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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.

Popular Activities at Larnach Castle

Make the most of your time spent at Larnach Castle. Below is a list of the top things to do:

Trying a Shore Excursion: Full-Day Royal Peninsula Tour to Dunedin & Otago Peninsula will make the visit to this celebrated attraction a memorable event!

If you'd like even more options, examine our Dunedin things to do page.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 111 properties near Larnach Castle
Larnach Lodge C$121
Larnach Lodge

Larnach Lodge

145 Camp Road, Dunedin
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in a rural location, this luxury lodge is 0.6 mi (1 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).

    Craftsman Built House Provides Stunning Retreat
    Craftsman Built House Provides Stunning Retreat

    Craftsman Built House Provides Stunning Retreat

    Dunedin, Otago
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Dunedin, this romantic vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Fletcher House, Larnach Castle, and Otago Peninsula. NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium and Glenfalloch Gardens are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Broadbay Paradise, Ever Changing Harbour Views
      Broadbay Paradise, Ever Changing Harbour Views

      Broadbay Paradise, Ever Changing Harbour Views

      Dunedin, Otago
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Dunedin, this vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula.

        Camp Estate
        Camp Estate

        Camp Estate

        100 Camp Road, Dunedin
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Dunedin, this luxury inn is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula and 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Larnach Castle. The Fletcher House and Boulder Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Portobello Motel Studios and Cottages C$121
          Portobello Motel Studios and Cottages

          Portobello Motel Studios and Cottages

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

            Situated in Dunedin, this cottage is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Larnach Castle. NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium and The Fletcher House are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            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

            Dunedin, Otago
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Dunedin, this apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula.

              Dunedin - 'seaviews From Roseneath to Port'
              Dunedin - 'seaviews From Roseneath to Port'

              Dunedin - 'seaviews From Roseneath to Port'

              Dunedin, Otago
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Dunedin, this vacation home is close to Holy Trinity Church, Larnach Castle, and Port Chalmers Museum. Local attractions also include The Fletcher House and NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium.

                Chill By The Water - Dunedin Holiday Home
                Chill By The Water - Dunedin Holiday Home

                Chill By The Water - Dunedin Holiday Home

                Dunedin, Otago
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Dunedin, this vacation home is close to Signal Hill, Dunedin Botanic Garden, and Forsyth Barr Stadium. Also nearby are Baldwin Street and Glenfalloch Gardens.