Weta | Northeast Irukandji

palatial buildings on Grand Irukandji, Weta State

Weta State

Weta State is a collection of joined simulators (or regions) on the virtual Irukandji Continent which existed from 2007 to the present day.

The Weta ‘nation’ has existed in all versions of Irukandji in Second Life, InWorldz, and DigiWorldz.

That’s the real-world tech stuff covered. Time to head in-world. 😁

Note: if you are trying to visit the current Irukandji world, the landing sim is Arius on the DigiWorldz grid. The region is hypergrid enabled for easy teleportation from other Open Simulator virtual worlds. If you have the Firestorm viewer, use this link to teleport to Arius.

Irukandji Ministry of Heritage and Culture

History and culture

Weta State is an hereditary royal house in the northeast of Irukandji. The inhabitants’ ancestry is mostly Polynesian and Melanesian, however many of the islanders are cream skinned due to a century of inter-breeding during Irukandji’s colonial era.

When Irukandji gained independence in 1975, the Weta elder, Prince Daniel, became the new nation’s first King. By decree of his peers, his tribe would govern Irukandji for the next half century.

Weta vs Pinjarra

Four years after ascending, King Daniel died unexpectedly. Before his heir could take the throne, all eight of Daniel’s children were murdered.

In the kingdom’s far south, henchmen of the Pinjarran prince, Kebo Kebo were revealed as the assassins. Kebo declared the Irukandji experiment over, and aided by mercenaries, began to over-run the kingdom.

Only the Tamita tribe, who had helped place Daniel on the throne, had the numbers to oppose Kebo’s attempted coup. Prince Savu of Tamita rallied the masses to his cause, and the Tamita-Pinjarra War began.

Islands and seas of Weta

Convict Island

The old slave pens and arena at Convict Island

Convict Island was a commercial region in north Irukandji. It followed the ‘forgotten kingdom’ theme of Irukandji, and was my first and only real attempt to set up a full-on Gorean-type combat RP sim. In its earlier guise, Convict Island featured a gladiatorial stadium, slave market, and so on.

I gave two eager land owners free reign to let their imaginations go wild, hence the terraforming and structures in one of the pictures aren’t my doing. They did a great job but this type of roleplay never really took off in Irukandji.

In its second guise, I leased Convict Island to a local brothel owner who built her first business there.

Convict Island 2008

Regions that adjoined Convict Island were Valkyrie Shoals, Valkyrie Island, Tongabuti Bay, Grand Irukandji, Baie de l’Amore, and Nouvelle Kiribas.

In all honesty though, Convict Island holds no particular place in my heart. I leased it out for most of its life, and when it wasn’t leased, the theme didn’t really match the romantic tone of the rest of the estate.

Nonetheless, Convict Island is part of the Irukandji story so it deserves a place in these pages.

Emperor Bay

Emperor Bay, Irukandji

Emperor Bay was a water sim in east Irukandji.

  • Size: 6.5536 hectares
  • Grid: InWorldz 2014
  • Use: Light Commercial
  • Terrain: hand terraformed

Arriving late in the InWorldz rendition of Irukandji, Emperor Bay served as a linking sea that joined the new Reef City sim to the old estate. It also provided a conduit the new underwater fantasy region, Eromanga.

On the northern edge of Emperor Bay, a prim beach served as the local playground beach for Reef City. An airstrip also ran north to south on the far eastern edge of the sea.

Regions that adjoined Emperor Bay were Reef City, Eromanga Sea, Octane Island, Irukandji Straits, and Old Fort Island.

Grand Irukandji v1 (SL)

Grand Irukandji 2008

Grand Irukandji came into being mid 2007, about three months into the first incarnation of Irukandji on Second Life.

Until that point, I had been frantically building new islands in order to keep up with sales demand. However, this rapid expansion created a problem for me artistically.

Art versus practicality

While I was a stickler for quality, I could see that the style of each new residential island I built was becoming repetitive. Alantay Island, Manatu Island, Pinjarra Island – they all looked somewhat similar, i.e. relatively flat atolls with a river and low hills.

These were however, the types of islands that people wanted to live on. They were immensely profitable but my imagination felt stifled. My frustration at having to curtail my creativity was really pushing my buttons.

Nouvelle Kiribas, one of my first islands, was the standout exception. With its huge central mountain visible from all corners of the kingdom, many newcomers found it intimidating, and went for one of the more conventional blocks on a flat atoll-type island. All the same, Nouvelle Kiribas had slowly gained a niche population who liked the uniqueness of its slopes and beaches.

Grand Irukandji region 2007

With a few ‘standard’ parcels still up my sleeve, I decided to build a second unconventional island. I knew it would take longer to sell but that was fine. I needed to return to the original Irukandji concept – creating a quality estate with unique landscapes. And so, Grand Irukandji was born.

