Pedal Punk Four Wheel Cycle Hire an Exciting New Project for Steampunk HQ

Pedal Punk for blog

Steampunk HQ is excited to launch its latest venture; Pedal Punk cycle hire.  These four-wheel steampunk themed cycles are a fun and novel way for visitors to experience Oamaru’s beautiful Victorian precinct & Harbour. The bikes have been purchased from the Wellington waterfront, they have been totally reconditioned and painted in Steampunk HQ’s signature colour, Black!  A fleet of four Pedal Punks; two and four seater models, plus four black cruiser bikes are available to be hired from the Steampunk HQ car park.

Pedal Punk for blog

The Pedal Punk team ‘all systems go’

“We see these Pedal Punks building our towns Steampunk reputation and will further promote Oamaru as a must visit holiday destination,” said HQ spokesperson Jan Kennedy.  “Having our Pedal Punks cruising the Victorian Precinct and beautiful harbor area will add vibrancy and colour to the area. It will give it a real seaside holiday feel.  Our Pedal Punks will be great weekend and holiday fun for families.”

Pedal Punks are available for hire daily from outside Steampunk HQ and bookings can be made in advance by calling  0277786547.

Steampunk HQ the Elevator Building – an alternative history

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The Elevator building was the largest commercial building undertaken by the design partnership of Forrester and Lemon. The exterior constructed of locally quarried Oamaru stone, was completed in 1883 and rose to a height of five stories. It was the first elevator building in the Southern Hemisphere. It had the specific purpose of handling and storing grain, based on the American principle of self-emptying bins.

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Image Courtesy of North Otago Museum

The Elevator is a significant example of the development of Oamaru as the gateway for exported produce from the developing colony. It was built during a period of sustained growth and its design embodied the optimism of the period. No others exist making this a rare and important survivor of Victorian investment, innovation and enterprise. Almost as soon as it was completed its role and purpose was diminished as the volume of grain grown was significantly reduced as the export trade in frozen lamb was promoted over grain.

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Streetscape of Itchen St with Elevator Building in Background Image Courtesy of North Otago Museum

A disastrous fire in 1920 saw the top two stories removed with the remains reroofed and utilised as a store. The adjoining wing with grain bins was completely destroyed. The surviving south wall is a tangible reminder of the event and the scale of the original building. Reduced to three stories the building retains an imposing and commanding presence and position. It is a prominent reminder of Oamaru’s industrial heritage.

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Meeks Elevator Fire, 20 January 1920 Image Courtesy of North Otago Museum

The building has survived to the present day due to geographical factors & a declining economy. In recent years, a commitment by the Whitestone Community Trust to restore the town’s Victorian heritage and architecture has led to an increase in tourist activity that has rejuvenated the Historic Precinct.

Opened to the public in November 2011 The Elevator has taken on an entirely new life form and function as the headquarters for Steampunk.

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Meeks Elevator as Steampunk HQ 2015

The Elevator, once a time travel craft, has now settled permanently on the shores of a small town on the coast of New Zealand. This location is an ideal inconspicuous resting place for a once mighty inter-dimensional time travelling vessel.

SPHQ interior #6

Alien creatures and strange contraptions inhabit Elevator Building today.

Its Pilots are human, yet, weathered and evolved by con­stant travel through alien worlds. It is speculated that they still meet deep in the building, and that it is now their headquarters. From here, they conduct reconnaissance, scouting and protective missions to undisclosed locations. Many of their travels are recorded – esoteric footage of unusual creatures, places and machines can be accessed in the building at different data entry points.

Even today The Elevator building continues to exude a sense of mystery.

Steampunk HQ Opens “NEW” Portal Installation

“This is the closest I’ve ever felt to space travel!” an excited visitor commented upon experiencing Steampunk HQ’s latest project.

Steampunk HQ introduces The Portal; a retro-futuristic mirror and lighting installation that features original glowing light sculptures with a theme of skulls and mythology.  It contrasts yet fully complements the eclectic collection of recycled industrial art and sculptures that exists already within the Steampunk HQ museum.

Steampunk HQ NZ’s premier Steampunk experience is a museum in the historic Victorian precinct of stunning Oamaru, open 10am – 5pm, 7 days per week.

Outside of the imposing free-standing Oamaru stone building, iconic “steampunk” Engine SP001 greets visitors whilst inside, the foyer gallery showcases the work of local artists and retails HQ brand merchandise.

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The museum of two large darkened rooms and a basement presents a theme of a dark post-apocalyptic vision of a future “as it might have been”. Contraptions and bizarre machinery featuring heavy use of copper, gears, pipes, gas cylinders, as well as an ensemble of skeletal sculptures are lit by flickering lights and accompanied by film, projection and sounds.

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Steampunk HQ Stanley

A back door leads to a large yard with projects and machines in various stages of being “steampunked” including a train carriage, “aethertractor” and giant motorbike.

Lonely Planet has rated Steampunk HQ one of New Zealand’s best new tourist attractions and it is ranked highly on Trip Advisor.