Rotorua: Magical mystery tour

By Alex Tully

Alex Tully and family test their wits and their funny bones at two Rotorua mazes.

The aMAZEme hedge maze proved plenty of fun for the whole family. Photo / Alex Tully
The aMAZEme hedge maze proved plenty of fun for the whole family. Photo / Alex Tully

During the last school holidays the kids and I told each other to "Go and get lost." So we did.

Our "maze craze", as my eldest dubbed our mission to get lost, took us to Rotorua, to the ever-decreasing circles of the hedge maze - aMAZEme.

With great anticipation we entered the hedge gateway of the maze with the boys, Harry Potter fans, warning us to look out for the evil wizard Voldemort.

Although we had been instructed, for obvious safety reasons, that it was "walking only" around the maze, no one seemed able to resist a mad desire to run around in circles giggling.

The start of the hedge maze was the most confusing. At first, every hedge looked the same as the others. But after seeing many of the same people again and again we realised we were lost. Now I know where that saying "running around in circles" comes from.

The aMAZEme complex comprises a 1.4km long and 1.8m high hedge of escallonia shrubs with a few gaps cut into it.

Eventually, we figured out where we were going wrong and finally made it to the middle of the maze where, I am glad to say, Voldemort was not waiting.

With our appetite for mazes whetted, we had lunch and headed out to the 3D Maze.

Although at first sight this looked less inviting, the 1.7km labyrinth of paths and 60,000m of timber combined to create a complex maze to challenge even the most logically minded.

There was no time for giggling as we needed every ounce of concentration to solve the enigma.

I was keen to try the team-building exercise in which three people are tied together by the wrist with a blindfold on one, earmuffs on another and a gag on the third to make a deaf, dumb and blind group - but we couldn't agree on who got to wear the earmuffs.

On the drive home I asked the boys for their verdict on the mazes. "I liked both of them," declared number two.

"Me too," number one pitched in. "The hedge maze was more fun but the wooden maze was more of a challenge."

"Yeah!" agreed number two. "Which one can we go to next?"

CHECKLIST

* aMAZEme is at 1335 Paradise Valley, Ngongotaha, Rotorua, 300m off SH5. Contact (07) 357 5759.

* The 3D Mazez is at Te Ngae Park, 1135 Te Ngae Rd. Contact (07) 3455275.
Alex Tully paid her own way.

- NZ Herald

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