Puzzling World

Are you a fan of optical illusions and mazes? Have you always been curious about how magicians complete their tricks? Perhaps you just love brainteasers and figuring out how things work. If so, you’ll love Puzzling World: a family-friendly destination in the picturesque Wanaka region of New Zealand’s South Island.

 Tumbling Towers Wanaka

The incredible, skewed Tumbling Towers welcoming you to Wanaka! Image used with permission from Puzzling World

Designed to bemuse as well as amuse its visitors, Puzzling World was established in 1973. Its first attraction was a maze, in which families could (and frequently did) become lost while trying to reach the centre. In this completely unique maze, visitors have to navigate through a series of obstacles and reach four corner towers before locating the centre of the maze. Today, conquering the 3-D maze is a point of pride for visitors. Can you do it?

 Great Maze Puzzling World

Bird’s-eye view of the mind-boggling Great Maze - Image used with permission from Puzzling World

You’ll find plenty of Wanaka attractions to visit on your trip to the South Island, but the region’s famous Puzzling World just might end up being your favourite. Whether you’re travelling alone, with a group of friends, or with your family, Puzzling World has something you’ll love. No need to travel to Italy to see an iconic leaning building; Wanaka’s very own leaning tower can be found at Puzzling World, ready to help you impress your friends with a well-staged photo.

 Leaning Tower of Wanaka

Two visitors have fun posing with the Leaning Tower of Wanaka - Image used with permission from Puzzling World

As its intriguing name suggests, Puzzling World’s illusion rooms are particularly baffling to visitors. They often ask, How can someone appear to grow or shrink in size by crossing a room? How are the kids standing at such a strange angle? And why are those sculpted faces watching us? To have a go at figuring out how these strange occurrences happen, you must pay a visit to the illusion rooms yourself.

 Optical illusions Puzzling World

Fun in one of the Puzzling World optical illusion rooms - Image used with permission from Puzzling World

The Sculptillusion Gallery offers visitors a chance to view incredible sculptures made by prominent New Zealand artists – but, of course, they’re not your everyday works of art. Visitors can marvel over the beautifully strange sculptures, including some that appear to be floating in mid-air.

When your brain needs a bit of a break from all of the optical illusions and incredible holograms, why not relax in Puzzling World’s café and try your hand at a simple brainteaser or two? The café is stocked with fascinating puzzles that you can ponder over hot drinks or tasty lunch. It’s likely that you’ve never seen a ceiling as wacky and wonderful as the one in the café – it’s a giant kaleidoscope! You’ll probably also like to browse the gift shop to share the magic with your friends and family back home.

 Puzzling World Wanaka

Three people relaxing and enjoying puzzles around a table - Image used with permission from Puzzling World

You also have an incentive to bring any self-proclaimed psychics you may know on your trip to Puzzling World. Stuart Landsborough, the former owner of the site, created a challenge in which psychics are encouraged to use their powers to find two halves of a promissory note and win an impressive $100,000 if they are able to do so.

Some of Puzzling World’s attractions are free, so even if you’re on a budget during your holiday, it’s still worth a visit for a photo or two. Even the toilets will give you something to ponder, so if you must take a bathroom break while driving through Wanaka, make sure it’s at Puzzling World!

Open year-round, except Christmas Day, Puzzling World is a truly unusual gem not to be missed. When you book a car with Omega Rental Cars Queenstown, you’ll be just over an hour’s drive from Puzzling World and have easy access to other great Wanaka attractions like The Cardrona horse and quad bike tours and Aspiring Helicopters.

If you’re planning a trip to the South Island, make sure Puzzling World is at the top on your list of things to do in Wanaka. You have to see the amazing illusions to believe them – and the trip will certainly create a fun day you’ll never forget!