Maze Adds Nearly One Mile Of Path To Please Guinness

Wednesday - September 17, 2008

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Dole's Pineapple Garden Maze
Dole’s Pineapple Garden Maze recently reclaimed the Guinness world record for largest hedge maze, following a challenging expansion and application process. The ‘record’ time to complete the maze is about seven minutes. Photo from Peter Daniels.

The Dole Plantation has surpassed its previous record for largest hedge maze by adding 36,800 square feet and 4,710 linear feet to become, once again, the world’s largest hedge maze.

The plantation just north of Wahiawa also held the title in 2001 and both times has been recorded and validated by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The expanded maze now occupies more than two acres, or about 137,194 square feet, with a path that’s 13,001 linear feet long. About 14,000 plants make up the walls of the maze including hibiscus, heliconia, croton and pineapple.

“The maze is one of our most popular attractions at Dole Plantation for both young and old,” said general manager Mike Moon. “We’ve been planning this attempt for awhile, but the process is quite involved, and we wanted to be sure we had everything in order before we contacted Guinness.”

The process to get in the famous world-record book is extensive and detailed, he noted, and it took Dole about a year to get everything ready for the application and review.

Surveyors Hawaii Inc. was hired to engineer the expansion of the maze, which that company’s vice president, Miles Horie, admitted was a disorienting challenge.

“We had to think about ways to track our steps with string or radios. We would have one guy up on the plantation store roof directing the ground crew to turn right or left,” he said. “In the end, we got to know the maze pretty well and used a 8-foot tall spotted stick to aim the surveying equipment at.”

The plantation received news of its achievement in July, relieving the Peace Maze in Northern Ireland (118,403 square feet and 10,322 linear feet) of the world record.

The new expansion also gives visitors more to do with eight secret stations positioned throughout the maze. Each station has a stencil that can be drawn on cards, and should you find all eight you get a special prize that probably has something to do with pineapples.

City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz and Helemano Elementary principal Dennis Kato verified the record as “witnesses of good standing.”

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