Make Oamaru, the Steampunk Capital of the World, Your Next Destination

Make Oamaru, the Steampunk Capital of the World, Your Next Destination
Kimberly

Written by Kimberly

People often get a private campervan hire in New Zealand to see the glaciers, beautiful beaches, mountains and volcanoes. The island country is known for its natural beauty, but it is also known for something else – steampunk. Oamaru, a town in South Island, is known for being the steampunk capital of the world.

What is Steampunk?

So, what is steampunk? Steampunk refers to a particular style that is applied to mostly technology and fashion. The style, a combination of the Victorian era and Industrial Revolution-like science fiction, became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. To get a better idea of what steampunk looks like, imagine a man dressed in a top hat with aviator goggles. Then, give him a mechanical arm accessorised with metal gears and clocks!

Steampunk is about a certain style of clothing, but it is also about creating and tinkering machines. The idea of inventing and being innovative is one of the core ideas of steampunk. The term was first coined back in April 1987 by K.W. Jetter; an author who was referring to one of his sci-fi books. And ever since then, the term has stuck.

You may think that steampunk is very foreign, but in actuality, you have probably seen it in a movie or read about it in a book. If you’ve watched Wild Wild West or the latest Sherlock Holmes Reboot movie, you may have noticed that they have a distinct style. That is because they were influenced by steampunk. And today, you can also see steampunk in many different places including Oamaru.

Steampunk Oamaru

The town of Oamaru hosts a three-day Steampunk NZ Festival at the end of May every year. People from all over the world fly in or drive up in their caravan hires to enjoy various steampunk-themed experiences. Those attending the festival can enjoy events like Parasol Duelling or Teapot Racing. Some other events include exhibitions, a Gala Ball, a fashion show and market.

Be sure to also take part in some steampunk fashion. You can see plenty of visitors and locals dressed in Victorian, futuristic sci-fi costumes. Bring your own clothing or consider renting during your stay to get the most of your experience.

Did you miss the annual festival in Oamaru? No need to worry. Just head over to the Steampunk HQ museum. Founded in 2011, Steampunk HQ is open every month of the year. The HQ stone building is located at the very front of Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct, and you can easily spot it by looking out for its large steampunk engine outside its entrance. Inside, you can find an interactive museum with a large collection of art, sculptures