The History of Puzzling World

When Stuart and Jan Landsborough sold their house to buy seven acres of barren land to build a maze in a town of just 800 people, 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, they welcomed 17,600 people.


Years later, the Puzzle Centre was established (with just one table and five puzzles) and over-bridges were added to the maze – the first in the world to go “3-D”.


Taking his ‘Super Maze’ concept global Stuart then designed twenty-five similar mazes for Japan, USA, Australia and Auckland between 1985 and 1988.


More innovations followed when the first Illusion Rooms were added before the famous Roman Toilets were built and in 1999 came the iconic Leaning Tower of Wanaka and a third extension to the Puzzle centre was welcomed.


In 2004 Stuart retired and handed the reins over to his daughter Heidi and son-in-law Duncan Spear who have continued the theme of continual innovations. In 2012 they opened The Sculptillusion Gallery and have many future plans to ensure Puzzling World’s 190,000+ annual visitors continue to have an experience they’ll never forget!