June 9

There was only one indoor thing that we were anxious to do in Wanaka: Puzzling World. This is a building full of brain teasers and illusions. The first room features a variety of holograms. These move as you do, either side to side or up and down.

The second is a room set at a 15 degree angle. This messes with your perception; it seems as though pool balls and water move upwards and a sliding chair that you can sit in slides uphill. It is very disorienting.

The third room features faces whose eyes follow you wherever you move.

The fourth room is set up so onlookers can peer in through windows at one end. On the other end you can walk from side to side. On one side, you appear to be a giant, on the other side, a dwarf.

The final room has sculptures that appear to be impossible.

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Puzzling World was an interesting stop, unlike anything else that we have done in New Zealand.

Afterwards, we walked down to the most photographed tree in NZ. It is a live tree growing out of the lake. It even has leaves during the summer.

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We left relatively early to make our way towards the West Coast. We stopped to enjoy the views of neighboring Lake Hawea.

Then we ended up spending another day enjoying waterfalls. The persistent rainfall had created raging rivers and massive waterfalls. We stopped whenever we saw a sign. Many of the walkways were flooded and Zhoel would piggyback me down to the viewpoints. (He has gum boots and I don’t.)

Some of the rivers were almost scary in their strength. The pressure of the water would easily kill someone who fell in. Alongside the road, there were mini waterfalls coming off the cliffs. These occurred nearly every ten feet or so. The amount of water was unbelievable. The drainage was amazing, otherwise the roadways would’ve been impassible. We ended up camping at Lake Paringa on the far side of Haast. Haast is a World Heritage Site, due to its native rainforest. The area certainly is unlike anywhere that I’ve ever been before!

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