About two hours from Invercargill and more than an hour to Dunedin, this little gallery is just off the highway in the Catlins, a densely forested region that sprawls for miles across the southern tip of the island. Most visitors come for the wildlife, but Blair Somerville’s gallery of interactive gadgets is as good a reason as any. Somerville is a former engineer from Auckland who loves tinkering. Press the doorbell and a whale squirts waters at you. Touch a wire flower petal and a light will turn on. Wind a crank and a fish swallows a boy. Push a lever, pull a string, turn an old record player on, wind a knob and you set a whole world into motion.
I happened upon Blair Somerville and his Lost Gypsy Gallery in 2004, but I'm happy to report that his quirky museum is going strong, and has expanded substantially since I visited. If you're in that part of the South Island, it's worth checking out!