Labyrinths New Zealand

Find labyrinths, mazes and sacred sites in New Zealand

Sacred Sites in New Zealand / Aotearoa

New Zealand is a young country, both geologically and socially and the landscape has yet to be buried beneath layers of human habitation and altered beyond recognition by human industry. Its mauri (essence) is always close to the surface.

In the old Māori spiritual tradition of Io Matua Kore (Io, the Master of All/Creator), we, as humans are continually cycling between three states, and each arrival at one of these states of awareness states precedes a transition to the next. We are growing as we follow the spiral journey of our lives, as illustrated below.


The koru, an iconic symbol in New Zealand, is the concrete representation of this concept. Like the labyrinth, we are drawn into the centre, and then re-emerge with a changed perspective.

Travelling in New Zealand will often provide the opportunity to experience places which offer an experience of each of these states.

A traveller will find him/herself in places where the energy is calm, serene and open, where understandings come unbidden. The clear, light-filled energy of Golden Bay seems to call a traveller to stop, to be at peace, and to reflect.

Trying to negotiate the dense, tangled undergrowth of the New Zealand rainforest, for example , in the Te Urewera National Park, where every space seems filled with a chaotic assembly of vegetation, where ridges and hills are draped in an overwhelming korowai (feather cloak) of green, can leave a traveller feeling lost and confused. But there are paths and tracks, and by staying on them, the traveller will find a way out.

Often, however, these tangled and tortuous bush trails will suddenly surface from this apparent green chaos at a place of perfection, where the view is so breathtaking, where the landscape seems so intricately and perfectly interwoven, that it is as if one is witnessing the living expression of the metaphor of Indra’s Net, as if one is witness to the perfection of Creation.

Each place has its own mauri, its own spirit/ energy, and these change radically and rapidly. A spiritual traveller to New Zealand needs to be prepared for this, to be willing to be open to a variety of different energies, and willing to put aside sufficient time to absorb the lessons and reflections each place will offer.

Maori Spirals 3
Maori Spirals 1
Maori Spirals 2
Maori Spirals 5
Maori Spirals 4

Resources ...


"All the Earth is sacred – it's just that some places seem alive, and it is easier to be aware of that spiritual connection."

Journal of the Polynesian Society

Volume 57, No. 1, 1948 Maori spirals, by W. J. Phillipps, p 30-40

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