LVHop medRogaining Tasmania's next event will be the Lenah Valley Hop Metrograine to be held on Sunday 22 August 2021.

The Lenah Valley Hop offers something for everyone. The map is half bush, half urban, stretching from the River Derwent to Junction Cabin, and from Tolosa Park to Ridgeway. Follow the lead of the local wallabies and explore some of the lesser-known trails that will allow you to walk, run or hop without stepping foot on asphalt (if you so desire). In the urban areas, you’ll visit weird and wonderful post-boxes, street libraries and murals. Choose from a 3-hour or 6-hour event, keeping in mind that you can always return early.

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Did you know that Lenah Valley was once called Kangaroo Bottom? Yeah, I’m glad it changed too. After being renamed Kangaroo Valley, it changed again to an Aboriginal word for kangaroo: “lenah”. It seems only appropriate that the title of this event -Lenah Valley Hop – reflects both the suburb’s name, as well as the many wallabies you’ll see on your ‘hop’.

You may well be familiar with Sphinx Rock, the Springs, The Organ Pipes, or even Disappearing Tarn if you’re lucky, but probably less so with the lower parts of kunanyi / Mt Wellington. This is the time to shine for the mountain’s fringes. With my trusty 3kg dog (Basil Horatio) in tow, I’ve spent this year exploring the lesser-known trails and features in this area, stretching from Tolosa Park to New Town Falls, up to Junction Cabin, and then back down to the Cascades and Knocklofty. I’m excited to share with you my finds: moss-covered ruins, delightful knolls, abandoned quarries, magnificent boulders, splendid spurs, gorgeous gullies, and of course, the odd intact hut. On the urban edges, you’ll visit public artworks, street libraries, novelty letter boxes and the odd park. There might also be a checkpoint at the local pub. However, it’ll be the bushy areas where you’ll pick up the big points.

I’m not going to lie - it’s hilly. This is Hobart, after all. It’s up to you to plan a route that minimises the hill climbs while maximising your score. And just remember, where there are hills there are views. Those views in this instance are spectacular.

It will be a question and answer-style event (eg. How many cows are in the John Turnbull Park mural?). To get you off the tracks once in a while, there will also be a number of temporary checkpoints placed in the bushier areas. The navigation will not be too tricky, but it’s best to bring a compass just in case. Choose from a 3-hour or a 6-hour event, but I encourage you to enter the 6-hour to give you enough time to get up into the hills and back. Keep in mind that you can always come back early to the Hash House (Lenah Valley Community Hall) to enjoy Darryn’s famous afternoon tea, which is provided for all entrants.

For those new to rogaining, I can best describe it as the underappreciated but highly addictive lovechild of scavenger hunts and bushwalking. You have time beforehand to plan a route that best suits your abilities. It’s strictly on-foot, which means no bikes, but you can walk, run, or perform interpretive dances around the course depending on your style. There will be help for novices on the day, and teams comprising all first-timers have a special bonus prize category. It’s a terrific opportunity to ditch Google Maps and engage the brain, using just a map and compass to find your way. Try it.