There is a neat story behind how the Labyrinth Rocks Park became what it is today. Many years ago the late Dave Whittaker, a former geologist and mining engineer, realised the uniqueness of the area and leased the land off the local council. With a lot of hard work and dedication, he opened up the dozens of passageways creating an attraction for locals and tourists alike. Due to ill health, Mr Whittaker was eventually no longer able to maintain the 2ha of park and it had to be closed down.

There is a wooden viewing platform situated in the heart of the cave directly below hundreds of stalactites hanging from the roof

He always had a dream that someone else would carry on the work, and the local community soon came forward to form what is now called ‘Friends of the Labyrinth’. This group of volunteers is continuing on with Dave’s dream. With assistance from local businesses as well as financial support from the council, the labyrinth can be cleaned of encroaching weeds, trails are maintained and drains cleared while, most importantly, the park is kept open for everyone to enjoy.

The Labyrinth Rocks Park is situated just 3.3km from Takaka on the road to Pohara beach. As the name suggests, this superb little walk features a maze of fascinating paths and trails that twist and turn through a series of natural limestone rock corridors. Lush native bush, nikau palms and ferns grow around the paths and rock formations that help in creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The 3km of pathways within the park can be explored thoroughly in about an hour with the aid of a map of the trails that can be picked up at the entrance. But don’t worry if you don’t have a map – there is no real risk of getting lost.

One of the many interconnecting paths of the Labyrinth


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