Day #96 - Wanaka's Wonders

The Leaning Room at Puzzling World
Boxing Day for many people usually follows a familiar pattern. After overindulging the previous day, we tend to just hang out and do nothing (except the Boxing Day walk to the sales!). Well, we followed this tradition by just having a morning of watching TV and munching! We were treated to a torrential downpour and some thunder which was in stark contrast to the sun of yesterday. Such weather made us feel less guilty about doing nothing!
We dove into the final part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy - Return of the King. We needed to finish our Tolkien marathon before we leave New Zealand later this week. It's a long film! So we actually stopped after [Spoiler Alert!] the ring got destroyed. We saved all the endings (and this film ends about five times!) for later in the day.
We jumped into the car and headed north to Wanaka, another pretty lakeside town for lunch. Again, the scenery is magnificent and breathtaking. The road there, Cardrona Valley Road, wound its way up and down the mountains and we could see why this was skiing territory in the winter.
We had a lovely lunch in town when we got there and enjoyed a quick stroll along the beach. Lots of water activities going on and people just enjoying their surroundings.

There was a nearby tourist attraction we were told we had to visit - Puzzling World. This name sounds so close to Puzzle Wood in the Forest of Dean back in the UK - a place we love. So we had to check it out. 
Turns out, James had been here before. The iconic structure at the entrance triggered his memory of taking a picture of it when here last. His picture back then involved lying down and making the clock tower look like an appendage. We opted for something a bit more grown up!
Puzzling World has a series of optical illusion based rooms along with a large wooden maze (apparently the first super maze in the world opening in 1973). The rooms were fun - I tried to capture some of them in video for you.
They also had this display of "retro" puzzles. A lot of this were from my childhood. How about yours? 
As for the maze, it was challenging. We had to visit each of the four corners and then find our way out again. We managed to visit three of the four corners before frustration got the better of us and we opted to take the emergency/cheating exit!
After all that visual stimulus, we continued northwards to take a quick look at Lake Hawea, the last of the big lakes in the area. 
On our way back through Wanaka, we stopped off again at the lake in order to capture an iconic image - The Wanaka Tree:
The Wanaka Tree, standing solitary in Lake Wanaka, is an iconic willow that has become a symbol of resilience and beauty in New Zealand. Despite its partially submerged existence, the Wanaka Tree continues to thrive. Photographers flock to capture the Wanaka Tree against the backdrop of the Southern Alps which kind of distracts from the serenity of the scene!
Then it was time to head back. A quick stop off at the local retail park to pick up a few items and complete the list of traditional Boxing Day activities - visiting the shops!