King’s Birthday Weekend| Nelson Orienteering Club
By Christo Peters - Mon 1 Jul 2024 8:25pm
King’s Birthday Weekend| Nelson Orienteering Club

King’s Birthday Weekend saw over 450 participants tackle the ‘Middle’ event at Canaan Downs, in tricky, highly technical terrain. Planner Amelia Horne and controller Calum Coombs had made most of the rolling farmland and moderate to fast open beech forest with intricate karst topography, numerous tomos and marble rock outcrops, resulting in a lot of confusion, but also some very fast results for those with excellent map contact.

Golden Bay’s sun came out in force for the ‘Long’ event at Kaihoka Lakes, on the highly anticipated new map created by Michael Croxford. In controller Julian Maclaren’s words: “Kaihoka Lakes is a unique and spectacular part of New Zealand, on a wild and exposed piece of coast. It includes large sand dunes, beaches, steep hills, and rocky areas” but also “dress appropriately, on parts of the map, a jacket may be all there is between you and the east coast of Australia.” Planner Neil Murray, a Golden Bay local and lover of the West Coast terrain, created courses fully embracing the diverse landscape, with the longer courses showcasing all the variety and ruggedness on offer, which necessitated taking participants up a few hills through areas of questionable runnability.

The finale of the event, the Sprint, was ‘in town’ where planner Riley Croxford and controller Richard Greatrex had made the most of the relative small area by starting from inside the school hall and using both school campuses with a mixture of permanent and prefabricated buildings of various ages, the canopied areas and the tight passages to their maximum advantage.

Results and Competitions

For full results, including photo- and video impressions, please visit the King’s Birthday website (
Aside from being an event in its own right, King’s Birthday also saw a few additional competitions:

  • An informal test match between the NZ Pinestars and Australian Bushrangers resulted in a clear win for the kiwis;
  • Final rounds of the National Orienteering and Sprint Leagues (NOL & NSL), reported on by Scott Smith elsewhere and
  • The NZSS Regional Challenge was clearly won by the Auckland clubs, followed by the South Island clubs in second place, and the remainder of the North Island clubs ending in third position.

Community & NMRHT

During the preparing for and currently the finalising of KB24, the word that kept cropping up is ‘community’:

  • The Nelson Orienteering Club community, which rallied behind Michael Croxford’s vision to create an orienteering event in Golden Bay, and the huge number of NOC volunteers wanting to help;
  • Orienteers from outside the Nelson area offering their services in case more volunteers were needed;
  • Richard English and the business community of Golden Bay, who understood the impact of these visitors during the winter season and made the visit even more enticing;
  • Volunteers from Collingwood Area School and the Golden Bay High School football team, providing kai for our participants and raising funds for their school and sport community;
  • And last but not least, the request from the owners of Kaihoka Lakes farms to give back to the community by collectively raising funds for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust (NMRHT). NMRHT administers a professional air rescue service throughout the Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Buller regions responding to over 450 callouts per year, all without direct government funding. Little could we have anticipated that the service of NMRHT would be needed on Saturday: our best wishes continue to go to Glenn, wishing him well in his recovery.

We’ve almost finalised totalling all your very generous donations towards NMRHT. This will include money collected on the day, a considerable donation via Callum Wishart from selling awesome KB24 t-shirts, and the Kaihoka farmer family donating their rental income to the cause, among others. Thank you all for being part of this vibrant, supportive orienteering community!

Thank you

NOC would like to thank all their absolutely amazing volunteers, the terrain owners for giving us access to their stunning properties, the supportive businesses in Golden Bay, Graham Teahan for being the independent IOF advisor, and fellow orienteering clubs AOC, MOC and PAPO for the borrowing of equipment. A very special mention needs to go to Matt Ogden, for finalising all the maps (and in case of the Sprint, a double set), while adding his special mark in the form of the illusive Orko…



King’s Birthday Golden Bay 2024

Nelson Orienteering Club

Share this on:

ONZ COVID-19 Information