Puzzling World

Puzzling World


Puzzling World is a tourist attraction in New Zealand. It began as a single-story maze in 1973, gradually become an award-winning complex of optical illusions and puzzling rooms and the world's first 3-D maze.


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Puzzling World, originally a single level wooden maze at Wanaka in the Queenstown area of New Zealand, opened in 1973. It was the brainchild of Stuart and Jan Landsborough who had been forced to sell their house to raise money for the venture after being refused a bank loan.

Puzzling World features a large maze in which the traveler must reach four corner towers before finding the middle courtyard (emergency doors are included for those who struggle). The Leaning Tower of Wanaka is, as the name implies, a tower that is seemingly impossibly balanced on one corner, making the whole structure lean at an angle of 53 degrees to the ground.

The Sculptillusion gallery is a large illusion room that opened in December 2012. It contains impossible objects, perspective paintings, reversible figures. The sculptures include a tap seemingly suspended in mid-air and a floating bench, as well as architectural features such as a stone carpet and living wall, created by New Zealand sculptors and designers. The building also contains several Jerry Andrus illusions including Crazy Nuts (an impossible nuts and bolts interactive illusion) and The Magic Square logic puzzle. There is also an area devoted to advertisements and familiar products which play with how the viewer sees recognizable company logos. Other features include stained glass windows with geometrical patterns and an area for conferences.

The optical illusion rooms include a set of rooms built at a 15-degree angle, containing illusions such as water apparently flowing uphill, the octagonal "Hall of Following Faces" with spot-lit hollow mask illusions on the walls, created by artist and sculptor Derek Ball and an Ames Room, a perspectively confusing room with a delayed video feed where visitors can see themselves afterward with seemingly different heights depending on where they were positioned.


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