Saturday, September 30, 2006


I've been unable to read the name of the town of Wanaka without my brain dropping the second 'a'. How rude. We took the slightly longer route to Wanaka via the town of Cromwell. A route planned to take us past lots of wineries on the way, however the hangover from the night before ruined the prospect for me, so we didn't bother going in to any. We did stop at the AJ Hacket bungy centre to have a look at other people jumping. The main reason we stopped was so Gemma could have a look at the river, which was used as a location in Lord of the Rings. I believe it was the Pillars of the Kings bit. My atlas has many little ring icons dotted around in the Queenstown/Wanaka region. It is no wonder, as the place is so pretty. We stopped for a photograph at Lake Dunstan. There was barely a ripple on the surface of the lake and it reflected the surrounding scenery like a mirror.

The next stop we made was at Puzzling World, a name that I've been taunting Gemma with for the whole of the trip. She was sceptical about going to it at first but I persuaded her. She was glad that I did in the end because it was ace. $10 gets you entry to the maze and the illusion rooms. A small price to pay. It's a two level wooden construction with stairs and walkways. The object is to navigate to four corner towers and then find the exit. We did quite well to start with, finding and climbing the first three towers pretty quickly. The last tower infuriated us though. We spent probably double the time on that than we had on the first three. Once we had located the exit we breathed a sigh of relief. I had horrid visions of being stuck in there forever, not able to get out. The illusion rooms were also good. They have several holographic photographs, some of which are excellent. There is the hall of faces, where the faces of famous people appear to follow you round the room. A perspective room makes people look large at one end and small at the other. The last room is tilted, which messes with your sense of balance. In the room are things like a ball rolling the 'wrong' way up a pool table or water running 'up' a pipe. It really messed with my head and I felt ever so slightly sick by the end of it. I'm sure the previous nights beer had nothing to do with it.

We carried on into Wanaka and straight out the other end. After Queenstown I had no desire to be in a town. Outside of town is a small and very plush camper van park. I nearly fainted when she told us the price. Included in the price was use of the spa and sauna. We had planned to avail ourselves of it but didn't because it looked a bit crowded, with a load of families going in.

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