Puzzling World offers one of New Zealand’s most entertaining attractions that challenge the perception of reality with illusions and much more.
Puzzling World in Wanaka
The main attraction to New Zealand is its breathtaking landscapes – like the famous Milford Sound (which is one of the world’s most stunning fjords). But the country has plenty of other attractions – perhaps the most famous of which is the Hobbiton Movie Set where Lord of the Rings’ Shire was filmed. It can be argued that New Zealand has some of the most pristine and stunning alpine lakes in the world, and one of the most popular is Lake Wanaka. The town of Wanaka is a small resort town and one of the most relaxing and pristine places in New Zealand to unwind.
One of the most unusual attractions in Wanaka is Puzzling World. It is a popular, award-winning local attraction of optical illusions and puzzling rooms. It boasts the world’s first “Mega Maze,” five Illusion Rooms, and a Puzzle Cafe. Wanaka is also famous for having what has become the most Instagrammable spot in New Zealand – Roy’s Peak overlooking Lake Wanaka.
Puzzling World – A Pioneer Of Illusions & Puzzles
Puzzling World is a very fun and entertaining family activity. It is home to the world’s first 3D maze and is famous for its Leaning Tower of Wanaka (not to mention the eccentric lavatory that has been built in the style of a Roman bathroom). The Roman lavatory has been acclaimed as one of the world’s weirdest attractions.
Despite its remoteness being far away from any notable population center, it has welcomed over 4 million visitors over the years.
Puzzling World started out as a simple wooden single-story maze in 1973 and then expanded over the years. It was the project of Stuart and Jan Landsborough, who sold their house to finance their venture after they were refused a bank loan. Today it is a thriving multi-attraction business and is constantly evolving. It has sought to pioneer new visitor attractions for the last 50 years. The iconic Leaning Tower of Wanaka was added in 1999 (which even has a backward running clock face).
What To Expect At Puzzling World In Wanaka
Wanaka is perhaps the last place one would expect a cutting-edge attraction like Puzzling World. It is located in one of the most sparsely populated parts of New Zealand – but also at one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers and tourists. It is an attraction that one can easily spend a full day – or at least half a day – at.
- Leaning Tower of Wanaka:
- The SculptIllusion Gallery
- Optical Illusions Rooms
- 3D Maze
Puzzling World even received sculptures that had been built for the Lord of the Rings by Weta Workshop (the company that worked on the sets, props, and make-up of the movies).
Puzzling World really challenges people’s perception of reality. It has seemingly impossible objects, perspective paintings, reversible figures, sculptures that seem to be suspended in mid-air, a floating bench, a stone carpet, a living wall, displays of impossible or useless inventions, and much more.
Planning A Visit To Wanaka’s Puzzling World
Puzzling World works to keep the price affordable and draws local and international visitors alike. Some people only have a limited amount of time and so only spend an hour or so there, while others choose to spend a full day there.
Advanced bookings are not required, but if one would prefer to plan ahead, the tickets can be purchased online. Visitors can choose to visit the full attraction or just the Illusion Rooms or The Great Maze.
COMBO (Illusion Rooms & The Great Maze):
- Adult: $NZD 25.00 ($16 USD)
- Child: $NZD 18.00 (Aged 5-15) ($11 USD)
- Adult: $NZD 20.00 ($16 USD)
- Child: $NZD 16.00 (Aged 5-15) ($10 USD)
The Great Maze:
- Adult: $NZD 18.00 ($11 USD)
- Child: $NZD 14.00 (Aged 5-15) ($8 USD)
Puzzling World is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.00 am, with the last admission being at 4.30 pm.
While in New Zealand, take the time to explore The Lost Gypsy on the south coast of the South Island – it is perhaps the weirdest museum in New Zealand. Exploring New Zealand may be mostly about its endless scenic wonders, but there is more to New Zealand than the outdoors. It is also a country with a lot of original artistic talent.