One of the habits we got into while driving through New Zealand was to pick a random site in a town based on what popped up on the map. In Oamaru, that was the Steampunk HQ.
Now the entrance was about 20 NZD(family prices) which is a bit high in my opinion however the site at the time was still being built and it keeps growing, so by the time you visit it may very well have doubled in size. The front desk described the future plans as an entire steampunk styled city block, which is a lofty goal but it would be a dream to visit if it came to be.
The building aesthetic is perfect. It seems purposely run down with a good amount of grunge lighting and effects, I loved it. There were 3 primary exhibits when I visited, the indoor rooms, the infinity room, and the outside courtyard area.
The indoor exhibits presented an array of strange machinery and devices from an alternate reality. The artists featured are detailed well and I ended up walking through it a few times because it was just very interesting and strange to look at I ended up having to double back to feel I took in the entire experience.
There was also a number of interactive exhibits to play with and even a large organ to fool around on.
The exhibit diverted from what I would call traditionally steampunk into just the strange/absurd territory but I was OK with it. As the museum grows I think those pieces will fall into place quite nicely.
Now the outdoor exhibit took on a bit more of a modern art feel to me. It contained a series of train cars and a few art installations.
I enjoyed the aesthetic of the outside a lot and it also has a lot of growth potential there.
The last and probably my favorite of the exhibit was the infinity room.
You’re basically in a room of lights and mirrors and it adequately wrinkles your brain and gives a very surreal feeling of vastness.
Overall, a very solid stop and I am very curious to see how it evolves in the next few years. I definitely plan to stop by again next time I am in New Zealand.