|Wanaka is a cute town nestled in the mountains. It reminded us of Banff.
On our way out of town, we stopped off at Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World. It's a complex with a large 3D maze constructed out of wooden walls, open to the air; a hollogram room; The Tilted Room; The Visual Illusions Room; and The Hall of Following Faces. It was a VERY interesting and fun place! We both did the maze together, getting to each of the four corner towers in the order set out on the challenge.
Then we wandered through the hollogram room to the Hall of Following Faces, which was pretty eerie!! From floor to ceiling in a semi-circular room were large faces about 1x1 ft big. At first glance, they appear to be coming out of the wall as if the mould was done to make them convex. However, when you walk up to touch them, they are actually convex!!! As you move from side to side, not only do the eyes of Mother Theresa, Mohammed Ali, or Eistein follow you, but their heads seem to turn too!!!! When you squat down and look up, they are looking down at you!!!! Likewise when you look down on them, they tilt their heads and look back up at you --you can see their nostrils!
After being weirded out in that room, we wandered over to the tilted room. This room REALLY messed with our heads the longer we stayed in there. Things would seem to roll or move uphill when infact it was constructed with ever the slightest bit of downward slope. As we crossed from room to room, the floor were uneven, to achieve the uphill illusion. When we got out of the room, our sense of balance was distorted enough that we walked like drunkards, staggering around from side to side! Funny.
To finish off, we headed over to the visual illusion room. Without anyone in the room, the room looked like any other room. Again, by slanting the floor this way and that, they were able to create an illusion where the person at the left side of the room was a giant who needed to hunch over as if he was in a doll house, while the person on the right looked like an elf. They used this technique during filming of the Lord of the Rings as well.
After a very entertaining morning, we hit the road again. As we headed towards Franz Joseph, the mountains gave way the rocky shores of the westcoast. Yay, back to the sea again!
We did a quick walk up to Fox Glacier, with Niiigel rattled off a few newly learned Cantonese phrases. The shuffle on the MP3 player had gone to languages and started a Cantonese lesson on the way here. He was pretty good!!!