Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Steampunk Festival, Oamaru. A celebration of silliness.

The well dressed gent and his lady.

It was my very great pleasure to attend the Annual Steampunk Festival, held in Oamaru in the sunny South Island of  New Zealand, last weekend.

The event kicked off on the Friday with 'Fire Night' which is held in the old Victorian Precinct of Oamaru. At night the old streets and buildings of the Victorian Precinct are transformed into a magical place filled with gas torches, street vendors, braziers, traction engines, craft markets and a particularly noisome artillery piece. The highlight of the evening's entertainment is the Fire Dancing and of course Scott's Brewery and the Whiskey Shop wherein it must be said I did partake of a tipple or two of their marvellous amber liquid refreshments. I thoroughly recommend Scott's Pale Ale and the Double Wood 10 year old.

Eliza Braun and Amelia Constance Paine

Her Majesties Ministry of Peculiar Occurances

Toffs out on the town for a tipple.

Baroness Sonya Von Gaspankoff of Voltavia
Eliza Braun, Archivist, Field Operative, Ministry of Peculiar Occurances

I was accompanied on this excursion by my wife Kathryn, my daughter Courtney in top hat (otherwise known as Eliza Braun, Archivist at the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances) her friend Emma ( Amelia Constance Paine, wealthy American Socialite and Explorer) and my Sister, Sonia ( Baroness Sonya Von Gaspankoff of Voltavia)

We chose to pay a visit to Dunedin on the Saturday to inspect the disappearing gun emplacement at the Tairoa Heads. You simply cant begin to imagine how fascinated the ladies were by this marvel of Military Engineering (more of which in a another post) so were unable to view the Airship racing or the teapot racing.From all accounts this was a real hoot, although technical glitches did cause some rather errant behaviour with a couple of berserk teapots...obviously not a sport for the faint hearted.

Sunday morning was an opportunity to stroll around the Victorian precinct at leisure, take plenty of photos and visit the Steampunk HQ (this fantastic establishment will feature in another post as I cant do it justice in just a few lines).

Agents compare notes

Steampunk HQ

In the afternoon we were treated to a visual extravaganza at the Steampunk Fashion Parade compered by that likeable rogue 'Te Radar '. What an incredible display of pure genius. Sadly my miserable snapshots can in no way do justice to the brilliance of the costumes or the amazing narrative that accompanied them. I am in awe of people with such talent.

Te Radar, good bloke and all round thorough type.

Agent Dangerfield, Pericles Bickerstaff

Aeronef Commander Garnet Quigley

The Inquisitor

The Grand Finale to the weekend was the Gala ball.

You shall go to the Ball

I'm ashamed to say I didnt attent the Ball as I didnt bring my formal evening steampunk attire. Something I will most assuredly rectify next year.
I'm already planning......

Sir Percival Fortesque Cutler, Director, Ministry of Peculiar Occurances

To conclude, what a utterly delightful weekend. I cant recommend this event enough. If you've an ounce of fun in you put this on your must do list! Finally a big thank you to the incredibly talented and hardworking people, Steampunkers and otherwise, of Oamaru, Steampunk Capital of the World.


  1. Great costumes and gear. I like the look!

  2. What an excellent way to spend a weekend. Might have to put this on the bucket list, and get a costume knocked up in the meantime! Thanks for sharing... only suggestion might be to switch the date of the event to a more warmer mid summer time, you may get a few more delightful corsets on view! ;-)

  3. Yes dig out your goggles and buckle on your steam powered sidearm and join us for a fantastic weekend. Hopefully a corset doesn't feature anywhere in your costume old thing.

    1. I've only only worn a corset once; 6th form (18yr old) Rocky Horror Picture show fancy dress... was not a pretty sight, wont be doing it again... even got odd looks from passing police car walking home afterwards! Thank the gods it was a dark night! ;-)

  4. Seems to be a great and funny day, nice looking pics!

  5. Mad as hatters but you look like you all had a great time.
    Thanks for sharing,