Oamaru, New Zealand, is famous for its colony of blue penguins, and plenty of tourists come to see them. But the town is also the steampunk capital of New Zealand. Tom Fassbender went to see what that was all about, and found that the community takes the steampunk ethic seriously, as a part of preserving its Victorian-era architecture and as an art project.
To the town’s credit, it’s fully embraced the steampunk vibe, going so far as hosting the annual 3-day Steampunk NZ Festival (2015’s is scheduled for May 28) and creating a steampunk-themed playground—complete with an elephant howdah zipline, a pennyfarthing swingset, and a Victorian-age rocket slide—that my daughters have declared as the best playground in the world.
And right smack in the middle of all this steampunky goodness is Steampunk HQ, a industrial-inspired steam-powered art gallery and retro-futuristic showroom set up in a massive, three-story Victorian-style sandstone building originally built in 1883 (it used to have five stories but lost two in what they say was a “spectacular fire”).
Take a tour of Oamaru and the Steampunk HQ in pictures and text, at Boing Boing.