Literally for the last couple of years now the Damselfly has wanted to visit Redberry Farm in George on the Garden Route. We just never had the opportunity to be in the area long enough to do so until we spent a long weekend in the town recently. It meant that Redberry Farm was at the top of our "To Do" list for the weekend. The reason for us wanting to visit Redberry Farm wasn't to actually go and pick strawberries (it was cheaper to buy them in their shop anyway), but rather to go and experience the Redberry Maze.
I had seen one or two photos of the maze so I knew it was a proper maze, but hell's bells, it was so much more than what I expected. It was a proper dinkum right out of the movies and fairy tales maze. The maze has about 10 000 meters (yes, that is 10 kilometers) of pathways and is grown from over 30,000 Syzygium Paniculatum plants. The object of the maze isn't to go in one entrance and find your way to the exit. No, it's a lot more complicated than that. Each person who enters is given a stamp card and you then have to go and find the seven stations that will each give you a different stamp to put on the card. The map you get is very small so not that easy to follow, which is cool because otherwise it would be too easy, and it only pinpoints two of the stations so you have to search for the rest. Not that finding the two was easy either.
I gave the Family a choice to either go in as a group or individually for us to see who can get out first. The Damselfly and Drama Princess decided to stick with me while Chaos Boy wanted to fly solo. He was off like a bolt while we took the more systematic slower approach.
The maze is really amazing (excuse the pun). The hedges are between three and four meters high and where it's not totally impenetrable they have inserted wire to make sure nobody cheats their way out. Plus the guardians will keep an eye to make sure you don't try. Just don't get a fright when you come around a corner and encounter a big metal spider, scarecrow or some other maze creature. If you are going into the maze, do go prepared and take some water and a hat... perhaps some padkos... and a sleeping bag and tent... Oh and make sure you do your toilet stop before you enter because you never know how long it's going to be before you get out again.
The one corner of the maze is totally isolated from the rest and the only way in is along a 25 meter long underground tunnel. Dark, damp and scary. The trick is to try and do it without your phone's torch. A word of warning though, if you do, don't run your hands along the walls...
I am proud to say that an hour and a half after entering the maze I led my little group out again with all seven stamps, collecting our prize badges at the exit. We met some friends from George for some coffee / milkshakes / strawberry juice in the very popular coffee shop section and waited for Chaos Boy to emerge. And waited... and waited... and waited... An hour later I headed back in to go and rescue him, finding him where he was collecting his last stamp. The boy was exhausted from all the running. Just shows that slow and steady often gets you there quicker.
Would I go again? In a heartbeat. I absolutely loved the experience and wouldn't it be great to see this as a roadblock on an Amazing Race? What does it cost? R35 per person. Not bad for an hour and a half worth of entertainment.
Just in case you were wondering. We weren't invited to visit, paid our own way and nobody there even knew that I was a travel blogger.