Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World is a tourist attraction near Wanaka, New Zealand. It started out as just a single level maze in 1973, but over the years expanded to add overbridges to the maze design (thus creating the world's first 3-D maze), a large "puzzling café" where guests could try out several puzzles, five large rooms of optical illusions, the Leaning Tower of Wanaka (which has a backwards clock that was started on the eve of the new millennium) and other attractions (such as the Roman Bathrooms) that ascribe to their theme of "puzzling eccentricity". By 2007 Puzzling World had been visited over 2 million times.
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, and a perspectively confusing room with a delayed video feed where visitors can see themselves afterwards with seemingly different heights depending on where they were positioned in the room.
The operators of Puzzling World have for many years offered a monetary prize for anybody who can prove themselves to have psychic powers; all a potential winner needs to do is use their powers to locate a specific item located somewhere in Puzzling World's environs. To date the $100,000 prize goes unclaimed, although seven "professional" psychics have attempted the challenge. Puzzling World features a large maze in which the traveller must reach four corner towers before finding the middle courtyard (emergency doors are included for those who struggle).
The SculptIllusion Gallery
A large gallery, opened in 2012, displays illusionary sculptures and architectural wonders, and showcases New Zealand sculptors and designers.
The sculptures include spinning tops and impossible objects, perspective paintings and reversible figures, a bench and a tap seemingly suspended in mid air, and stained glass windows with geometrical patterns.
The Leaning Tower of Wanaka
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.
- "Illusion garden part of $2.5m extension". odt.co.nz.
- 'Leaning and tumbling towers' on Puzzling World website, viewed 2011-07-30
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puzzling World.|
- Puzzling World's official homepage
- A picture showing the angle of the Leaning Tower
- Photo journal highlighting many of the features of Puzzling World
-  An article describing the new extension, opened 2012