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The Rise of Steampunk

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 A new trend is gaining steam in Canberra…

Over one weekend in the middle of October, the historic town of Goulburn was overrun by men in goggles, eerie women in corsets and even a forgotten doll.


They were in town for the Goulburn Steampunk Victoriana Fair, which annually attracts visitors from all over the world to the picturesque Goulburn Waterworks to indulge in a weekend of, well, steampunk – a trend that is getting bigger and bigger with each year.

“We came to the first Steampunk Fair, and it was tiny – only half the size of this. We’ve been coming every year since and it’s really grown!” a smartly dressed British Steampunk time traveller told me during my exploration of the event.


He wasn’t wrong. The fair took up almost the entire grounds of the Museum and featured everything from stalls of handmade leather tophats and masks, stalls of corsets, military-style band jackets and petticoats, beautiful works of steampunk art, and handmade jewellery and prop guns.

For those who are unsure as to what steampunk is, it has been described as “modern technology (such as robotics, air travel etc) powered by steam and set in the 1800’s.” Steampunk is a creative and imaginative culture that blends modern technologies, elaborate works of art, fashion and mechanics into the English Victorian period or even America’s Wild West.


Credit: Tabitha Cole. Image supplied.

Think of the work of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, or even Back to the Future III and you’re spot on.

For many, the chance to enter this era is beyond exciting and conjures images of romantic and industrialised revolutions. Members of the Steampunk community dress to the nines in top hats, tails, corsets and cogwork, and a fashion parade is held every year for the community to show off their hard work.

Tara Moss AKA The Forgotten Doll

Tara Moss AKA The Forgotten Doll

For the 2017 Steampunk Victoriana Fair, vintage and Steampunk enthusiast, model and best-selling author Tara Moss, was among the judges of this year’s costume parade, dressed as her ‘steamsona’ character of The Forgotten Doll, complete with working wind up parts.

The author is an avid lover of the Victorian era and vintage style clothing and her presence highlighted that the steampunk community is filled with passionate and creative people from all walks of life.


Credit: Tabitha Cole. Image supplied.

If you want to get your own creativity flowing, there are many themed and steampunk events you can attend throughout the year. Start planning your trip to the Hunter Valley SteamFest, the Steampunk Australia Gathering, and if you’re really keen, The Steampunk New Zealand Festival, which is one of the biggest and longest-running Steampunk festival in the Southern Hemisphere.


But if all of that is too far away, pop the Goulburn Steampunk Victorian Fair in your calendar for next year for Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October, and get started on your costume now!

The author attended the Fair courtesy of Goulburn Tourism, however, their opinions remain their own. 

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