When the kids finally talked us into visiting the giant wooden Maze near Geelong we knew we would be in for a maze adventure we would never forget!
We’ve been coming to the Bellarine Peninsula with the kids for years. Sure, there’s great coastline, adventure parks, wineries and more, but for us it’s all about the mini golf. For putt-putt aficionados there are some great courses in the area.
Our mini golf days would always end the same way – ice creams, debate over who had the best shot and requests to do the maze.
One of the courses we played also has a giant wooden maze. It looks spectacular but we always avoided it. After a day of golf, it was usually the last thing we (we the grownups) felt like doing. But that wasn’t all.
the maze adventure begins
I know this is could be controversial, but I have to confess that I don’t enjoy mazes. The kids love them, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to deliberately get lost. We’d got lost plenty of times on our travels and it was never fun.
For me, getting lost involves anxiety, arguments and blame. It’s never enjoyable. So, the thought of having to pay for the privilege of experiencing that is difficult to accept.
Nat felt the same way. As our designated navigator, she still carried scars from Canberra’s roundabouts and unplanned excursions onto tollways. Negotiating a maze was the last thing on her mind.
All that said, as parents do, on our last trip to the Bellarine with the kids, we decided to indulge them.
Trust the kids
The mazes’ construction boasts some impressive statistics. 15,000 linear metres of timber, 630 posts, and 22,000 nails.
I couldn’t help thinking that flashing around some big numbers was just a plan to distract you from the fact that you were about to embark on something most people try to avoid.
The only thing that matched our ambivalence to negotiating a maze was the kid’s misguided enthusiasm for it. If they only knew they possessed no sense of direction at all, many fights, frustrations and tears could have been avoided. Nevertheless, the two grownups took one for the team and followed the kids into the unknown.
They took off at top speed, confident that 15,000 linear metres of wood wasn’t going to imprison them for long. To add to the fun, there were four checkpoints to locate too. We soon found two, but then progress slowed.
DoN’T TRUST THE KIDS
Before long it started to feel like we were going around in circles – and we probably were. The kids were convinced that they knew exactly where they were going. Enthusiastic cries of ‘it’s down this way!’ were followed by increasingly weary replies of ‘we just went down here…’
Pleas from the grownups to take the easy exit option were ignored as the kids were certain, they were about to lead us out of trouble. It was becoming a competition between the two of them to be the one to lead the family to freedom.
After more than an hour, and still missing one check point, all we wanted to do was get out of there. The kid’s enthusiasm had turned into a crazed, desperate hope that their next announcement of ‘we haven’t been here’ would lead us out.
While the kids remained optimistic of escape, I conceded my around Australia trip would end in a maze near Geelong. My mind turned to one of my favourite adventure movies; the original version of ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.
Shortly after reaching the centre of the earth, the explorers find themselves in the ruins of the Lost City of Atlantis. After marvelling at their discovery, they realise they’re trapped within the earth for the rest of their days. Just when all hope seems lost (spoiler alert), they discover the skeleton of an earlier explorer.
As they look at his remains, the explorers notice one of its bony fingers pointing to a section of cave wall. Of course, it is showing an escape route that he was unable to reach.
I was now at the stage where I also hoped to discover skeletal remains pointing to the way out. Its jaw frozen in a pained expression as if the last words it had heard were ‘we haven’t been down here yet’. Sadly, I found no skeleton. Perhaps mine would be the first.
Just as I was lamenting that I wouldn’t be able to point future maze explorers to the way out, Nat saved the day. To complaints that we had been down this part of the maze six times already, she led us to safety. It was possibly her greatest ever navigational triumph.
Now don’t get me wrong. If you have kids they are going to love this place. It looks great, the staff are friendly and the mini golf course is a beauty. But are we disappointed the kids aren’t with us this time? Not so much!
A Maze M Games
- Lose yourself or the kids in one of Australia’s largest timber mazes.
- 24 hole mini golf cours
- Cafe with coffee, cakes or light snacks.
- Our large covered BBQ area
Maze & Golf: Adults $17 / Child $13 / Family $52
Barwon Heads Caravan Park is located where the river meets the sea. Every site is a short walk to the water’s edge. The beach is very calm and perfect for young families with plenty of surf around the other side of the bluff.
At low tide you can enjoy the rockpools, or at high tide fish from the jetty or walk up the steps to the lookout. There is a great walking path right along the foreshore.
- Maze Frustration 100% 100%
- Mini Golf 80% 80%
- Family Friendly 90% 90%
"I've just read the first issue & I loved it. I can't wait to do the things you highlight, kayaking with a platypus, swimming with seals, zip-lining & only hope I remember all these things when we get to those parts of the world. At least I know where to look back to when I'm planning holidays. A great read. Thanks for putting it together." Janine