Puzzling World – Wanaka, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Puzzling World

New Zealand's epic shrine to all things puzzling. 


New Zealand has been known as a land of magic thanks to the famous series of fantasy films shot there, but not many people know of the mystery and illusion gathered together at Puzzling World in Wanaka.

The mystifying funhouse began as a single-story wooden maze built in 1973, but over its almost 50 years of continual operation the Landsborough’s attraction has grown into a veritable shrine to tricks, illusions, and fun. The maze itself was the world’s first to include overbridges in the design which link different parts of the maze together to create what the owners call a “3D Mega maze.” In addition to the sprawling maze the site features such odd ‘folly’s’ as a group of buildings splayed like a hand of cards or another, appropriately named ‘The Leaning Tower  of Wanaka’, tilted at a dizzying 53 degrees. There is also five Illusion Rooms, including the Hologram Hall, Tilted House, the Following Faces, which features impressions of famous faces which seem to follow you no matter where you move in the room, and the Sculptillusion Gallery which collects a wide variety of sculpted optical illusions and exhibitions.    

Visitors can even take the “Psychic Challenge” while at Puzzling World, which rewards with $100,000 any psychic that can find two hidden objects on the site. But you don’t have to be a psychic to see that Puzzling World is likely to instil a sense of whimsy in even the grumpiest curmudgeon.

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September 2, 2013

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