Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World – Wanaka, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Stuart Landsborough’s 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 Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World in Wanaka.

The mystifying funhouse began as a single-story wooden maze built in 1973, but over its more than 40 years of continual operation Landsborough’s attraction has grown into a veritable shrine to tricks, illusions, and fun. The maze itself has been upgraded and expanded with the inclusion of bridges which link different parts of the maze together to create what the owners call a “3D maze.” In addition to the sprawling labyrinth the site features such odd sights as a group of buildings splayed like a hand of cards or tilted at a dizzying 53 degrees to the ground. There is also the Hall of 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.    

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

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September 2, 2013

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