Great escape game coming to resort

Queenstown's newest tourist attraction will be sited in the Mountaineer Building. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Queenstown's newest tourist attraction will be sited in the Mountaineer Building. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Queenstown is branded the adventure capital of the world, but the resort's latest attraction will keep tourists confined to a single room.

The Escape Hunt Experience Queenstown is due to open in the Mountaineer Building, Beach St, in November.

Ranked the No 1 attraction in cities around the world on travel website TripAdvisor, the themed activity requires groups of people solve a fictional crime to escape a room within an hour.

Queenstown's theme will be the gold rush era.

It is the latest to follow a wave of indoor attractions in the ski resort.

They include Fear Factory's haunted house, interactive simulators Dark Ride and Vortex, and the Odyssey Sensory Maze.

''It's something you can do in between all the crazy outdoor activities,'' the Queenstown franchisee, Anne-Marie Ireland said.

''It's very interactive, puzzles, clues, surprises, and so popular across the world right now.''

Mrs Ireland said the Queenstown operation would aim to take a share of the corporate and conference group market, as well as tourists, locals and families.

The experience is designed for two to five people.

''Rather than people living in a digital world and just playing on their phones all day, they can go in and experience something as a group. You've got 60 minutes to escape, so there's quite primal impulses involved,'' her husband, Gareth Ireland, said.

''It allows people on down days, or inclement weather days, to do something that's unique in Queenstown.''

Five rooms on the first floor of the Mountaineer Building will be given over to the activity. Some of the rooms will have identical themed games so groups can compete against each other.

''It's ... such a beautiful building,'' Mrs Ireland said of the Mountaineer.

''And it's perfect because we're taking people back in time to the gold rush. It was the Prince of Wales Hotel back then. There'll be a theme around that; a crime scene in one of the rooms.''

The Great Clyde Gold Robbery, when 13,000 of gold and notes was stolen one night in 1870, will also feature.

 - by Paul Taylor