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Larnach Castle

Discover tales of romance and tragedy, see rare Victorian furniture and take in stunning ocean vistas at New Zealand’s only castle. 

Explore the striking Larnach Castle and admire its elaborate woodcarvings and crystal chandeliers. Learn the tragic story of its original inhabitants and admire breathtaking views of the Otago Peninsula from the well-tended grounds. 

The first and only castle to be constructed in New Zealand, Larnach Castle was built high on a hill above the Otago Peninsula in the 19th century. It was commissioned by William Larnach, an Australian born merchant who became a member of New Zealand’s parliament. Larnarch had the castle built, sparing no expense, for his first wife Eliza. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1898. The castle is no longer in the Larnach family but is still privately owned. 

Enter the castle through the foyer and you’ll soon see that the building is made almost entirely from wood. Admire the exquisite carvings that decorate the walls and the high-arched doorways and windows. Each room has been restored with period paintings and furnishings that allow you a glimpse into the lifestyle of high-class Victorians. One of the finest is the music room, which is decorated with beautiful oil paintings and a chandelier. You will also see an antique piano and other early 19th-century instruments throughout the room. 

Continue exploring the castle to enjoy its other highlights. These include a splendid master bedroom with views over the gardens and further out to the peninsula. 

Make your way outside to the expansive grounds, which have been listed by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance. Admire an array of local and exotic plants as you stroll around the estate. Younger visitors can enjoy searching for the dungeon and a stone Cheshire cat. 

After a walk around the garden, head back to the castle and treat yourself to afternoon tea in the grand ballroom. You can purchase postcards and other souvenirs from the on-site gift shop.

Larnach Castle is a 20-minute drive outside of Dunedin. A coach service runs between the city and the castle twice a day. There is an admission fee for all ages and the castle is open daily.


Guide to Exploring around Larnach Castle


Best Lodging Options Near Larnach Castle

See all 134 Properties near Larnach Castle
Larnach Lodge ¥9,281
Larnach Lodge

Larnach Lodge

145 Camp Road, Dunedin
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in a rural location, this luxury lodge is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Larnach Castle and within 9 mi (15 km) of Dunedin Chinese Garden and Speight's Brewery. First Church of Otago and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum are also within 9 mi (15 km).

    Camp Estate
    Camp Estate

    Camp Estate

    100 Camp Road, Dunedin
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Dunedin, this luxury inn is within 1 mi (2 km) of Otago Peninsula and Larnach Castle. The Fletcher House and Boulder Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Portobello Boutique Motel
      Portobello Boutique Motel

      Portobello Boutique Motel

      10 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin, OTA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Dunedin, this cottage is within 2 mi (3 km) of Otago Peninsula, NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium, and The Fletcher House. Larnach Castle is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.

        The Victoria Hotel Dunedin ¥8,264
        The Victoria Hotel Dunedin

        The Victoria Hotel Dunedin

        137 St Andrew Street Centre City, Dunedin
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Dunedin City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, The Octagon, and Dunedin Town Hall. St. Paul's Cathedral and Speight's Brewery are also within 15 minutes. Dunedin Railway Station is 6 minutes by foot.

          Quest Dunedin ¥8,774
          Quest Dunedin

          Quest Dunedin

          333 Cumberland St, Dunedin
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Dunedin City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and The Octagon. University of Otago and Forsyth Barr Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km). Dunedin Railway Station is 5 minutes by foot.

            Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge ¥8,713
            Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge

            Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge

            30 Duke Street, North Dunedin, Dunedin
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Dunedin, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Dunedin Botanic Garden and University of Otago. Forsyth Barr Stadium and The Octagon are also within 2 mi (3 km). Dunedin Railway Station is 28 minutes by foot.

              Scenic Hotel Southern Cross ¥9,657
              Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

              Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

              118 High Street, Dunedin
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Dunedin City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Dunedin Casino and Speight's Brewery. Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Regent Theatre are also within 10 minutes. Dunedin Railway Station is 16 minutes by foot.

                Baldwin Street Retreat
                Baldwin Street Retreat

                Baldwin Street Retreat

                46 Baldwin Street, Dunedin
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in the historical district, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Baldwin Street, Dunedin Botanic Garden, and University of Otago. Signal Hill and Otago Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).