Gurra Yarda - Magpie Country* Close to Lincoln, on Haigh Drive.*
About the map - by David Winters
*The white-backed magpie (sp. cracticus tibicen telonocua), endemic to this part of Australia, is common across the open grassy terrain of the map.
To acknowledge the cultural history of the area the words 'gurra' (magpie) and 'yarda' (country), from the Barngarla language, have been used as the map's name.
I am indebted to a couple of local Barngarla representatives for their advice and help in the search for an appropriate name.
*There's a lot of granite on Gurra Yarda!
At last count, 680 boulders have been mapped - quite a few of these are around 3 to 6 metres in height.
95 boulder clusters are recorded as black triangles; there are possibly as many rockfaces as there are boulders,
and then numerous small knolls (rocky, earthy, stony) as well as bare rock and stony ground.
*Between the rock features? Predominantly rough open ground, with short grass, long grass or very long grass.
Areas of African Daisy and very long grass have been mapped as undergrowth - slow run.
In the longer grasses a hazard is small rocks, so orienteers must be watchful.
*Contours are 5-metre, generally smooth in open country but with quite a bit of wobble where the granite congregates on hillsides.
The terrain is steep up and down (105 vertical metres east to west), but course planning will minimise climb on the undulating terrain.
*Areas of forest are those that have been planted in corridors or patches to provide shelter for stock,
to act as windbreaks or to support native wildlife. Numerous birds, including emu, kangaroo, snakes and lizards abound.
In a year of mapping only two snakes have been sighted, and both of those were dozing in the sunshine!
*There are ten dams on the map; a couple of broad, seasonally marshy gullies; assorted windmills, tanks and troughs;
a smattering of man-made features typical of farming/pastoral land, including the odd pile of disposed bits 'n pieces.
*And, also typical of small-scale farms, there are lots of fences!
Course setters will identify crossing points on all maps, particularly where gates are not in close proximity to optimal routes.
*Expect fast rates per kilometre on Gurra Yarda. Hard course will never be without a number of legs that are moderate navigation.
The terrain is well-suited to moderate and easy-level orienteers, so it will be an excellent training area.
The very technical densely-packed granite areas will challenge all;
the openness of these areas supports confidence-building as relocation will be relatively quick.