An artistic duo plan to turn the river city into the steampunk capital of the North Island.

This Saturday Christine Haber and Warren Scheebel will open up a steampunk tourist business in Whanganui.

Mrs Haber says the city's history and art scene make it a perfect fit for such a venture.
"We've got so much going for us already with the paddle steamer, the tractor engines and the steampunk ukulele orchestra."

Mrs Haber has had an interest in steampunk after she witnessed the spectacle in Oamaru, and after a round of house cleaning left her with spare antiques, she decided to open up a small steampunk shop last October.


From there she and Mr Schebeel started making their own steampunk creations.

"We had people coming up from the Kapiti coast and down from New Plymouth, it was really quite amazing."

The upcoming business will include a gallery and events like tea parties for grown-ups.
"Our teaparty will include cocktails served in teacups."

It will also include teapot racing.
"What you do is you get a remote control car, take off the top, and create a fantastical racing thing based on a teapot."

Mrs Haber says its not exactly a competitive event.
"Cheating is compulsory and you have to bribe the judges."

District councillor and steampunk fan Helen Craig, says its great to see business's taking advantage of the city's heritage.

"What I like about steampunk is that it's using an artistic bent on history, engineering and fashion, so it really speaks to Whanganui," Mrs Craig said.

"It's a really cool development I take my hat off to them."

The official opening of the venture will be at 10am on Saturday at 68 Ingestre St.