The otherworldly Labyrinth Rocks Park in Golden Bay is a New Zealand South Island highlight; we especially recommend it for nature lovers and rock landscape lovers.
New Zealand’s Golden Bay allows visitors the opportunity to visit incredible beaches, take walks on spectacular trails, and view many fascinating natural attractions. Our favourite things to do in Golden Bay include the short nature walks with stunning scenery, such as the walk to Wainui Falls, Pupu Springs, and Grove Scenic Reserve. We love the rock landscapes at Grove Scenic Reserve, however, Labyrinth Rocks is less visited.
Labyrinth Rocks Park
The Takaka area in Golden Bay is bountiful in limestone rock formations, and Labyrinth Rocks is a geological wonder. It is a must-do for rock landscape lovers and karst geology enthusiasts.
Nature has produced a natural maze through limestone canyons and outcrops, making for an otherworldly experience.
The labyrinth has a series of paths and side trails that wind through rocky outcrops and bizarrely shaped rocks in a lush setting consisting of native New Zealand trees and ferns.
You will see natural rock sculptures and formations, some covered in vegetation and moss, during the 3 km of the easy pathway, and you can explore multitudes of pathways hiding many wonders in the nooks and crannies.
Labyrinth Rocks is like stepping into a fairytale or fantasy world movie scene such as Jurassic Park or “The Witcher” TV series. We recently binge-watched the show, and we were excited to see one of the scenes resembling Labyrinth Rocks.
Why you should visit Labyrinth Rocks Park
Labyrinth Rocks are only two kilometres out of Takaka. During the short and easy walk, you will see an abundance of impressive rocks in a small space.
The captivating walk through the labyrinth is magical and somewhat eerie, allowing you the opportunity to get lost in the maze and then find your way out.
By the way, you can just pop into the entry for a few minutes to view some of the rock structures for those who are not keen walkers or have limited time. This is one of the most appealing reasons everyone should visit Golden Bay’s hidden gem.
Additionally, the walk offers the chance to see fossils; however, we didn’t know what to look for, so possibly we were looking at some and didn’t know it!
Also, in the evening, you can see glow worms in the park.
How to do the walk in Labyrinth Rocks Park
The easy walk is suitable for young or old.
You can pick up a map at the entrance. However, don’t worry if there is none left as it is not needed.
Though one cool thing, the brochure lists the park’s named features that you can try to spot, such as the Witches Cauldron, The Kissing Pigs, The Glacier, and The Alligator. These are faces or features that have naturally formed on the rocks. You can also find your own!
Due to how the maze-like walk is structured, you can make your own timetable and spend anything from a few minutes to a couple of hours exploring.
We chose to walk the straight path to the end, where you will see “The Maze.” It took around 15 minutes at a very leisurely pace to get there.
On the way back, we wandered down a few side pathways, entries, and groves without following a particular path.
Additionally, we found little toys scattered around the rocks during the walk. According to the brochure, the park founder placed them around the park for children to find. In reviews we have since read, some people love them, especially kids who love the scavenger hunt for them. However, some dislike them, thinking they are creepy and devalue the nature park. We actually didn’t think much of them at all. As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder.
Labyrinth Rocks Park history
The Labyrinth is a 25 million-year-old karst landscape formed by time and weather.
Geologist and mining engineer Dave Whittaker initially discovered this geological wonder of 2 hectares of karst limestone rock.
He had a dream to create the park and leased the land from the council. Naming the park “The Labyrinth” after the David Bowie film, he turned the limestone rocks into a series of paths and an attraction for both locals and tourists.
Today, the park has been turned into a Tasman District Council reserve. A group of local volunteers, “Friends of the Labyrinth Rocks,” contribute to weed control and park maintenance. Along with some financial help from the council, the park is kept for future generations and visitors to enjoy.
“Very nice shaded walk between rocks and vegetation. The kids, 3 and 5 years old, liked it very much. For the first time no complaining because of walking. You can spend half an hour to 1.5 hours in this Labyrinth. The hidden toys are everywhere, but sometimes a little too high for them. You can get a map at the entrance, please recycle them!” – Ranking: 9/10 – Boukje Diijkstra, Rankers.co.nz.
- Getting to Labyrinth Rocks is easy. From Takaka, you take a short drive towards Pohara along Abel Tasman Drive. Take a left turn onto Scott Road, and a few minutes later, you will see the rocks jutting out onto the road on your left.
- Entry is free, and it is open all hours.
- There is parking at the entrance for a few cars.
- There is a toilet at the entrance.
- The walk is suitable for all ages.
- Due to the narrow passages, the park is not suitable for wheelchairs, prams, or bicycles.
- If you want to walk to the end with a few side trips, allocate 1 hour for your visit.
- Do not leave the path. There are hazards such as loose rocks and vegetation and narrow crevices beyond the paths.
- If it’s been raining, it can be muddy and a bit slippery in places.
- Don’t forget to donate to help with the upkeep of this beautiful park. The “Friends of the Labyrinth Rocks” are currently fundraising for funds to install an information board and website giving more information on the park features to help make your visit more informative.
Labyrinth Rocks Park, 45 Scott Rd, Takaka, New Zealand.
For more information on things to do and see in Golden Bay, please visit the official Nelson Tasman regional tourist website.