Puzzling over presents? Puzzling World can help

IT'S an illusion if you think that Wanaka's Puzzling World is just about a maze and mind-boggling illusion rooms - the gift shop here is packed with over 300 puzzles for all ages and problem-solving abilities.

For the children, the large range of jigsaws feature classic number/alphabet designs, popular children's characters such as Bob the Builder and super-sized floor puzzles cater for ages from two up. Adults can take on the Wasjig series, Photomosaics and intriguing three-dimensional jigsaw spheres.

The shop also features a huge range of robust wooden puzzles made from native timbers, string-based mechanical puzzles and metal ones too. It is the world's largest retailer of the popular Tantrix range from Nelson and stocks not only the classic Rubik's Cubes but also the entire Rubik's range, including 360, Race and key chains for the next generation of puzzlers!

You won't find such a complete collection of posters, books and cards by well-known illusion artist M. C. Escher anywhere else in New Zealand and Puzzling World is also the only retailer in the country for one of the world's oldest puzzles - the interlocking Turkish puzzle ring. Puzzling World has over 50 book titles of maze games, mathematical brain-teasers, conundrums, logic puzzles and illusionary art for adults and children.

Check out the contemporary work of Canadian artist Rob Gonsalves in print or his limited-edition paintings on the walls in one of the illusion rooms.

Have a look at the family games from Thinkfun, Holdson and Lagoon, which all have a puzzle element.

The adjoining Puzzle Cafe offers the chance to try out many of the puzzles while enjoying a bite or drink at one of over 25 tables.

These puzzles are perfect for the coffee table or rumpus room, or as a New Zealand present to send overseas, especially those with a Kiwiana theme. They will keep children or grandchildren occupied and may be exactly what you need for that tricky person on everybody's Christmas list.

If you can't make it into Puzzling World in person, why not check out their online shop: www.puzzlingworld.co.nz