The fantastic Cabinet of Obscurities
Open for Summer!
Visiting The Catlins?
Add The Lost Gypsy to your trip – A Fantastical Museum of Automata Art by Blair Somerville
What is there to see?
The Lost Gypsy has three parts;
The Winding Thoughts Theatre (of sorts), the Bus, and the Coffee cart.
The Winding Thoughts Theatre of sorts
This is it. The Winding Thoughts Theatre (of Sorts). This temple of tinkering houses Blair’s creations, together with automata art from around the globe. Walk through the gate, wander up the path and find a folly of fettling ready to be fiddled with. Wind handles, push buttons, and your curiosity will be rewarded.
To get a feel of the place start with The Bus (free admission). Have a play with the smaller automata there and browse the shop. Then, buy your tickets ($10) and venture up the path into the world of Blair’s imagination.
Open for Summer!
Hours of Operation
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed on Wednesdays
Late April – late October
The Green Bus
Where the tinkering began
In the beginning, there was … the bus. This 1951 Leyland house bus has undergone multiple transformations and at least 10 coats of paint since it was first parked up in 1999. Since then, Blair has obsessively filled the bus with his automata creations, donated curios and personal memorabilia. Winding handles and pushing buttons will bring them to life. Free admission.
If the bus tickles your brain, you’ll have a hell-of-a-good-time in The Winding Thoughts Theatre (of Sorts). Buy your tickets in the bus.
Coffee & Cakes
Grab a coffee at the Little Rocket
The must-have break on your road trip, here at the quirky coffee cart in The Catlins. Take a bite from Carol’s homemade bakeries and spoil your eyes with Lost Gypsy treasures. Sipping from the best coffee in town, in a beautiful mosaic courtyard. Trust me, it can’t get much more authentic than this.
Rewarding the curious since 1999
Hello! This is us, the artists behind The Lost Gypsy.
Blair Somerville came to Papatowai over two decades ago. He’s the tinkerer, the fiddler, the maker of movement. The Lost Gypsy is his life project, and almost all that you see is by his hand.
His (now) fiancée, Sandra van der Sommen, came to meet Blair in 2018, and it was love at first sight. She draws and paints, and generally tries to raise the standard of the place.
If you want to know more about us & how the Lost Gypsy came about, check out the button below.