While not as abrupt to the eye as Nouvelle Kiribas, Grand Irukandji did feature an enormous mountain on its northern face. I named the giant tor, Mount Irukandji. Its footprint was so big that it overflowed into the three adjacent sims; Tongabuti Bay, Weta Island, and Upper Aboyo Passage.

Diagonally adjacent to Irukandji’s capital, Tamita Island and sharing two of its bays, Grand Irukandji also featured a half-caldera at its centre, long flat beaches in the north and east, and formed the junction of two rivers, the Maskari River and the Odin River.

A profitable exercise

Not surprisingly, the blocks were quite oddly shaped and unusual in size, in order to fit around the many geographical features. They were not particularly builder-friendly either. Due to the island’s unique features and the labour I had put into its creation, I charged a premium $L26 per metre to buy the subdivided parcels.

Despite all of the above, every parcel on Grand Irukandji was snapped up within days of being released to the market. The majority of blocks went to US buyers, plus one each from Netherlands, England, and Germany.

Over the months that followed, two of the major US tenants bought out their neighbours, and their vision for the island dominated Grand Irukandji. They did so in grand style, building fanciful villas and palaces that meshed beautifully with the landscape of this unique island. Their buildings were amongst the largest and most beautiful on all the islands.

Throughout the life of Grand Irukandji, I maintained the southwest corner as public parkland where it joined Tamita Island. This allowed me to build a submerged section of the Trans Irukandji Causeway through the island, plus a continuous walking trail between Irukandji’s two most picturesque regions.

Grand Irukandji epitomised all the beautiful decadence at the height of Irukandji’s popularity. Its creation marked the start of a massive expansion of the continent in all directions.

Grand Irukandji v2 (InWorldz)

Suva Dolphin swimwear photo shoot on Grand Irukandji 2013

Grand Irukandji on the InWorldz grid was based on its earlier incarnation in Second Life five years earlier.

Unfortunately, the region was plagued with technical problems due to coding issues that the grid monkeys were never able to fix. As a result, I had to cut the northern mountain down to a beach. It wasn’t an ideal solution, but it did inadvertently open up new opportunities.

Beachfront view Grand Irukandji

This new low terrain looked astoundingly beautiful with the neighbouring Blue Lagoon and Lagune d’Or regions as backdrops. The combined scenery of these north-western sims proved ideal for photo shoots of avatar clothing and amphibious vehicles.

In fact, most of the 2013-14 swimwear catalogues were shot on Grand Irukandji.

During its time, Grand Irukandji was home to three landowners, all Australian. I do have some very fond memories of Grand Irukandji on the InWorldz grid.

Neighbouring regions to Grand Irukandji, were Baie de l’Amore, Tamita Island, and Lagune d’Or.

Horn of Weta

Horn of Weta map

The simulator, Horn of Weta was a promontory in the far northeast of Irukandji, and part of Weta State.

Horn of Weta, or ‘The Horn’ as it became known, spent most of its life as a forested mountain with a few rental bungalows on its point for reclusive types.

The southern end of the peninsula sloped down into Weta Island, where a stretch of the Trans Irukandji Causeway fed upwards into the hills.

Surrounding the peninsula was a deepwater sea for sailing.

Horn of Weta, Irukandji 2007

Three other sims adjoined Horn of Weta. From southwest to southeast, they were Tongabuti Bay, Weta Island, and Weta Rim.

The name, Horn of Weta was a play on words, irreverently testing how far I could push the naming censorship policies of SL, especially given the island’s obvious phallic shape.

Linden Labs never picked up on what became a long running local joke, nor any of the other facetitious names like the nearby sims, Upper Aboyo Passage and Tongabuti Bay.

This gave everyone a giggle over the years.

Reef City

Inside PUMP Tower on Reef City in InWorldz
  • Size: 6.5536 hectares
  • Grid: InWorldz 2014
  • Use: Commercial
  • Terrain: hand terraformed

The simulator, Reef City on the InWorldz virtual world was an experimental commercial region in northwest Irukandji.

I built Reef City as an attempt to move the commercial district from Tamita Island. This was designed to free up space around the Princes’ Palace, and make Tamita Island more like how it used to be in Second Life.

To that end, Reef City worked, but at some point, I realised that the commercial area really belongs near the palace. The two compliment each other. So within a few months, I shut down Reef City.

All of that said, the exercise helped prepare me for two months later when I set up my own grid, The Reef Virtual World. Wanting to move away from the Irukandji theme on the new grid, I recycled the Reef City name there which became the grid’s landing sim.

Reef City adjoined Emperor Bay. Few people will remember this sim, but I do, and it was definitely a worthwhile journey despite its brief existence.

Tongabuti Bay

Tongabuti Bay, Weta 2007

Tongabuti Bay is a resort sim in Weta State in northeast Irukandji.

A long stone bridge from colonial times, part of the Trans Irukandji Causeway, traverses the bay, connecting the neighbouring regions, Grand Irukandji to the south, and the state capital, Weta Island, in the east.

