15 June – Doing things in the shadows!

Here’s the concept: Second Unit is filming a spinoff of the instant Welly classic What We Do In The Shadows, and they need warm-blooded bodies for food extras (that’s you).

The venue is being built beside Te Papa and Circa Theatre, and Capital! Steampunk is going along at 8.30 on 15 June to add a bit of steam to the paranormal goings-on. Second Unit is more than happy for us to be dressed in our finest, but incognito is fine too. And you can participate as much as you’re comfortable with, or just watch.

There are strict conditions for the event. Tickets are able to be booked at 10 min intervals on the night if not sold out, and the experience should last somewhere around 90 minutes. Please read the conditions carefully when you buy your tickets. Book here, and we’ll see you for an event you can really get your teeth into.

23 March – Queen Victoria meets Queen Elizabeth

Capital! Steampunk is taking Queen Victoria down to the wharf to greet passengers from the Queen Elizabeth, visiting Wellington for the weekend of the 23rd and 24th. This will be a very different way to show off our splendidness and welcome visitors to our lovely city, but because it’s a working port there are rules we have to follow.

Her Majesty

Everybody wanting to attend must read through CentrePort’s safety induction, answer some questions around the material and provide your name and contact details, with a head-and-shoulders photo, for your ID card (if you’re doing this on a phone or tablet you’ll have the option to take a new photo or upload an existing one). Use Capital! Steampunk for your company and Member for your job title. Please use your real name and don’t be ‘creative’ with the details – CentrePort takes their safety responsibilities very seriously and we need to respect that. Don’t worry about the mentions of high-viz clothing – we’ve made arrangements.

It’s an early start so the ship’s passengers get to see Her Majesty (and us) before they head off for their various day trips. We’ll meet at 7.30 in the morning at platform 9, outside the railway station on Waterloo Quay, then drive in convoy down to the wharf entrance by the Interislander terminal. Parking will be on the wharf, and we pick up our passes when we get there.

We’ve agreed to stay until around midday, but if you need to slip away early that’s fine. It might pay to bring a snack with you.

Her Majesty doesn’t care for rain, so if it’s wet on the day we won’t be going.

24 March – picnic with Mt. Victoria Historical Society

Each year, the Mount Victoria Historical Society gathers at the top of Mount Victoria to remember Mary Taylor, one of Wellington’s first and most prominent businesswomen. Mary was a friend of Charlotte Brontë, and was known to climb to the top of Mount Victoria to watch for ships bringing Charlotte’s most recent letters from England.

Victorian picnic

The picnic is from 2.30 – 4pm on Sunday 24 March. Come dressed in your finest outdoor dining attire and with something to share for afternoon tea. Friends and family are most welcome.

If the weather is unsuitable there’s no alternative day.

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.” 
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

February 3 – The Hunting of the Snark

Strange sounds have been reported coming from the Botanic Gardens – could it be a Snark?

Images by Juliana; steampunkstyle.co.nz

Come with Capital! Steampunk’s intrepid group of Snark hunters as we read Lewis Carroll’s wonderful nonsense epic in a gentle stroll down from the top of the Cable Car, followed by a picnic.

It’s the Botanic Gardens’ 150th birthday, and Sunday February 3 is Step Back in Time – a family Victorian picnic, featuring performances and activities from 11am until 3pm, focussed mainly on the lower part of the gardens around the soundshell.

The Snark hunt will start from the viewing platform beside the top of the Cable Car at midday. We’ll pause at various points along the way to read another exciting section of the poem, but the stroll down to the bottom should take no more than half an hour. The track is sealed all the way and the hunt is suitable for all ages and levels of mobility. Wear your best intrepid explorer outfit!

At the conclusion of the hunt we’ll gather in the lower gardens and enjoy a picnic, a chat and a few good old promenades. Exactly where we finish is yet to be confirmed, but probably near the duck pond.

One note regarding the picnic … the Gardens are included in the City Council’s liquor ban area, so please stick with non-alcoholic drinks in your picnic basket.

20 October 2018 – Cobblestones Family Fête

The Saturday of Labour Weekend is time for the annual Family Fête at Cobblestones Museum and historic village in Greytown.

The fête starts at 11am and finishes at 3pm.  We’re all likely to turn up at different times, but we never seem to have any trouble finding each other (now, why might that be?).  We don’t have any events planned – just show up, enjoy the displays and food and have a jolly good promenade about in your finery.


3 November – Cross Creek miniature railway carnival

Come along to the Cross Creek pre-Christmas festival, this year in Featherston’s new town centre – the Squircle.

Enjoy the stalls, entertainment, train rides to Clifford Square, swanning opportunities and even a spot of tea duelling. The terrain isn’t really suitable for some of the smaller racing teapots but we’ll have a couple of obstacles along anyway, so bring your teapot if you fancy giving it some exercise. Bring a picnic lunch, or indulge at some of the food stalls.

The festival runs from 10am – 3pm on Saturday November 3rd. See you there.

