Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Steampunk in Oamaru

While I was down south for the garden tours, we also took a day trip to Oamaru. Oamaru has proclaimed itself the steampunk capital of New Zealand, and they have a festival every year with a fashion show, exhibition and other fun activities. We went down to catch the last day of the exhibition, but while wandering around the town we came across this rather amazing sculpture.

Situated outside Steampunk HQ, the engine lurks in a sinister but silent fashion, until someone feeds it a $2 coin and it comes to life. It roars and whistles, lights flash inside, and flames shoot out the smokestack. It's really quite impressive.

See the little demon fellas on the engine? They seem to be enjoying their ride.

At the Forrester Gallery strange contraptions also abounded, like this Computational Steamputer.

Also the Tumeke Time Machine.

The show was called Tomorrow As It Used To Be, and you can see more of the exhibits here. I was also excited to catch the last day of Jason Greig's show The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The batteries in my camera died as we arrived in Oamaru, so I had to enlist my mum's iPod. It didn't really like the low light inside, so my apologies for the grainy photos. (It made a great backup though... I think this means I really need an iPod of my own...)

After the gallery we wandered down to the Historic Precinct, where the Sunday market was in full swing.

The Precinct is amazing... wonderfully preserved original limestone buildings, which have recently been converted into cafes and galleries and little shops. There were market stalls selling everything from veges to soap, and people wandering around in Victorian dress (Oamaru is known for this).

I love the festive bunting.

This would be a nice spot to sit a while and watch people.

We also visited Donna Demente's gallery - I'll show you that in the next post!


  1. How wonderful! Friends here won the steampunk category at the Gore fashion show, and I think the winning outfit was invited to be displayed in the steam punk museum at Oamaru. We were told about the steam engine thingy, fantastic to see it. We are all very keen on Steam punk now....must keep a look out for some aviator googles.

  2. Hi Ruth, very interesting post! I wondered if you'd be interested in presenting you on Travel category as a guest blogger with this article. Links to your blog will be included. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  3. Corrine - yeah Steampunk is awesome! It's fantastic to see all the shows etc now coming out. I'd like a skirt with a bustle, and a ray gun!

    Paula - yes, it would be fantastic to be featured on your blog. Thanks for asking. Merry Christmas!



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