A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published March 4th 2012
There are plenty of mazes around Melbourne that offer a great family day out. Our favourite is the Enchanted Maze Garden at Arthurs Seat. Don't be fooled by it's name because it's much more than just a maze garden; there's a little bit of everything thrown in. And yes, it is enchanting, especially if you're knee-high to a grasshopper.
When you arrive at the Enchanted Maze Garden you will be given a map of the park because it covers a large area and some activities are separated by a short walk. It is set on the side of a hill and whilst it could just about fit into the pram-friendly catergory, your biceps and calves might have a word or two to say on the subject.
This place certainly has plenty to keep the whole family occupied and each time we have visited there have been added attractions. There are four large mazes, the most interesting being the Children's Maze which has surprises around every corner; a beach, an African safari, a chook house and a fairy hunt to name a few.
The 3D Indoor Maze is totally different and not for the faint-hearted. Feeling your way through the dark, whilst wearing your very attractive 3D glasses, you will encounter wall murals, revolving tunnels, mirrored mazes and huge glow-in-the-dark warriors who might have stepped right out of your children's nightmares. My two year old took one look and refused to go any further, but older kids will love it. There may be a surprise in store as you reach the end of the maze, but I would hate to spoil it for you, so I'll say no more on the subject.
At the top of a steep hill are the Tube Slides, possibly the most fun you can have wedged into an inflatable doughnut. Hauling your tube uphill is like a mini workout but flying down it on one of the four slides (two twisty, two straight) is great fun. There is also a small farmyard, where you can send the kids to get pecked by unruly hens, and some larger paddocks for the bigger animals which you will pass on your way up to the Indoor Maze.
New for 2012 is the Bush Adventure Scramble - an obstacle course for kids, set among the trees. With obstacles such as the bush swing, the wobble board, the web, and stretchy-strings, this one will be a hit with the primary schoolers. There are some great hands on brain-teaser challenges which will have you balancing on planks and attaching yourself to rope webs whilst testing the old grey matter.
For the horticulturalists, the beautiful ornamental gardens will please, with all sorts of hedges, garden beds, bridges, waterfalls, bird boxes and topiary to explore. And don't forget to watch out for the amazing Enchantasaurus. Rumour has it that he gets quite vocal when disturbed.
Once you've thoroughly exhausted yourself, you might fancy a spot of lunch in the cafe, or better still, a mooch around the Amazing Lolly Shop. My son could spend hours in here watching the model train run around the perimeter of the shop as it passes lollies, chocolates and sweets of all kinds. In my humble opinion, The Enchanted Maze Garden is worth a visit just for the fudge. It comes in all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours, but the lemon meringue is my all time favourite.
The Enchanted Maze Garden is open daily from 10am - 6pm. Adults pay $25, kids pay $15 and under 3s are free. Located on the Mornington Peninsula, there are loads of other attractions in the area, but it wouldn't be too hard to spend a whole day here.