Yarra Ranges is my stomping ground. I never tire of its beauty,the creativity of its people, and the abundance of things to do and see.
Published March 5th 2013
A labyrinth is not a maze!
Most people think that a labyrinth and a maze are one and the same thing, but they are definitely not. The purpose of a labyrinth is as a meditative and healing tool, and a beautiful example of a community built labyrinth can be found at Healesville in the Yarra Valley.
The idea of the labyrinth, dating back several thousand years, is to follow a single path, which is not designed to confuse or frustrate in the way a maze does. It can be seen to represent our journey through life. By walking to the centre and out again, the labyrinth can be used to address a problem, help answer a question, make a decision, quiet the mind, or find balance.
The labyrinth was initially proposed as a very simple pathway to be set into a patch of open space near the old railway station in Healesville. The proposal was put forward by a community group wishing to use the space to promote good mental health, and the idea caught peoples imagination and evolved into a project that involved hundreds of volunteers, took several years to come to fruition, and became an artistic and creative endeavour that has far reaching effects into the community
The Healesville labyrinth is a 7 circuit classic design, dating back four thousand years. During the design phase, community was consulted extensively for their input, and the resultant space is beautiful in so many ways.
The history of the railway precinct where it is sited is reflected in the materials, tone and design of the garden. The labyrinth itself is constructed of porphyry stone and Castlemaine slate, while the grape arbour, created from recycled railway lines and hardware, features a poem as remembrance of the 2009 bushfires which surrounded Healesville and caused tragic losses both locally and across Victoria. The grape vines themselves symbolise renewal just as the land has renewed itself.
The equinox sun gates mark the equinox points on the cross paths leading to the labyrinth, and feature ceramic equinox images of seasons and stars. Mosaic tile panels feature over 300 tiles painted by community, representing the environment that surrounds us.
This is a gorgeous place to visit, to walk the labyrinth, sit and reflect or enjoy a picnic. You can use it as a starting point to explore the region further, there is a path from the site takes you along tree lined River Street and into the cafe and shopping precinct of Healesville
There is also a railway themed children's playground adjacent, and the heritage tourist railway itself has little train rides up to the Tarrawarra tunnel running frequently on weekends and public holidays. The tourist information Centre situated in the heritage courthouse across the road provides friendly advice and information for out of towners.