Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Time Required : 12-24 hours

Entry Fee : NZD 34

Larnach Castle, Dunedin Overview

Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s precious and only castle is located in Dunedin, a city in North Island, New Zealand, has become one of the most eminent attractions in this country. Offering its visitors with a castle as well as lavish garden experience, this place has won a number of national as well as international honours. Only 20 minutes from central Dunedin, this place is perfect for weekend parties.

Larnach Castle is situated in the Otago Peninsula and is restored and well-maintained by the Barker Family. Not only does this place have an aesthetic value but also a historical one as the castle is over 148 years old is still open to the public on a daily basis.

Even though it is open to visitors throughout the year, it is better to not visit this place during the winter which restricts visitors from going out often.

Larnach Castle, a unique combination of specialised gardens is definitely one attraction to visit in order to rekindle the Victorian era in New Zealand and to have a rather royal experience, away from the regular modern life.

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History

This castle was initially built by William James Mudie Larnach, a Scottish banker in the 1800s. When gold was found in the Otago Peninsula in the 1860s, Larnach was offered a position as the manager of Bank of Otago in Dunedin.

It is said that he and his son had gone horse riding till the top of the Otago Peninsula where the site for the castle was decided, ensuring that this castle has a panoramic view. Subsequently, 200 men were hired to build the shell of the castle and then a few chosen European craftsmen took 12 years to adorn the interior.

Unfortunately, after Larnach committed suicide in 1898 after a series of hardships, the castle became the source of many family rivalries, eventually leading it to be sold in 1907. The Barker family bought the Larnach Castle and it was soon opened to the public.

Entry Details

(These prices are valid until 30th September 2019)

Ground, Gardens and Castle access (self-guided):

  • Adult: NZD 34
  • Child (0-4): Free
  • Child (5-14): NZD 12
  • Family pass (2 adults and 4 children): NZD 80
  • Early bird special: Those who arrive between 8:00 am and 9:30 am (from October 1st and March 31st). This discount is not available online. 
  • Adult: NZD 25
  • Child (0-4): Free
  • Child (5-14): NZD 9
  • Family pass (2 adults and 4 children): NZD 60

    Gardens and Grounds only
    :
  • Adult: NZD 17
  • Child (0-4): Free
  • Child (5-14): NZD 5

    Guided Tours at other times: NZD 125 per adult. Pre-booking is required. 

    Garden Pass: 
  • Adult: NZD 25
  • Child (0-4)
  • Child (5-14): NZD 15
  • Family pass (2 adults and 4 children): NZD 60
Larnach Castle is open on all days from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. During the summer, from the 1st of October to the 31st of March, this castle opens at 9:00 am and the last entry is at 7:00 pm.

Accommodation

This castle offers three types of unique accommodations available within the castle itself. These are: 
  • Camp Estate: This is around 500 metres from the castle gate and is a new stone manor house with exclusive suites for visitors. 
  • Stable Stay: Situated in the historic stables, a 140-year old building in the grounds of the castle, right next to the Larnach Lodge. 
  • Lodge Rooms: The Larnach Lodge is right next to the historical stable and over the foundation of old farm buildings with a clear view of the sea and peninsula.

Things to Do

  • Dinner at Larnach: From May to August, visitors are given the opportunity to dine in the Larnach Hall at NZD 70 per adult and NZD 22.50
  • Kids go Free: School-going children are given free entry during the summer holidays. 
  • Shortest Day- Longest Night: This event gives visitors the opportunity to listen to Victorian ghost stories around the fire castle followed by a light supper. 
  • For weddings, parties, conference dinners, balls and dances, Larnach Castle provides a great location for people to celebrate significant events. 
  • Teddy Bears Picnic for kids to dress their teddies in costumes and have a day out during summer vacations at NZD 15 per person. 
  • Annual Winter Ball: Visitors are invited to put on a Victorian ballroom attire and dance the night away at NZD 100 per person. 
  • Snowdrop Day: Celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of Spring with the mass planting of snowdrops at Larnach Castle. 
  • Spring Fling: A family Day out with entertainment, all-day BBQ  and castle-made food from the Ballroom Cafe at NZD 10 per adult and NZD 2 per child. 
  • Peninsula Experience: This accommodation tour includes a standard tour, premium accommodation, late check-out, complimentary food and wine, discount on breakfast the historical stables as well as on the castle, gardens and grounds. This is priced at NZD 594.50 during the summer and at NZD 562 during the winter. 
  • The gardens, gift shops, tower, and stables can be explored by visitors on their own. 
  • High Tea is served at the Ballroom Cafe daily at 3:00 pm.

Facilities

  • Ballroom Cafe 
  • Washrooms 
  • Walking tracks 
  • Dustbins 
  • 3 types of accommodations 
  • 35 acres of gardens 
  • Dining Hall 
  • Parking 
  • Hospitality and environment policy.

Rules and Recommendations

  • Food from outside is not allowed. 
  • According to the environmental policy, visitors are requested to switch off their refrigerators, lights and fans when not in use.
  • Be cautious of water usage since the establishment collects its own water. 
  • Ensure waste is disposed of properly. 

How To Reach Larnach Castle

  • Larnach Castle is around 40 kilometres (42 minutes) away from Dunedin International Airport (DUD). It is also around 13 kilometres away from Dunedin Octagon and it would take around 20 minutes to go the Castle from Dunedin Octagon.
  • Visitors can take a cab or a taxi from either of the locations to the castle. Car rentals such as Go rentals offer good deals on car rentals for Larnach Castle.
  • Apart from that, Local Tour companies and operators such as Head First Travel, Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Tours, Good Company Tours, Castle Cruisers, Awesome Cruisers, and a few others also provide ways to get to Larnach and enjoy it.

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