Southland’s first ‘Escape Room’ experience is due to open in Te Anau this summer.
The indoor adventure game has been taking the world by storm over the past 10 years, but to date the southern-most in New Zealand have been located in Queenstown and Dunedin.
Fiordland Escapes is operated by Kirsty and David Pickett, owners of Advocate South, who hope to open the doors in January.
Teams of two to six players must work together to interpret clues, solve puzzles, find keys and unlock codes to “escape” the game room.
Having enjoyed escape rooms in other locations, the couple said they saw an ideal opportunity to bring the concept to Te Anau and offer a distinctly Fiordland theme.
“Through the Advocate newspaper we aim to tell local stories in an engaging, entertaining, and informative way. Fiordland Escapes will give the business an opportunity to continue those core values but deliver local stories in a totally different format,” Mr Pickett said.
“We’ve had so much fun in the escape rooms we’ve done so we’re really excited to be able to bring the concept to Southland with a uniquely southern stamp."
Mrs Pickett said two game rooms were being developed, each of which would offer players a small insight into some of Fiordland’s histories and mysteries. There would be nothing scary in the games, which could be played by a wide range of ages and abilities. Players have one hour to complete the challenge and those who can solve it faster will earn a place on the honours board.
The business will operate from the rear of Wild Rides in Te Anau’s Main Street, with entry via Park Lane.
“We still have quite a lot of work to do to get everything operational but we’re confident of getting things ready for a launch sometime in January,” Mrs Pickett said.
“We’’re so grateful to the local contractors who have really bought into the concept and gone above and beyond at such a busy time of year to put it all together.”
The couple was now recruiting for casual staff to fill the positions of “game master”.
Mr Pickett said once everything was up and running people would be able to book their place online at www.fiordlandescapes.co.nz. Further information would be posted there over coming weeks, including pricing details and answers to other commonly asked questions.