Thursday, March 5, 2009


A quick swing after breakfast before hitting the road.
First stop: Puzzling World in Wanaka. We spent over 2 hours here and could have spent 2 more easily. It was wonderfully fun.
They set this clock to start on 1 Jan 2000 and it runs backwards.
The first room is full of wonderful 3-D pictures. Here Hannah is trying to grab the banana that is sticking out at her.
There was so much in this room. It was fascinating to walk through and I think each one of us found a favorite (even Ruth). They had such variety - it was excellent.
Then they had a lot of BIG pictures on the walls with illusions. Count the elephants legs from the top and then from the bottom.
Then have a look at those lines. They are all PARALLEL - really. I am sorry now that I did not take a photo close up so that you could see that they are really parallel. If you don't believe me you will have to come to NZ to see it for yourself. :-)
I also just loved Brendon's face for this photo. A really "puzzling" time.
This room was incredible. With over 100 faces looking at you they follow you as you walk around the room. For the best effect you close one eye and walk 1 m away from the faces. Even Ruth got it right though and was heard to say "looking at me". Even if you went up and down, they followed. It was BRILLIANT.
Then we went into the area with a very slanting floor. It was so slanted that after trying to walk in Nana decided to not even bother. She watched the video outside showing all the funny things that we got to see and try.
This chair starts on the right (bottom) and flies to the top - using only gravity!!!
Here we all are standing sideways. Next door to us you can see a swing that is handing "off-centre" and the tap where water flows "uphill". They also had a small pool table where you can let go of a ball and it rolls "uphill".
In the picture above the top ruler is parallel to the "real" ground. The one underneath it is just off and so if you put a coin on it, it rolls "uphill". A coin on the top ruler stays still (Grandpa tried it).
This was such a fun room. Hannah and I are HUGE compared to Grandpa and Ruth.
Loads of fun.
They had so many pictures around the whole place of lovely illusions. There were beautiful full-colour ones as well as drawings and sketches. We did not even get to look at them all.
Then for the MAZE. That's Grandpa waving at us (we were in one of the towers). There are 4 towers and you have to try and get to each one and then find the exit. Nana and Grandpa tried it for a while but I don't know if they got to any towers.
It's called the GREAT MAZE (Labyrinth) and it has 1.5km of confusing passages. Most people walk between 3 and 5 km. It was the first of the World's "Modern Style" mazes.
The maze is two stories high with stairs and bridges. It was a lot of fun.
We persevered (carrying two little ones) and managed to get to each of the 4 towers.
We struggled to find our way out though and eventually Brendon went out with the two little ones. Rachel said "Brownies don't give up" and wanted to keep trying.
But after walking and walking and walking she accepted my idea to use the "emergency exit" and go join the rest of the family for something to eat and drink. We still had quite a bit of traveling to do in the day. It would be lovely to come here again some time and "conquer" the maze. We did really well though.
When we arrived the lady was telling us about the different sections and she said "make sure to check out our toilets, you will want a family photo there". We thought this was very strange but understood when we made our way there before leaving.
It was so much fun for Rachel and I especially having have read so much about Ancient Rome so see what it could have looked like. Even to the detail of their sticks with sponges (instead of toilet paper).
And then the real toilets were also all very special. It's probably one of those very few places where people really do take there camera to the loo to get a photo. There were many different ones and it was funny to hear everyone asking "so what did your toilet look like?"
Then we headed down to Queenstown and had a picnic lunch in the Queenstown Gardens.
Grandpa was so impressed with Queenstown - he said it was the best town of the entire trip.
Queenstown is set between a mountain and a lake and makes for a VERY busy town with all the tourists. It has so many "adventure" activities and apparently in the skying season you can almost not move there are so many people there.
It was lovely to get to see it and again enjoy such amazing weather.
We had a very long afternoon / evening. We drove down to Te Anau and had dinner there and then continued down to Milford Sounds. We had a ferry trip booked for Friday morning 9am and so decided it would be a good idea to just sleep in the camper there.
That was a very good idea as the road there was very slow going. But it was also incredibly beautiful. We had read comments that it was the most scenic road in the whole of New Zealand and I can honestly say I understand why. Unfortunately it was getting late and I did not get any photos (I had said "I will get some on the way home tomorrow"). It was beautifully clear the whole way there and so the view was exceptional. (It rained the next day and so we missed getting the photos - lesson learned).
There was a long tunnel that we went through too and when we came out we were all amazed at the mountain we had just driven through (not under as we were still very high up). Words can not even start to describe the amazing beauty of this part of the trip.
So a total of 360km today.

1 comment:

Nick and Lynn Clevely said...

Thanks for sharing all those photos, Belinda - what an extremely interesting excursion to Puzzle World! The NZ scenery is spectacular, judging by your pics which I know don't do it justice. Glad to have caught up on your blog! Much love, Lynn.