Larnach Castle & Gardens, Dunedin, New Zealand

One of the main local attractions in Dunedin, New Zealand is the majestic Larnach Castle and the beautiful surrounding gardens on the nearby Otago Peninsula; and is not be missed on your Dunedin visit.  Not only is it  an amazing structure but it is also an important historic landmark in the area and the country as a whole.

The history of Larnach Castle

Although it has been named a castle, the structure itself more closely resembles an elaborate mansion.  Construction started in 1871 and was only completed in 1887.  It was built for the prominent entrepreneur and politician, William Larnach.  After a number of personal tragedies, Larnach suffered various financial setbacks.  The accumulation of such suffering and stress is believed to be the reason behind his suicide in 1898.

View through Laburnum Arch at Larnach Castle

After his death, there were a number of legal battles and proceedings over the property.  The Castle was eventually sold in 1906.  Sadly it was not maintained very well and, in 1967, became the property of Barry and Margaret Barker who restored the Castle to her former glory.

More recently, the Castle was used to host a number of theatrical performances and today it is a very popular tourist attraction.

Access to Larnach Castle and Gardens

There are a number of different admissions options when visiting the Castle and Gardens.  Both of which require a pass.  The Gardens can be navigated without a guide while a trip through the Castle is made that much more interesting and educational with a trained guide to accompany you. 

William Larnach's bedroom

A tour of the Castle itself is certainly worth it.  Along the way, visitors are able to view the tower, outbuildings, stables and even the ballroom that was built as a birthday present for William Larnach's daughter Kate in 1887.  She passed away from typhoid at the young age of 26 and it is believed that her ghost still wanders around the ballroom. 

Visitors can also make a reservation to enjoy a high tea in the ballroom and access to the Gardens remains open after the Castle closes so you have plenty of time to look and walk around.

Larnach Castle Dining Room

For some, it's the ghostly encounters and mystery that attracts them to this famous historic building.  For others, it's their fascination with history and old architecture. 

Either way, this is one place that every visitor to Dunedin should most certainly see. 

The Castle is not only suitable for adults and children but it has been made accessible for those with mobility difficulties as well.