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.

20 November 2016 – Capital! Steampunk creative afternoon

We’re back at the Newlands Community Centre from 1.30 – 3.30pm on Sunday 20 November for our regular monthly gathering to chat, plan future events, ask for advice, exchange things from our stashes, make new teapot racing obstacles, and anything else you fancy doing or talking about.

One thing we do need to start working on is the Cognition exhibition for next year.  The gallery wants us for an extra week with double the space.  We know our own members might struggle to fill that, so we want to broaden the invitations to exhibit.  If anybody’s got contacts in design/arts schools, or other ideas for who we might approach, please let us know.

Gold coin koha for the venue (9 Batchelor Street, Newlands); tea and coffee provided; bring some cake or biscuits to share.

9 October 2016 – Capital! Steampunk creative afternoon

Our own Lady Bugg has been kind enough to book the Newlands Community Centre at  9 Batchelor Street, Newlands, from 1.30 – 3.30 on Sunday 9 October.

Call it a workshop session.  Bring along any project you’re working on – we always like to see work in progress.  Swap some of your stash overload.  We’ll rehearse a reading or two for Hallowe’en or the Wellington Museum weekend (new performers always welcome).  And we’ll have the obstacles along for you to try out your racing teapot in the carpark.

A gold coin will help pay for the venue.  Tea and coffee will be supplied; bring along some nibbles to share.

We hope this will be the first of a series of regular gatherings, so come along, meet some new friends for a chat and tell us the sorts of things you’d like us to do.


25 September 2016 – Flaming Nora’s Cavalcade of Tomfoolery

We joined the Noras last year and had a splendid time.  The Cavalcade is simply a gentle stroll from Frank Kitts Park along the waterfront to Waitangi Park, dressed splendidly to celebrate the coming of spring.

Unfortunately the Capital! Steampunk Grand Kazoo Orchestra won’t quite be ready to join in, but you may sing if you wish.  If you have a racing teapot, bring it along too (make sure it’s fully charged so you don’t have to carry it all the way).

Meet at Frank Kitts Park from 1.30 on Sunday 25 September  – the parade participants won’t be hard to spot – and after a bit of a safety briefing we’ll be off down the waterfront, to the amazement of the populace.  Huzzah!

Here’s the Eventfinder listing – you may even recognise somebody you know in the photos from last year.

11 September 2016 – picnic at Zealandia

If you’ve never been to Zealandia – you know who you are – here’s your chance to get in cheap, have a nice lunch and swan about with your Capital! Steampunk friends.

Zealandia is offering $2 entry next Sunday as part of Conservation Week.  There’ll be stalls, a weed swap (exchange an invasive weed from your garden for a free native plant) and even a pest feast – the Colonel is hoping there may be possum pies on offer.

We’ve been intending to hold a Capital! Steampunk event at Zealandia for a while.  Apart from the an excellent exhibition centre (and cafe) and the chance to see a tuatara or a takahe up close, there are a number of impressive relics of the valley’s previous industrial uses.  Marvellous props and backdrops for photos are easy to find and you can bet this will be a popular day so there’ll be lots of people to introduce to the splendidness of steampunk.

We won’t be heading into the bush in our finery, but the main path up to the tuataras is most suitable for a promenade, and there are grassy areas near the entrance for our picnic.  If this is your first time, don’t be surprised when you’re asked to open your bags before you can go into the sanctuary itself.  It’s just a precaution in case your pet ferret sneaked in when you weren’t looking.

Meet at midday outside the main entrance to the visitor centre and shop.  Bring a picnic lunch if it’s fine (the forecast looks good) and if it’s wet come anyway and we’ll have lunch in the cafe.  Parking may be a problem, so consider the free shuttle from the Wellington i-site by the library or from the top of the cable car.