My New Zealand Family Holiday: Day 7 PUZZLING WORLD

By Estella

After checking out of the Brookvale Motel in Wanaka, we set off for Puzzling World on the road towards Cromwell. We didn’t have to go far for Puzzling World was only around 4km from the Wanaka town centre. With a giant outdoor maze and an array of optical illusions and mind benders, Puzzling World in Wanaka had to be one of the most unique tourist attractions we have ever seen. Other visitors must surely agree with me for everyone there seemed to be having a puzzling good time.

A picture of Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

A picture of Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Specialising in puzzling eccentricity, this business has been in operation since 1973, when its founder Stuart Landsborough  sold his house to purchase the 6.5 acre site. His bank turned down his application for a loan as the business was deemed “too risky”, which goes to show you that a) banks want easy money and b) with perseverance and self-belief you can take your dream and make it work. From 17 000 plus visitors in its first year of operation, Puzzling World has grown to welcome an estimated 160 000 visitors annually.

A picture of the Puzzling World Cafe/Reception area in Wanaka, Queenstown.

A room full of happy puzzlers. A picture of the Puzzling World Cafe/Reception area in Wanaka, Queenstown.

In 2005, Stuart Landsborough handed over the reins of Puzzling World to his youngest daughter Heidi, who is now the business’ general manager. I think I saw her while we were there, working the cafe till. Since there were many puzzles in the cafe/reception area, the three of us played for a good hour before accessing the paid areas.

A picture of HRH and Amanda working on a puzzle together at puzzling world.

A picture of HRH and Amanda working on a puzzle together at puzzling world.

A picture of HRH and Amanda after solving a puzzle together at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

We did it ! Yay ! A picture of HRH and Amanda after solving a puzzle together at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

A picture of me and the puzzle I was working on at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

A picture of me and the puzzle I was working on at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Trying to crack the code. A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

A puzzle at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Free brain teaser: can you assemble this pyramid using all six pieces given? The caveat: no taking the glued pieces apart.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Another one solved! A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

There were 5 illusion rooms. The first was filled with spooky mind-tricking holographs.

A picture of a holograph at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

The Ghost of Marilyn Monroe looks a lot spookier in the flesh. A picture of a holograph at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

A picture of Amanda and me at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

What do you see in the crystal ball? A picture of Amanda and me at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

The next room contained more optical illusions.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Are these straight lines or sloping lines? They change depending on what distance you view them from.

A picture of  me and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Amanda and I with a mind-bending QUILT.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

This picture reveals nothing from the front, but standing off to one side, you can see Albert Einstein.

Next we entered a room where dozens of eyes seemed to be watching our every move.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

AHHHHHHHH! Those eyes are watching me!

A picture of me at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Is it me or is it you?

A picture of  Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Do you see the OPTICAL in the ILLUSION?

The fourth was a room that looked normal from the outside but was surprisingly small on the inside.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Normal from outside, strange from inside.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Who is big and who is small now? A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

The fifth was a room that gave me vertigo.

A picture of me, HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Holy Cow! How did the carpenters build this room without throwing up? You can see the floor is sloping and we are standing away from the back wall.

A picture of HRH and Amanda at Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand.

You sit on the chair and it automatically takes you uphill.

Fancy yourself a little bit of a psychic? Then head on down to Stuart Landsborough’s NZD100 000 Psychic Challenge. Two parts of a promissory note are hidden within 100m of the area where I was standing. Find them and win NZD100 000. To enter, you have to pay a NZD1000 participation fee. This gets you 30 minutes to quiz Stuart Landsborough for as many tips as you need. So far 7 have attempted this challenge since it was first offered but none have won. Who knows? You just might be the first.

A picture of me and Stuart Landsborough's Psychic challenge at Puzzling World, Wanaka, New Zealand.

A picture of me and Stuart Landsborough’s Psychic challenge at Puzzling World, Wanaka, New Zealand.