23 September – Steampunk through the tulips

Celebrate Spring with us at the Wellington Botanic Gardens and enjoy the tulips and family-friendly fun.
Meet around the main gate on Glenmore Street near the soundshell at 11am. There shall be promenading, Her Excellency Netherlands Ambassador Ms Mira Woldberg will speak at noon, and food will be available.

Wear your finest steampunk, spring themed or Netherlands traditional clothing. Everybody welcome.

18 August – National Library/Hill Street Market

Have you visited He Tohu, the National Library’s display of three of New Zealand’s founding documents? From 1835, 1840 and 1893, these are tremendously important parts of our country’s history and well worth a look.  The associated displays with their interactive elements help fill out the stories around the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes, the Treaty of Waitangi and the Women’s Suffrage petition.

Capital! Steampunk proposes an outing on Saturday 18 August.  Meet in the foyer of the National Library, corner of Aitken and Molesworth Streets, at 10am and we’ll explore He Tohu and some of the Library’s other fascinating treasures, then head into HOME cafe in the Library building for a spot of morning tea.

If the weather’s good we can promenade to the Hill Street Farmers’ Market, just across the road, where there’s delicious produce to eat there or take home for later.

Steampunk costume is optional but highly encouraged!

Sunday 20 May – spats workshop

For this month’s ‘third Sunday’ Capital! Steampunk gathering, Mrs. Hudson (the younger) will be talking about, and demonstrating the making of, that most useful addition to any wardrobe – spats.

Have you got a comfortable pair of shoes that aren’t quite steampunk? Would you like to wear them with more than one outfit but they don’t quite match? Spats are the answer. They’re quick and easy to make, and with two or three pairs in colours to match your outfits, almost any pair of shoes will do.

We’ll be meeting in the Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor Street, from 2pm. Bring the fabric you’d like your spats to be made from, along with the shoes you’re going to wear them with so we get the size right. There’ll be one sewing machine available; feel free to bring yours too if you can.

Tea and coffee are available, and bring something to share for afternoon tea. A gold coin donation helps ensure we can keep using this venue.

CubaDupa – our Capital! programme

As we write this, CubaDupa 2018 is just a shade over one month away, so here’s what Capital! Steampunk is doing, and where to be (and when) so you can join in.

The festival runs from midday till late on Saturday 24 March and midday to 5pm on Sunday 25 March. Capital! Steampunk is involved in three different events.

Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club’s successful mission to build a gun powerful enough to send men into space. NZ Opera’s The Eagle Has Landed is a short musical piece in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin arrive on the Moon to find Verne’s characters still there. Did we say ‘send men into space’? Surprises await …

They’d like our help. Each performance will start with a promenade of steampunks from Ghuznee Street to the venue in the Hannah Courtyard in Leeds Street. Effectively, we are the Baltimore Gun Club, marching to see our heroes off, so bring your favourite ray gun!

You can take part in as many or as few promenades and performances as you wish. The promenades are at 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15pm both days. The performances last for about 20 minutes and steampunks can perform as extras in the crowd scenes. Meet outside 55 Ghuznee Street, a few doors along towards Glover Park from the intersection with Cuba Street, 10 minutes before we leave for each performance.

For those interested in taking part in the performance, there’s a dress rehearsal at 10.30am, Saturday 24th March, in the Hannah Courtyard. This will be filmed for archival purposes. Don’t worry if you can’t make the rehearsal; many of us will be doing more than one promenade so there should always be somebody who can tell you what to expect.

Teapot Racing

It wouldn’t be CubaDupa without teapot racing – register your teapot here. This year we’re out on Dixon Street again, near the Dixon Street Deli.

Racing will be from 3.30 to 5.30pm on Saturday 24 March and we’ll be setting up the course and welcoming racing teapots from 3pm. When you arrive with your teapot you’ll be given a number in the running order so you’ll have an idea when you’ll need to be ready to race. As you’ll see from the above, there’s a slight clash with the last performance of The Eagle Has Landed; you’ll be able to join Saturday’s final promenade but if you want to watch or take part in the show it’s probably best if you pick one of the other five performances over the weekend.

A new feature of this year’s teapot racing will be the availability of a couple of ‘have a go’ racing teapots for the public to try. They’re basic, but they work. We’ll have to strictly limit the numbers who can try them out (the batteries will only last so long), but if you haven’t yet taken the plunge into making your own racing teapot, this might give you a feel for what it’s all about.

Tea Duelling

Once again we’ll be on the small stage in the middle of Cuba Mall, ready to help settle any dispute that comes along. The Colonel and Mrs. Hudson (the younger) will be officiating, starting at 3.30pm on Sunday 25 March and continuing until we run out of duellists, biscuits or hot water. Or until 4pm; whichever comes first.

Come along to cheer the duellists (or be one yourself) and provide more splendid spectacle for the CubaDupa crowds.

In a nutshell …

The Eagle Has Landed promenades and performances – Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th, 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15pm. Meet outside 55 Ghuznee Street 10 minutes before each promenade starts.

Teapot Racing – Saturday 24th 3.30 – 5.30pm. Deliver your racing teapot to the pits outside Dixon Street Deli from 3pm.

Tea duelling – Sunday 25th, 3.30 – 4pm on the Cuba Mall small stage.