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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 140 properties near Larnach Castle
Larnach Lodge CA $117
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).

    Broad Bay Treetop Hideaway - Broad Bay Holiday Home
    Broad Bay Treetop Hideaway - Broad Bay Holiday Home

    Broad Bay Treetop Hideaway - Broad Bay Holiday Home

    23 Frances Street, Dunedin, Otago
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Dunedin, this holiday home is within a 5-minute walk of Otago Peninsula and The Fletcher House. Larnach Castle and NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium are also within 3 miles (5 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 mile (2 km) of Otago Peninsula and Larnach Castle. The Fletcher House and Boulder Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Macbay Retreat - Macandrew Bay Holiday Home
        Macbay Retreat - Macandrew Bay Holiday Home

        Macbay Retreat - Macandrew Bay Holiday Home

        38 Bayne Terrace, Dunedin, Otago
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Dunedin, this holiday home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula and within 3 miles (5 km) of Glenfalloch Gardens and Larnach Castle. The Fletcher House is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

          Private Studio With Gym, Sauna & Spa CA $159
          Private Studio With Gym, Sauna & Spa

          Private Studio With Gym, Sauna & Spa

          10 McLelland St, Dunedin, Otago
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Dunedin, this romantic apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Otago Peninsula and Glenfalloch Gardens. Larnach Castle and The Fletcher House are also within 3 miles (5 km).

            Sandymount Cottage
            Sandymount Cottage

            Sandymount Cottage

            7 Sandymount Road, Dunedin
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Dunedin, this holiday home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula and within 3 miles (5 km) of Allans Beach and The Fletcher House. Larnach Castle is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

              Prestige Apartments No 1. New one bed Apartment Fully Self Contained
              Prestige Apartments No 1. New one bed Apartment Fully Self Contained

              Prestige Apartments No 1. New one bed Apartment Fully Self Contained

              1724 Highcliff Rd, 1, Dunedin, Otago
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Dunedin, this apartment building is within 2 miles (3 km) of Otago Peninsula, NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium and The Fletcher House. Larnach Castle is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.

                Portobello Boutique Motel CA $108
                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 miles (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.