Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Totara Peaks Gallery - A Xena oasis at Omarama, NZ

Hello everybody!

Today I wanted to tell you about a very small and special place at Omarama, a small township near the southern end of the Mackenzie Basin, in the South Island of New Zealand. There you can find Totara Peak Gallery, the only antique shop in the area and "an eclectic mix of antiques, rare books and new and old costume jewellery".

The shop is located on the road to Queenstown, Mt Cook, Christchurch and Oamaru - it's, in their own words, "in the middle of nowhere, but in fact it is in the center of everywhere".

But what's so special about this place? Well, somewhere in their labyrinth of curiosities and antiques Totara Peak Gallery holds a spectacular shrine of original Xena props and costumes, including a full Xena costume.

Yes, that's right. I've known this for years, but until recently I was unable to get good HQ pictures of the measures hold at Omarama. Luckily, photographer and amazing manaia artist M. Navarre recently arrived there by chance and has been very kind to share his photos with us.

So let's go and take a look! Warning: HEAVY pics ahead!

General overview 1
General overview 2

Now let's focus on the juicy stuff: the Xena costume. "Original Xena costumes purchased in Auckland surround the Xena centerpiece".

Xena costume 1
Xena costume 2
Xena costume 3
Xena costume close-up: knee-guards and boots.
Xena costume: Description.

As you can read, the body piece is leather, the armbands and gauntlets are copper and leather ("hero" props) and the breastplate and other armor parts are resin (stunts). Nevertheless, the resin pieces are so finely made and so well taken care of that they look exactly like copper. Amazing! And what do you say about that shot with the knee-guards? I love it.

Alongside Xena's costume is Daphne's costume. Remember her from S5 "Little Problems"? She was a child whose body was briefly inhabited by Xena's spirit. The owners say: "The childs costume worn by New Zealand actress Rose McIver is special to us - Rose was our neighbor in Auckland and we still follow her career".

Other costumes of the collection are: a couple of armored soldiers, a man with a turban, an Amazon or similar, and many loose weapons and props.

Soldier 1
Soldier 2 - "Tazor"
Tazor description.
Amazon or similar.

It's not very clear in this shot, but at the right side of the "amazon" there's a baby carrier with a baby mannequin in full costume. The costume doesn't look like Eve's, but who knows...

In the next shot the baby is more visible in the background.

Copper? vase over statue.
Gabrielle's bombs description.

Ahhhh! The famous Gabrielle bombs seen in S5! Some of them lie around... Where exactly? Go back to the close-up of Xena's knee-guards and you'll see them, hidden behind the Xena mannequin. 

Stag banner.
Stag banner, shield, dragon, spears... 
Bone and stone clubs... from the Horde, perhaps?
Spears and what appears to be a Celtic banner.

And that's all! I hope you enjoyed seen these pictures as much as me.

Once again, thanks a thousand to M. Navarre for his photos, they're amazing!

Cheers people!


  1. Great work on the article Secret Kabeiros! As you can tell from the pics there was tons of stuff crammed into a small area. Very difficult to make some good pictures of. Fun place to visit though. Especially when you come across it by accident.

    1. Merit is yours, I only put some words to your awesome photos!

  2. AWESOMENESS!!! Xena is giving me so many itineraries that the day I finally make it to New Zealand I'll need at least a whole semester to visit all I want ;)
    Thanks for this, guys!!

    1. Lol Yeah... Me too. Let's just move there, way easier :p