Pre-CubaDupa excitements – part 2

There’s not much that can keep a steampunk away from an op shop, so here’s your chance for a fix.

On Friday 24 March (the day before CubaDupa) we’re exploring what Petone has to offer (hint: quite a lot).  To allow our out-of-town visitors time to get off their planes and maybe even find some coffee, the tour will start at 1pm at the Te Omanga Hospice Shop at 41 Fitzherbert Street.  After that, it’s up to you.  All the shops below are within about a 20 minute stroll – we’ve put a couple of food/coffee possibilities in there, but Petone has no shortage of cafes.

Offers of and requests for rides to/from Petone are welcome.  Let us know if you need or can offer one.

Te Omanga Hospice Shop
41 Fitzherbert Street
Open until 4:00 PM

Hills Hats
30 Fitzherbert Street

Ontrays (gourmet food ingredients)
38 Fitzherbert Street

Village Beads (heaps of jewellery supplies)
129 Jackson Street

My French Larder (lovely savoury pancakes and very steampunk-friendly)
190 Jackson Street – there’s also a good second-hand shop a couple of doors back towards Wellington

Particles of Time (vintage clothing)
3/44 Nelson Street (off Jackson Street)

SPCA Op Shop
211 Jackson Street
Open until 4:30 PM

Red Cross Shop
239 Jackson Street
Open until 5:00 PM

Salvation Army Family Store
288 Jackson Street
Open until 5:00 PM

The Sewing Depot
47A Buick Street

St Vincent De Paul Op Shop
318 Jackson Street
Open until 4:20 PM

A couple of notes:

  • Hills Hats now has a retail shop attached to the factory, and that’s what we’re visiting.  This is NOT a factory tour, so please don’t try to head off behind the scenes
  • Keep an eye on the time (and your ride, if applicable).  We’ll need to be back in Welly by 5.30 for the open evening at Clockwork, and some of us will need to see about dinner before heading to The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Gryphon Theatre in Ghuznee Street
  • We haven’t organised a dinner for Friday night.  Wellington has a huge variety of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit every taste and dietary requirement.  However, it’s likely you’ll find a steampunk or two enjoying cocktails at the Hawthorn Lounge, upstairs at 82 Tory Street.

CubaDupa activity programme

CubaDupaWe can now confirm the timings for what we’re doing at CubaDupa 2017.

Our main festival event will be Splendid Teapot Racing, and thanks to our Steampunk Taranaki friends who are bringing some of their obstacles down to combine with ours, we’ll have the biggest obstacle course ever.  Yes, Teapot Sheepdog Trials are also planned.

We’ll be setting up the course in Dixon Street (outside the Dixon Street Deli) from 12.15 on Saturday 25 March.  Bring your teapot along any time between 12.15 and 1.15 and set it up in our pits area (you have registered your teapot, haven’t you?).  It will be well-guarded while you then head up to Marion Street for the beginning of our steampunk parade.  Assemble on the intersection of Marion and Ghuznee Streets, and well head off at about 1.40.  The route will be Marion Street > Ghuznee Street > Cuba Mall > Dixon Street, and we encourage you to bring along anything noisy – drums, bells, kazoos, you name it.  We want people to know we’re coming!  The teapot racing will start when we arrive, about 2pm, and will continue until 4pm.  After which, perhaps a drink?

On Sunday 26 March we have a session of tea duelling booked on the small stage in Cuba Mall (the same place as last year, for those who were here then).  The duelling will commence at 1pm, and we welcome moral support from our steampunk friends – rounding up new victims duellists for us will be much appreciated.

When we’re not engaged in the above activities, we’re looking forward to taking in more of CubaDupa itself.  Promenading will be very much the thing; be prepared for lots of photo opportunities with our adoring public.

Pre-CubaDupa excitements

Clockwork_logoOur friends at Clockwork Steampunk Emporium have organised a special treat for those who are in Wellington on Friday 24 March, the day before CubaDupa.

The shop will be open late, with drinks and nibbles from 5.30 until 8pm and lots of specials to round out your CubaDupa wardrobe.

Clockwork is in the Old Bank Arcade on the corner of Lambton Quay, Hunter Street and Customhouse Quay.  Enter up the steps from Hunter Street or, if you come in through the (step-free) Lambton Quay entrance, turn left just past Starbucks.  Options will be available for those who fancy dinner and/or a cocktail afterwards.

28 January – meetup at Bangalore Polo Club

Shortish notice, but we’re getting together at the Bangalore Polo Club in Courtenay Place for drinks and nibbles on Saturday evening at 5pm.  If you can make it we’ll be very happy to see you.

We did one of these last year and it was splendid – we even met some new people. 

Steampunk dress is optional, but please do if you can.

Splendid Teapot Racing at CubaDupa 2017

Splendid Teapot Racing logo

Here it comes again!  Splendid Teapot Racing will return to the marvellous CubaDupa festival for the third time.

CubaDupa this year runs over the weekend of 25-26 March. We found racing over two days last year was a bit much (we want to see some of CubaDupa ourselves!), so this time the racing teapots will battle it out on the Saturday afternoon only.

