Larnach Castle and Gardens Tickets
Dunedin, New Zealand
- The castle: See the magnificent residence that took master European craftsmen 12 years to complete. Imported materials include glass from Venice, marble from Italy, and floor tiles from England. There's also a unique collection of New Zealand furniture and antiques.
- The museum: A portion of the castle originally intended to be a war memorial grew into a museum with four galleries focusing on Maori history and culture.
- The gardens: Stroll seven beautifully manicured acres that are really eight themed gardens that bloom in different seasons, so there's always something to enjoy. Themes range from a primitive rain forest to formal gardens.
- The views: The castle's location on a ridge was personally chosen by William Larnach and one of his sons for the spectacular views it offers of the peninsula and harbor.
About This Dunedin Tour
William James Larnach was into banking, shipping, farming, landholding, politics, and speculation. He built his famous home as a "monument to my enterprise." But while this residence is known as the castle, behind closed doors is was simply a house of cards.
Larnach was possessed by the need to show his material success at any cost. After becoming general manager of Dunedin's Bank of Otago in 1867, he quickly leveraged his position into loans for his various enterprises, as well as the extravagant residence now known as Larnach Castle.
If Larnach was good at knowing when to get into a venture, he wasn't at knowing when to get out. He first made, then lost money in farming, timber, and land speculation. When the National Bank of New Zealand acquired Otago in 1873, he owed so much to the bank that he was lucky to avoid criminal charges, and resigned.
In time, his fortune dwindled, and while he distinguished himself in government as the Minister of Mines (partially by being extremely liberal with public funds), he was wise enough to transfer assets, including his residence, to his wife.
In 1894, he won a seat in the House of Representatives. Feeling lucky, he bought 1,800 shares in the Colonial Bank of New Zealand – which promptly failed. The once proud and jovial man became moody and aloof.
On October 12, 1898, William Larnach walked into Parliament and shot himself. The family sold the castle in 1906.
Who you gonna call
For years there have been sightings of a ghost known as the "Grey Lady" at Larnach Castle. While attempting to debunk the stories, Ghost Hunters International reportedly filmed what looked like a ghost in the ballroom, which was a 21st birthday present to Larnach's oldest daughter, Kate. The Larnachs built and lived in the castle for about 30 years until they were forced to sell it. During that time, Mr. Larnach's first and second wives, as well as Kate, all died there.
Please make your way to 145 Camp Rd, Dunedin to begin your adventure.
Bring small coins for the bathroom. Take a light jacket or rain coat for the weather.
Travelers must walk roughly 950 yards and climb 100 stairs to reach the upper level of the castle at Larnach. You will descend approximately 230 steps in groups of 15-20 steps at a time.
Cultural, Tickets, Walking Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.
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