Steampunk is taking off in Thames. © Destination Coromandel

Thames Steampunk

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There’s a world of fantasy gaining a foothold in Thames. 

A place where the sharpest dressers turn out in goggles and corsets, where raggamuffin kids parade in top-hats and tails, where dogs in waistcoats travel by lacy pram and where gun-toting Mad Max types roll through the middle of the CBD in a train.  

It’s the world of Steampunk and it’s making a big impression in Thames. 

In just a few years, the Thames Steampunk Festival has exploded into a hugely popular, four-day extravaganza each November.

Steampunk Your Pet

Steampunk your pet. © Delwyn Barnett

The annual festival is big business. There are bands, balls, dinners and markets. Hundreds of people descend on Thames from all over the country and abroad. Tickets sell out soon after release and guests re-book their accommodation a year in advance.

Festival organisers Steampunk the Thames have already set up a permanent, year-round base in a former saddlery – Steampunk Central on the corner of Queen and Cochrane Streets. 

It’s key to plans by a dedicated group of arts-minded locals to develop steampunk as part of Thames’ identity. With its heritage buildings and industrial past, Thames is a perfect location for steampunk’s manic mash-up of Victoriana, sci-fi, and fantasy. 

Steampunk Body Art

Steampunk meets body art. © Deb Macdonald-Brown

Steampunk Central is an interactive sort of place, with lots of punked-out props and paraphernalia to look at and costumes to try on. There are free Tinkering Workshops on Saturday mornings, where would-be steampunks can get crafty with tools, decorations and expert advice on how to embellish their own outfits or gadgets. Steampunk t-shirts and calendars are for sale, and it’ll host events throughout the year; exhibitions, parties, concerts and markets.

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