Sandbars at Tongabuti Bay, Irukandji 2008

Midway along its length, a branch road heads west towards Convict Island and beyond. Holiday cabins sit nestled at the junction of the bridge, and diagonally opposite on a small sandy island, is Casuarina Nude Beach.

The northern half of Mount Irukandji drops down into a shallow bay with sandbars barely visible on the low tide, while the Maskari River and Odin River converge near its base.

A super yacht berthed in Tongabuti Bay, 2009

In late 2008, the old arched stone bridge at Tongabuti Bay was replaced with a long-span bridge with terraced docks to enable the berthing of large yachts.

Other regions adjoining Tongabuti Bay are Weta Island, Upper Aboyo Passage, Grand Irukandji, Baie de l’Amore, and Convict Island.

The naming of Tongabuti Bay is deliberately facetious, in typical style for several regions in the kingdom’s north and east.

Upper Aboyo Passage

Upper Aboyo Passage, Weta State 2007

Upper Aboyo Passage is a deep-water sea in Weta State in northeast Irukandji. The Aboyo River passes through the region before reaching its northern terminus at Weta Island.

Featuring underwater canyons and a crescent shaped landmass at its centre, Upper Aboyo Passage was a popular region throughout its entire life.

Like other regions in the kingdom’s east, the name Upper Aboyo Passage is deliciously facetious, which met with many childish giggles from tenants and visitors over the years.

Upper Aboyo Passage began its life as a small-scale holiday resort similar to nearby Tongabuti Bay, and both were quite popular throughout 2007.

In 2008, I removed the holiday cabins and offered the central island for sale. It sold the same day to a Belgian tenant who rebuilt the Marseille palace there in remarkable detail.

While outwardly, someone could say that there is much to typify Upper Aboyo Passage with other scenic regions of the day, there’s actually a reason for that being true. Essentially, Upper Aboyo Passage was where this style began.

Upper Aboyo Passage, Irukandji 2008

Its layout was so popular that it created demand for more like it across all of Irukandji. In the years that followed, around 30 new regions including Sulawesi Bay and Whitsunday Island, would draw from the Upper Aboyo Passage template, and they would prove popular as well.

Regions bordering Upper Aboyo Passage are Cabria Island, Minoan Atolls, Grand Irukandji, Tongabuti Bay, Weta Island, and Weta Rim.

Weta Island

Weta Island, 2007

Weta Island is the capital of Weta State in the northwest of Irukandji. It is a popular residential sim due northeast of Grand Irukandji.

The southwest corner of Weta Island lies in the towering lee of Mount Irukandji and to the north, rises up to join the rolling foothills of the Horn of Weta.

A waterfall in the foothills feeds into the river that cleaves the island in two, and marks the farthest extent of the Maskari River in the north before it falls away into the Pacific Ocean.

Road access to Weta Island is via the Trans Irukandji Causeway which enters through Tongabuti Bay and passes over the Horn of Weta and into Weta Rim.

Weta Island takes its name from the prehistoric spider, native to New Zealand.

Curiously, during its life, Weta Island became quite an enclave for German settlers, while three Americans also built homesteads there.

Regions adjoining Weta Island, clockwise from east, are Weta Rim, Upper Aboyo Passage, Grand Irukandji, Tongabuti Bay, and Horn of Weta.

Anyone familiar with the Irukandji Continent would be aware that apart from it being a virtual continent, it also has a great deal of written history – a living novel, if you will. Weta Island plays an enormous part in that history, in that it was home to Irukandji’s only king, Daniel of Weta.

When I created Irukandji v2 on the InWorldz grid some years later, I had planned to include a new version of Weta Island, but alas this did not eventuate.

In 2019, I created a var-region in DigiWorldz called Weta which featured some breath-taking landscapes. Unfortunately, no photographs survive from that project.

Weta Rim

Weta Rim region at sunset, 2007
  • Size: 6.5536 hectares
  • Grid: Second Life 2007-2008
  • Use: Light Residential
  • Terrain: hand terraformed

The light-residential scenic region, Weta Rim, remains a personal favourite of mine. Perhaps this is because it marked the easternmost edge of the Irukandji Continent and I’m used to sunrise over the ocean.

Located in Weta State in northeast Irukandji, Weta Rim was originally intended to be a scenic resort-style playground for the neighbouring residential state capital, Weta Island, however its popularity from across the kingdom demonstrated that it could be more.

I subdivided four parcels on the southern beach, and three on the eastern cliffs which enjoyed uninterrupted sea views. All the parcels were purchased quickly by US residents. One particular mansion was a masterpiece. The owner spent a great deal of money on it, commissioning a master builder to construct a one-off build that worked in with the island’s landscape rather than terraforming bits out of the way.

Weta Rim, Irukandji 2008

Only three regions adjoined Weta Rim; Horn of Weta in the northeast, Weta Island to the west, and Upper Aboyo Passage to the southwest.

Given its unique location on the edge of the kingdom, Weta Rim marked the easternmost end of the Trans Irukandji Causeway.

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