Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{New Zealand Aug 2012} Wanaka

A place where magic exist.
At least, that's what I believe.

Wanaka was meant to be a short stopover before we proceed to the Fox Glacier.

When I say 'short stopover', I meant...
.. stop by Puzzling World (I thought it was the only fun thing to do in Wanaka. Lack of research. People ski too and there's Lake Wanaka, which we missed.),
.. reach accomodation by 5 pm to check-in,
.. dinner
.. sleep
.. leave for Fox Glacier by 9 am, because it's gonna be a long drive and I want to reach Lake Matheson early.

It's amazing how things work themselves out sometimes.

We wanted to visit the vintage car museum while in Geraldine but they are closed in winter.
I was bummed.
I looooooove vintage cars.
Then we saw this sticker on the phone booth in Tarras.

It's the same as what Papa Smurf is holding. Too adorable to be missed.

National Transport and Toy Museum
(Entrance: $12)

We almost gave up the thought about going because we couldn't locate it on the GPS. But remember how things work out beautifully and magically for this trip? We were on the way to Puzzling World and there it is. In our face.

This is even better.
Vintage Cars.
And every other transport you can find. Well, almost.
Planes, tractors, fire engines.
Perfect for boy and girls, little and not-so-little.

The toys are all in showcases. It wasn't the neatest display but they are pretty organised.
I had a silly smile plastered across my face throughout the entire visit.
It is heaven.

The 'TOYS' part of the museum is quite small but they have a rather extensive collection of toys from the 70s metal tin toys to anything Star Wars. Barbie dolls, and this...

Sylvanian Families!

This is only a quarter of the collection on that huge display.
Don't you just love them??

Most of the vintage cars here are in working condition and they can be rented for movie productions.

Now, this is an interesting one. A furry Morris Minor.

The rest of the vehicles are in these two hangars.
It's almost like a giant carpark with all the vehicles in line, their information printed on a piece of paper and placed on their windscreens.
It's not fanciful, but still, very impressive.

The lounge area near the ticketing booth. Genius.

A trip to Wanaka wouldn't be complete without a visit to Puzzling World.(Entrance: $12 each for Illusion Rooms and the Great Maze. $15 combo)

It was raining that day.
We weren't sure about doing the maze.
But everyone at the ticket counter seemed to be buying the combo ticket.
It's only $3 more.
We did in the end.
I'm glad we did.

We went for the standard challenge and even so, it's a lot of walking.

It was more than confusing passages.
We saw quite a few confused looks while some try to figure their way either to the towers or the way out.
Both of us included.
Before entering the maze, I thought it would be filled with negative energy because you do get frustrated if you get stuck in the maze for a long time right? As least I thought I'd be walking through this maze with an impatient, grumpy man.

I was so wrong.
This place has magic.
It was filled with lots of laughter and happy,confused looks.
You laugh with your companion when you know you've been going the same place over and over again.
You laugh with the people you keep bumping into because you know none of you found the tower and yes, you are lost!
You laugh at the little girl who tried to take a short cut by crawling under the wooden fences (and she can because she's so little.)
There is zero negative energy in this place.

We found the blue corner tower first and had no luck with the rest.
We wanted to give up after a while because we have been walking so much.
That's where the magic happened again.
While trying to figure out way out of the maze (or at least the emergency exits), we ended up at the green tower.
Then the red.
And the yellow.

And finally.. the emergency exit.

The Illusion Rooms are small but pretty amazing.
And they have a wonderful store with puzzles galore and a cafe where you can have a go at the puzzles they sell before deciding to buy them. How can I leave the store without some loot?

Even the toilets are a must-visit.
Because you get some fun illusions like this.

This picture is so wrong on so many levels.
But it'll be boring to take a photo of just the painting, no?

Find out more about the awesome National Transport and Toy Museum here, and Puzzling World here.

More of the trip here:
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Setting foot on New Zealand
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Geraldine, Lake Tekapo
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Lake Tekapo in Snow
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Mount Cook. Just a quick one.
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Queenstown
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Arrowtown
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Tarras
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Fox Glacier
{New Zealand Aug 2012} The scary ride
{New Zealand Aug 2012} The lesson from a seal
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Kaikoura
{New Zealand Aug 2012} International Antarctic Centre 

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