The Kiwi Files: Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand


So, Gentle Reader, after a fun convention in Rotorura (more to come on that) the AB and I hopped a plane for the South Island, rented a camper van (yes, I camped) and drove around the South Island. Once we left Christchurch (more to come on that too) one of the first places we visited was Oamaru and their wonderful Steampunk HQ.

Steampunk HQ

I don't know how they managed it, but someone got permission to turn this derelict old building into a massive steampunk installation piece. There are two floors inside, including the fab portal room, and a bunch of large rusted machines outside. It mixes sculptural elements with human interface operations, e.g. a pipe organ that makes steam sounds instead of music). Frankly trying to describe Steampunk HQ is like trying to describe steampunk itself, a mite challenging.

Steampunk HQ plaque

The portal, was my favorite. It's a room made of mirrors so that once you step inside and close the door it feels like you are standing in infinity. There is an LED light show as you stand suspended in space, the whole universe around you. It drove me to near Douglas Adams-like verboseness. Also very vertigo educing, if you are prone to that sort of thing. Not me, whatever the opposite of vertigo is, I have that, I adore being very high up.

Random street.

The rest of Oamaru was charming too. We walked around and ate lunch at a pub, because it seemed like the kind of place where one ought to lunch at a pub. We then visited a charming cafe and did all the tourist rambling one is supposed to. We even managed to see wild penguins.

Hotel & cafe

More on NZ to come, sorry to be delayed in posting I'm finding myself a little overwhelmed with catch up right now. What with the Tucson festival, book tour, and this trip I've been (essentially) away from my desk for six weeks! I've managed to maintain while on the go but I put a lot of stuff aside to "deal with when I get back" and now I'm back M&M proofs are immanent. Things never stop, do they?

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


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