a map is 1:100,000, then one centimetre on the map would represents 100,000 centimetres, on the ground. For this reason, a scale of 1:25,000 would show much more detail than a map with a scale of 1:50,000 or 1:100,000. Unfortunately, detail is not always practical, especially for maps that cover large areas, because they would be ridiculously large and impossible to handle.


Contour lines, or some people like to call them, the 'squiggly' lines you see on the map are there to indicate the contour and elevation in the landscape. Basically, the closer the lines are together, the steeper the landscape.

Latitude & Longitude

Latitude and longitude is the most common grid system used for navigation. It will allow you to pinpoint your location with a high degree of accuracy. Latitude is angular distance measured north and south of the equator (equator is 0 degrees). As you go north of the equator, the latitude increases all the way up to 90 degrees at the north pole. If you go south of the equator, the latitude increases all the way up to 90 degrees at the south pole. In the northern hemisphere the latitude is always given in degrees north and in the southern hemisphere it is given in degrees south. Longitude works the same way. It is angular distance measured east and west of the prime meridian (prime meridian is 0 degrees). As you go east from the prime meridian, the longitude increases to 180 degrees. As you go west from the prime meridian longitude increases to 180 degrees. The 180 degree meridian is also known as the international date line. In the eastern hemisphere the longitude is given in degrees east and in the western hemisphere it is given in degrees west.


UTM stands for 'Universal Transverse Mercator', and is similar to latitude and longitude except that it uses a different style of output for recording coordinates. TMR utilises the UTM method of recording way points. This means that you will more than likely need to set your GPS to UTM mode, and datum WGS84 if you wish to use any of the way points or coordinates on this site as they are all specifically recorded in Australia for Australia. The UTM system works by breaking up the entire globe (earth) into friendly usable zones. Each zone is labelled with a number that refers to a region of longitude which is 6 degrees wide; and a letter that refers to a region of latitude which is 8 degrees high.


The most preferred GPS tool in these events is Oziexplorer. It can be ran on a laptop with GPS dongle or on a GPS enabled Android / Windows tablet.

The program allows you to load any map (whether digital or scanned from paper) indicate your current position with heading, speed and altitude. All paper maps used in our events will have a digital version available.

Oziexplorer also allows you to log a breadcrumb trail, create and project waypoints, calculate distances and measure bearings. It is the easiest tool for you to know exactly where you are in reference to the paper maps provided. It can also take a lot of the headaches out of some of the more complex navigation questions.

The Vehicles

Events are suitable for most 4WDs with clearance and decent tyres. You should be confident with your driving and be able to self recover, should the need arise. Check with the descriptions with each of our unique events, or just ask us.

The Notes

At the beginning of the event, you will be issued your notes. This will give you the clues you need to get to each waypoint, and the questions that will earn you points.

The Maps

An official paper map will be supplied, on which all measurements and clues will be based. Many competitors also opt to use a digital version of the map with "oziexplorer". We at Navrun can supply all competitors with a free version of that electronic map via a downlink.