Odyssey Sensory Maze reopens after Auckland Anniversary flooding dashes dreams

A small Kiwi business wrecked in the Auckland Anniversary floods has managed to reopen its doors after thinking the storm had dashed its dreams.

The multi-million-dollar renovation of the Odyssey Sensory Maze also promises to put one of the city's most loved buildings back on the map. 

Auckland's hidden adventure maze is back. It's been a long road for co-founders David Parker-Smith and Michelle Moray-Cook.

Odysseum reopened on Friday, just over a year since the Auckland Anniversary deluge dashed their dreams.

"We had to demolish and start from scratch," Parker-Smith said.

"We were devastated, we were heartbroken. It was all our work for the last 10 years down the drain," Moray-Cook added.

"That's life - you've just got to make the most of it, and I feel like that we did."

Odysseum's home in Auckland is in Sky World. Perhaps best known for its IMAX theatre, Sky World's had its ups and downs since it opened in '99.

COVID-19 and the flooding shut down the food court. Parker-Smith hopes Odysseum can turn it all around.

"It's going to hopefully breathe a little life into this place," he said.

"The building is a little old, but hey look - we've got to start somewhere and we're hopefully going to bring a lot more people into the building."

And the rebuild appears to have paid off. Done during the US writers' strike, the team managed to get top Hollywood set designers to help put it back together.

The maze has got it all. There are optical illusions, foam pits, ball pits, and there's a mirror maze.

"We've added in a healthy dose of new rooms that are really going to surprise and delight," Moray-Cook said.

"I like to think of it as a journey through new worlds."

And with people once again experiencing it for themselves, there's a chance Sky World itself could follow in its 'glow-up' footsteps.