However …

This year the organisers of CubaDupa want us more in the heart of the action, so they’ve given us a space right on Dixon Streen, just outside the Dixon Street Deli.  The road surface is quite smooth, so the smaller teapots will be able to get around just fine.  We’ll have some new obstacles joining the dreaded Ramp of Doom, Seesaw of Indecision and the breakables, including one very special one if we can get it (hush – it’s a secret).  And that means the course will be bigger, letting a whole lot more people see what’s going on.  We’re even having our own steampunk parade through the crowds just before the racing.

The time has come, as the Walrus may have said, to prepare your finest teapots to race.  Refresh your memory of the few rules we have (they haven’t changed), get your bribes ready for the judges and, most importantly, send in the registration form for your teapot(s).

For visitors to Wellington (locals are very welcome too) we’ll have a few other activities on the Friday and Sunday, more more on that later.

8 January – Bug Lab at Te Papa

Our first outing of the new year is to see Te Papa’s new Bug Lab exhibition.  Put together by Weta Workshop, Bug Lab features a closeup look into the fascinating world of insects, with giant models and interactive displays.

Join other Capital Steampunk members at 10am on Sunday 8 January (we’re hoping to get in before the crowds!).  Tickets are $15 for adults (there are child, family and concession tickets too)  – you can book here or just pay on the day.

Remember – it’s for Science.

A very steamy Christmas from Capital! Steampunk

Stanley and all of us at Capital! Steampunk wish our friends and followers the very best for the holiday season.  Whatever you’re doing – visiting (or being visited by) family, taking advantage of some time off to plan your racing teapot (CubaDupa is only three months away) or just blobbing, do it splendidly.

Next year’s programme is by no means fixed – that doesn’t seem to be how this steampunk business works – but count on CubaDupa in March, the Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru over Queen’s Birthday weekend at the beginning of June, the second Cognition art exhibition in August and (maybe) another weekend at the Wellington Museum sometime in November.  But there’ll be much more – opportunities to  get out and promenade in our finery are constantly popping up.

But whatever we end up doing, we hope to meet many more of you during 2017.

Merry Christmas.

4 December – Capital! Steampunk Christmas picnic at Silver Stream Railway

Steam trains, Santa and promenading potential – does it get any better that that?

It being that time of year, we’re having our annual picnic at Silver Stream Railway.  $14 ($40 for a family of four) gets you in the gate and as many rides on the steam trains as you can handle.  We visited the railway a couple of years ago and had a great time – Santa even gave us a lolly!

The site is at Reynolds Bach Dr, off Eastern Hutt Road at Silverstream.  Gates open at 11am.  Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it.


26-27 November 2016 – Steampunk weekend at Wellington Museum

Yes, this November is one of our busier months!

The schedule for our weekend at the Wellington Museum has firmed up and is looking something like this:

Saturday 26 November

TIME Event Description
1:00 – 1:30 Welcome/introduction to steampunk (level 1) Origins, books, movies, music
1:30 – 2:30 Splendid Teapot Racing (level 1) Racing through an obstacle course with radio-controlled teapots.  PLUS: Teapot Sheepdog Trials!
2:30 – 4:30 Crafts (level 2) Decoupage – a traditional Victorian craft with a steampunk twist

Goggle making – the essential steampunk accessory

2:30 – 3:30 Afternoon tea with humorous readings (Boardroom) Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Hilaire Belloc and perhaps a spot of Kipling
3:30 – 4:00 Tea duelling (Boardroom) Settling disputes with tea and biscuits
4:30 – 5:00 The Hunting of the Snark (starts outside main entrance, by the anchor) Capital! Steampunk’s ambulatory presentation of the poem, moving through various locations in the museum
5:00 – 6:00 Attic birthday (The Attic; level 3) Celebration of the Attic – cake cutting and refreshments

Sunday 27 November

TIME Event Description
1:00 – 1:30 Welcome/introduction to steampunk (level 1)  
1:30 – 2:00 Introduction to steampunk costuming (level 1) Victorian fashion with steampunk style
2:00 – 3.00 Curator talk (level 2) Museum staff talk about new exhibition
2:30 – 4:30 Crafts (level 2) English Paper Piecing.  Make the scales of Whataitai, Wellington’s famous taniwha, and your own Poneke Puff to decorate the Christmas tree

Goggle making

3:00 – 4:00 Afternoon tea with readings from the women’s suffrage campaign (Boardroom) Votes for Women!

Preparations are going well, but we could use a few more racing teapots on the Saturday.  Please let us know if your’re ready to race – we’ll have an interesting, very tight course planned inside the museum (and because it’s inside, the small racing teapots won’t be disadvantaged by bumpy surfaces).

Other than that, we just need you to turn up and look (and be) splendid.  This is going to be a fun weekend!

24 November 2016 – Wellington’s War of the Worlds

Just a reminder to book soon for War of the Worlds in the planetarium at the Carter Observatory/Space Place.

This is part of Museums Wellington’s spring programme, which has a distinctly steampunk theme (as those who came along to the Big Hallowe’en certainly know).  Full details, including a link for bookings,  are here.  Cost is $20 per person; come dressed for warding off Martians.