Steampunk is tomorrow as it used to be – a mixture of science fiction, art, and imagination with a sense of the absurd.
Oamaru is New Zealand’s steampunk capital:
Steampunk – a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology; a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy—also in recent years a fashion and lifestyle movement—that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery; tomorrow as it used to be.
Oamaru Harbour is being rediscovered.
In its hey day in the late 1800s and early last century it was a bustling port.
Even 50 years ago, it still had regular visits from ships taking freight in and out.
The safe bay was also popular with families and it has stayed as a harbour for fishing and leisure boats.
But over the years the harbour closed to shipping and nature’s impact made the beach less hospitable.
Then the world discovered the little blue penguins which nest around the harbour and the town capitalised on the tourist potential.
Businesses followed – craftspeople, a restaurant, a cafe and over the last year or so a steampunk themed playground has been developed.
It’s being opened at 5:30 this evening.
‘Character’ according to the dictionary is the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way. With that definition in mind, we went in search of New Zealand towns with genuine character, towns with strong, distinct personalities. Here’s what we found…
Walk the cobbled streets of Oamaru’s heritage precinct outside school hours, and there’s a good chance of spotting the fugitive sky pirate, Sir Livin Hope, or a small girl carrying a case full of deadly ray guns.
These are characters who reside in the weird and wonderful world of Steampunk – an imagined Victorian future where electricity fizzled out and steam remained king.
Some call it science fiction, others an alternative history. It’s a style of dress, a form of art and, for a select few, a way of life. However it’s defined, one thing is certain: Steampunk is alive and well in Oamaru.
It all started two years ago, with a beer mug. . .
Stempunk is fascinating and fun, think art meets science mixed with history and fantasy.
It’s as small as a piece of jewellery or as large as a steam train which rewards those who feed it with $2 coins with a light and sound show:
Before we proceed any further, I know exactly what you’re thinking right now. Who or what the hell is Waitaki? More to the point – where is Waitaki, more like? To put it plainly and simply, the Waitaki Valley (a.k.a Waitaki) is a very small wine region out in the middle of nowhere in New Zealand. Or as Kiwis would say – “it’s out in the woop woops mate!” In fact, I passed through this remote and picturesque little piece of bush in 2004 during my road trip around the South Island. . .
Passing quickly over the phrase which is not woop wopps but wop wops and the quibble that there’s little if any bush left in the valley, his praise is welcome recognition of the valley’s growing wine industry.
The Waitaki Valley isn’t the easiest place in which to grow grapes, but the wine which results from those who persevere has a growing reputation for its quality.
. . . At the end of the day, as long as you marry the person you set out to marry, then your wedding was a success. . . from a post on a Victorian Steampunk wedding – with wonderful photos – at Ruffled.
Marry art with history and science, add a sense of humour and you’ve got steampunk, a celebration of tomorrow as it used to be.
If you prefer your exhibits on a bigger scale than those which fit in a gallery, the steampunk train is on permanent display outside Steampunk HQ and $2 in the slot will start the sound and light display.