Amazing Times at Amaze World

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

Rather than hedging their bets, Adam and Robyn Cheshire have transformed a tired tourism spot into an award-winning attraction offering something for everyone. Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer prepares to be amazed…

Sometimes things just fall into place, and feel like they’re meant to be. That was the case for Adam and Robyn Cheshire six years ago, when they were looking for a business to buy after years of working in high-level travel and tourism roles around Australia and the world.

“I’d always managed businesses, mostly in tourism, and I really wanted to buy one of my own and build that life for our family,” Adam says. “We were also looking for an acreage property to live on at the same time, so I’d check the real estate and business sale websites every day. One day, the old Bellingham Maze in Tanawha came up on both sites, and it ticked all the boxes.”

The couple were determined to make it happen, smashing their kids’ piggy banks, giving up wine for a month and maxing out their credit cards in order to stump up the money they needed to buy the business. They moved into the house on the property, and began the huge job of turning this dated spot into a thriving tourist attraction they could be proud of.

Fast-forward six years and the re-branded Amaze World is very much living up to its name, with fun for the whole family in the form of a purpose-built nature playground and water play area; mini golf; games; a newly renovated cafe serving great food and coffee; and, of course, the famous hedge maze, timber maze and a few smaller mazes, all in a lush hinterland setting.

The huge, star-shaped living lilly pilly hedge maze features an immersive augmented reality app experience – featuring dragons, unicorns, trolls and fairies in an enchanted forest that comes to life via your phone – that helps bring Amaze World well and truly into the 21st Century. But there’s also plenty of good old-fashioned fun to be had, with giant puzzles, riddles and challenges dotted around the grounds providing both physical and mental stimulation for bodies and brains of all ages.

As well as catering to children and families during the day with school visits, homeschool groups, birthday parties, and the launch of their Midweek Pass – where mums and dads can bring their little ones for unlimited visits – Adam and Robyn are branching out into hiring out the venue during the evenings for corporate events, adult birthday celebrations, high school student events, team building experiences and lots more.

The strategic way that lighting and music has been incorporated into the venue makes it an atmospheric choice for an evening function.

“Amaze World feels completely different at night – it’s absolutely magical with the twinkling lights overhead, the colourful lights in the maze, and music playing all through the grounds,” Robyn enthuses.

“We’ve loved hosting parties and corporate events, and can’t wait to introduce our enchanted world to a whole new audience.”

The duo has done a beautiful job of retaining the charm and history of the venue while putting their own spin on it, recently renovating the iconic Dutch windmill that stands at the edge of the hedge maze.

The landmark originally came from a zoo and koala park nearby, back when the street where Amaze World sits was a thriving tourist destination featuring multiple attractions.

“There was a big water slide, a dinosaur park, a deer sanctuary and more – but we’re the only one that still stands here today,” Adam says.

“It’s not just a renovation; it’s a celebration of history and community.”

As the third owners of this heritage business, Adam and Robyn have kept in touch with the second owners and the original Bellingham family who started it all, inviting both couples to Amaze World’s grand reopening.

“All three sets of owners were there, which felt like a special moment,” Robyn recalls. “We wanted them to feel happy about the direction we’re taking it in, and they’ve been very supportive.”

The pair’s hard work and passion hasn’t gone unnoticed by the local community, with Amaze World being voted the #1 thing to do on the Sunshine Coast in 2021 in a competition run by Visit Sunshine Coast and local radio.

In 2023, they were awarded the impressive accolade of ‘Sunshine Coast Business of the Year’ at the 2023 Sunshine Coast Business Awards, as well as winning the ‘Experiences, Large’ category for the second year in a row; setting them up for the Hall of Fame.

“I was there and I know it was real, but sometimes I catch myself thinking ‘What?!’” Robyn laughs.

“The competition was stiff, and we honestly couldn’t believe it. We’re absolutely thrilled.”

Winning awards is one thing, but what do their most important customers – children – think?

If their own kids, Blake, aged 10, and Zara, aged nine, are anything to go by, they’re completely enthralled by this magical world Adam and Robyn have created.

“We recently moved out of the onsite house to achieve a better work-life balance, but the kids’ love for Amaze World remains strong,” Adam says.

“Whenever it’s their birthday they ask to have their party here, and they were very excited by the fact we lived in a real-life maze. We love seeing how much they enjoy it.”

As proud maze owners, Adam and Robyn’s complementary skills have helped them navigate the twists and turns of business life.

“Adam is the entrepreneurial one and I love people, so we make a good team,” Robyn says. “We had three staff members when we started, and now we have 22 wonderful members of our crew who are instrumental in making the magic happen.

“It’s been an aMAZEing journey so far, and we have big plans for the future. I can’t wait to see where it takes us!”

Whatever it is, I bet it will be amazing!

About the Author /

[email protected]

Rebecca is a writer and editor with a passion for connecting people and brands through storytelling. When she's not writing or reading you might find her exploring cute hinterland towns, stomping along a forest track, or hanging out at the beach with her husband, two kids and rascally sheepdog.

Post a Comment

Want more? Subscribe!

Get the latest news delivered fresh to your inbox!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to list your business?

Contact us to find out how! Contact us