Rotorua: The 3D Trick Art Gallery

On Saturday afternoon, we went to Velocity Valley. This adventure park on the outskirts of Rotorua was advertised online as ‘NZ’s most exciting adventure activities in one location.’ They offered The Swoop (a giant bungee swing where you accelerate from 0 to 130km in 1 second), the Acroboat (where you apparently ‘fly like a Ferrari on water’) and the Freefall Xtreme (where you ‘fly’ a few feet above the ground in a plastic tube for couple of minutes).

No thank you.

We were more interested in the Shweeb. The Shweeb looks like an upside down monorail with a mini capsule hanging from it. The capsule holds one person and has what look like bicycle pedals inside. The idea is that you pedal to make it go round the track and race the person next to you. So no breakneck speeds, no heights and no going upside down. This I could manage. But when the lady behind the counter told us that the cost for four of us to pedal around a track for 5 minutes would cost $200, we changed our minds. ‘World’s first human pedal powered monorail racetrack’ or not, that is an exorbitant amount of money to charge for a single activity which you could complete in less time that it takes to make a cup of coffee. I didn’t actually say this to the lady of course but the expression on my face as I turned on my heel and headed back to the carpark, probably said it all.

So feeling a bit despondent, we headed back into Rotorua where I had seen a sign for a 3D Trick Art Gallery. I’m not sure what I had expected from this place but it certainly wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I had thought perhaps we’d get to see some optical illusions or look at some mind-bending Escher paintings but no. It was a far more bizarre concept.

In the 3D Trick Art Gallery you literally become part of the art. You’re given instructions at the front desk and then walk through into a distinctly gallery-like setting where you are immediately confronted by an enormous picture of a Māori man with a ladle, painted directly on to the wall. The picture actually spans two walls and the floor, and while on the face of it, it’s hard to see how this is a three dimensional art, everything changes when you take a photograph of it……..with someone sitting on the ladle.

Soup, anyone?

A sticker on the floor tells you where to stand to get the best angle and a small photograph of a posing suggestion is affixed to the wall next to the painting. These were actually very helpful as with some of the paintings, it wasn’t immediately obvious how the picture would become three dimensional. The subject matter is broken down into five themes: Classic Art, Kiwi Life, Challenge, Fantasy and Grand Nature.

My husband and my daughter were such good sports and delighted in posing for some of the most amusing photos I have ever taken.

Artist’s muse
Happy family!
Hard tackle
Long drop
What were they thinking when they came up with the idea for this one?
Feeding time
My daughter is actually lying down here; I took this one on my mobile phone so I could turn the photo on it’s side to look like she’s being blasted out of a geyser!
Easy does it…..
My Wizard of Oz moment
My husband and daughter taking it one step further!
This painting is enormous, covering the back wall and most of the floor of this extremely large room. To get the picture, you have to go up to a gantry and take it from above.

There are 50 paintings in the gallery to have fun with and in all honesty, I hadn’t expected it to enjoy it so much! I would recommend getting here when there aren’t too many people though. We only had one family in front of us and found it pretty frustrating having to hang around for ages while they tried to get the perfect shot of one of them hanging off a cliff edge or being run over by a train.

If you want to see more of the art work in the gallery (some of my pictures are too embarrassing to publish!) then you can head over to the 3D Trick Art Gallery’s website:


3 responses to “Rotorua: The 3D Trick Art Gallery”

  1. Jenny Elliott Avatar
    Jenny Elliott

    Absolutely love this, how amazing, it’s just so clever how the paintings become 3D.


    1. And SO much fun!😆


  2. That looked great fun! Very impressed with the facial impressions. Lol! Bet they had lots of laughs with that, such a great idea.


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