If you know Pete, you know he’s a hardcore game enthusiast. So when I heard about Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand, I knew it was an attraction we couldn’t miss.
What Is Puzzling World?
Good question. It’s a funky attraction in the perfect town of Wanaka that has five rooms of optical illusions, the world’s first 3-D maze, a large puzzle room full of games, crazy bathrooms, and a touristy leaning tower to lure visitors inside.
You can go and play games/solve puzzles in the puzzle room for free. Otherwise, you have to pay for the other attractions, which of course we couldn’t resist. Prices in NZD.
The Maze: $16/adult
The Illusion Rooms: $16/adult
Both the Maze & the Illusion Rooms: $20/adult
It didn’t take us long to decide to buy the combo deal.
The Illusion Rooms
I wasn’t sure if these rooms would be worth the price tag, but I gotta admit – we freaking loved it.
The first room was probably the craziest and definitely our favorite.
It was called the Tilted House because, well, it was a house on a giant tilt. It took me two tries just to walk through the entrance. This house seriously messes with your mind and throws you totally off balance; we couldn’t stop laughing the whole time.
Another one of our favorite rooms was the Hall of Following Faces. If you’ve ever wished famous people were watching your every move, then this is your dream come true!
Walking across the Ames Room was the first time Pete has ever looked shorter than me. It’s a room of forced perspective, so you appear to grow or shrink just by crossing the floor.
The Sculptillusion Gallery was probably our least favorite, but still pretty cool – an exhibit of mind bending sculptures.
I’m going to let Pete write about the maze, since he was much more into it than I was.
The goal of the maze was to find the four towers of the maze, each located in one of the four corners. Sounds easy right? If you wanted an extra challenge, it gave you a specific order in which to find the towers. We started off with the goal of finding them in the hard order, but quickly abandoned that goal after we finally found one of the towers, which was not the one we were looking for. I had done corn mazes before and this was pretty similar with the added twist of having bridges and stairs that led you to different portions of the maze making it a “3D” maze.
We found the second tower fairly soon after the 1st, but the 3rd and 4th towers took some serious work to find. We continually found ourselves in spots we had been numerous times before. After about an hour and fifteen minutes we finally found the last tower. Phew – we were done! Except the last part of the maze is to find your way back to the entrance after finding all the towers. We said no way and decided to take the emergency exit to quickly leave the maze.
Overall it was a great and challenging experience. If you do go and want to conquer the maze, be prepared to spend some time in there!
Did we giggle like children while exploring Puzzling World? Absolutely. Would we recommend it? Depends. If you only have a limited time in Wanaka, I’d spend it other ways. If you’re there for a longer stay, or if the weather outside is horrible, I think this is an entertaining way to spend your time.