Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Puzzling World shares forty years of memories

Media Release from Puzzling Wold Wanaka

December 19 2013

Puzzling World shares forty years of memories


Click for big version.

Duncan Spear, Heidi Landsborough, Jan Clark, Stuart Landsborough and Coleen Landsborough celebrate 40 years of Puzzling World

A Wanaka tourism business that has wowed more than three million customers from all around the globe has celebrated its 40th anniversary in retro ‘seventies’ style.

When Puzzling World pioneers Stuart and Jan Landsborough, having been refused a loan from the bank, sold their house to buy seven acres of barren land and build a1km maze, many questioned their rationale.

Six weeks, 12,000 wooden planks and a lot of hard graft later, ‘The Maze’ opened on the outskirts of Wanaka just in time for the 1973/74 summer holidays. In its first year, charging 50c for adults and 25c for children, it welcomed 17,600 people.

Four years later, the Puzzle Centre was established – with just one table and five puzzles. Between 1985 and 1988 Stuart travelled around the world designing and building twenty-five 3-D ‘Supermazes’ in Japan, USA and Australia.

More innovations followed thick and fast – half a kilometre of passages and over-bridges were added to the maze, the Puzzle Centre was extended and the first illusion rooms were added.

Roman ‘trompe l’oeil’ toilets made them possibly the most photographed loos in New Zealand, in 1999 came the famous Leaning Tower of Wanaka and more illusion rooms followed.

In 2004 Stuart retired and handed the reins over to daughter Heidi and son-in-law Duncan Spear. Innovations continued in 2012 with the addition of the $2.5m Sculptillusion Gallery, a large room featuring over 20 large sculptures, artworks and displays complete with Living Walls, wave ceilings, stone carpet and hanging waterfalls.

Mr Spear said Puzzling World’s vision for continued innovation and development in line with its philosophy of ‘puzzling eccentricity’ meant it continued to grow in popularity.

“As we celebrate our 40th anniversary we simply have to pay tribute to Stuart’s dedication to and passion for the business which we’ve been lucky enough to carry on in his name,” he said.

At the anniversary party, resplendent with 70’s style drinks along with prawn cocktails, rolled lamb roast and fondues that harked back to the beginnings of the iconic tourist venture, Heidi Landsborough told more than 80 guests how special it had been to “grow up with a maze in my back yard” and to witness how “strange ideas” had created a world unique attraction.

“Duncan and I are extremely proud to manage the business to ensure my parents’ vision is carried through to the next generation,” she said.

“We’re dedicated to continued re-development and investment in the business, and the current growth in traffic from emerging Indian and Asian markets in particular is testament to the attraction’s reach across all nationalities.

“This year Puzzling World has launched some incredible new innovations including New Zealand’s first permanent Holoboxx hologram and the first Virtual Assistant display explaining where to go and what to see in the business.”

Guests at the function included staff from the very earliest days together with long-standing suppliers, contractors, past staff and family who all helped achieve the 40 year milestone.

Stuart Landsborough talked of the struggle to establish ‘The Maze’ business in the early days.

“We were working in a climate of oil crises, farming subsidy removals, no ground water and a perception locally that what we were creating was ‘crazy’,” he said.

“But now as we celebrate 40 years and see what we’ve established for the tourism industry locally and nationally I’m proud to see continued development by the next generation, as I’d never have had the courage to build anything so incredible.”

In a fitting tribute, a cake brought out to celebrate the 40th anniversary carried a partial replica of the matchstick maze he and Jan created to help gain planning permission to build their dream all those years ago.  


Click for big version.

The original Wanaka Maze in the early days

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news