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    Lachlan Swamp will close on days above 36C to minimise disturbance to the Flying Foxes. There will be no access to visitors.

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Creating the labyrinth

Plans of the Centennial Park Labyrinth

The Centennial Park Labyrinth is the story of a true partnership between Centennial Parklands and the community.

The following information provides the background behind this fascinating project.


Centennial Parklands approved the design, location and installation of Sydney's first public sandstone labyrinth in Centennial Park in December 2013. The Centennial Park Labyrinth was made possible by the project's founding benefactor, Emily Simpson, who worked tirelessly and actively, in cooperation with the Centennial Parklands Foundation, to raise over $500,000 to fund this unique structure.

To support the project, Centennial Parklands committed funding and in-kind support to the project management and delivery of the labyrinth.




The design and setting of the Centennial Park Labyrinth is sympathetic to the landscape and character of the Parklands. It creates a tranquil, contemplative location for park visitors while maintaining a non-denominational and cross-cultural asset for visitors to learn and enjoy.

The labyrinth was designed as an 11-circuit sandstone labyrinth, based on the design of the medieval labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France, which dates from the early 13th century.

The Labyrinth is approximately 18 metres in diameter, with a 2.5 metre wide border to provide hard-surface standing space around the labyrinth walk area. The border will also provide an aesthetic element to the design. To maximise its safety and durability, the Labyrinth has been built with the highest quality materials including two contrasting coloured Australian stones.

Construction period

Centennial Parklands oversaw the project team which included highly qualified architects and builders to ensure it is of the highest aesthetic and structural quality.

The initial phase of the project included the construction of a prototype to test the tolerances of the computerised system used for cutting each of the stone paving elements. The prototype will be a 2m x 3m section of the paving proposed to be used on the Labyrinth.

This process entailed the pouring of a concrete bed onto samples of each of the stone pavers, which were intricately cut by computer to shape. Once they were laid, the adequacy of the proposed 3mm joints (between the pavers) were tested to ensure the assembly of the overall pattern comes together as intended. 

A "sod turning" ceremony was celebrated in February 2014 to mark the start of works, with the construction site established shortly after. Construction took five months of patient work with over 1,500 individual pieces of stone required perfect alignment.

Works were completed in mid-August 2014.

A time lapse video of the construction period.



The sod-turning event was held on 5 February 2014, with a mock labyrinth painted on the location of the coming labyrinth. This photo demonstrates one of the challenges of construction - working with the slope of the land.



Parklands Executive Director, Kim Ellis with project founding benefactor, Emily Simpson and Centennial Parklands Foundation Chair, Sarah Whyte turn the first sod of the Centennial Park Labyrinth.


The labyrinth work site

The construction work site is adjacent Lachlan Swamp in Centennial Park



The concrete base being poured (March 2014).


Labyrinth slab laid - 9 April 2014

The concrete slab completed (April 2014).


ABC Compass

ABC Compass followed and documented this fascinating project.


Centre stones are pieced together

The intricately pieced together centre stones in place (April 2014).


Close up of the labyrinth construction - May 2014

The piecing together of more than 1,500 pieces of individually cut stone progressed quickly with good weather (May 2014).


19 June 2014 - Centennial Park Labyrinth

70% of stone had been laid by June 2014.


Centennial Park Labyrinth under construction (August 2014)

Aerial image of the labyrinth (August 2014).

Labyrinth finished 

While works had been completed, the fences stayed up for four weeks to allow the grass around the labyrinth to seed (August 2014).

Opening of the Centennial Park Labyrinth

The Centennial Park Labyrinth was officially opened on Monday 15 September 2014 by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Governor of NSW. Here are some photos from the day via the Centennial Parklands Facebook page:




Further information

To know more about this project, please call the Parklands Office on (02) 9339 6699 or email