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“Lovely house and gardens”

Larnach Castle & Gardens
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US$22.92*
and up
Admission Ticket to New Zealand's only Castle: Larnach Castle
Ranked #8 of 109 things to do in Dunedin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Discover New Zealand’s only Castle, built 1871 by William Larnach, merchant baron and politician, for his beloved first wife Eliza. It took more than 200 workmen three years to build the Castle shell and master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior. Larnach spared no expense on his dream home, which features the finest materials from around the world.The Castle is still privately owned and cared for by the Barker family who purchased it as their home in 1967. Decades have been spent on the Castle's restoration, with the family having restored empty buildings from ruin and assembled a large collection of original New Zealand period furniture and antiques. Open to the public throughout, this conservation project has been funded through admission fees. The family has always been committed to opening their home and sharing this significant period of Dunedin and New Zealand's history.Scandalous and tragic stories, spectacular tower views and a Garden of International Significance complete this enjoyable award-winning experience. Boutique Lodge accommodation is available in the Castle gardens. Weddings, Balls, Conferences and Celebrations are held in the beautiful 3000 square foot Ballroom. High Tea is also now served daily in the Ballroom at 3pm
sydney
Level Contributor
343 reviews
268 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Lovely house and gardens”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We weren't sure if we wanted to visit Larnach Castle or not, but were glad we did. Yes the entry price seemed a bit high, but we felt it was worth it. The house was very interesting, as was learning about the family who lived there. The view from the roof top was lovely, and the garden really beautiful. It just had a really nice feel here. You must visit if in the area.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank ladybugsSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Murrieta, California, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great time!”
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We went to the castle on the most perfect day, it had been raining for quite some time and finally there was a break in the clouds and a full day of sunshine, which was needed for this trip as it get quite chilly being on the castle grounds. With that said we decided to go inside and have a look around first then explore the grounds. It was nice and warm inside and the reception desk help was quite kind, explaining about how the castle is best viewed (from the bottom floor then up) and gave us a map to explore on our own. I love castles. I've previously been to many of the castles in Germany and have a fond appreciation for the architecture, as well as the thought process that goes into the building and it's surrounding. On the ground floor was the Larnach story, which was very informative and quite interesting. We also saw the family tree, and how there are still descendants of the Larnach family currently living in Auckland, which I thought was pretty cool. After learning the history it was time to explore... My favorite part was the fireplaces. That may sound strange, however, there are 3 different tile patterns in each one and I can't help but want to know why. None of it matched either. Also there was a different style of clock on each mantle that was so different from the last yet still amazing. You can even go up the very narrow tower to the look out and it has 360 degrees of breath taking views. When you live in a country that you don't find this kind of thing every day it certainly makes every moment that much more awe inspiring. We also walked the grounds after, trying to find the plants listed in the plant guide in order from the map. Though we couldn't find all of them, we sure had a fun time trying. And the grounds were awesome to just walk around on. Overall we certainly had fun learning about the history, looking for plants, taking in the sights, and enjoying our company.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Candice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toukley
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Give this a miss!”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Expensive and Boring!

$12.50 pp just to drive in and look around the gardens.

It is far from a castle more like a fancy house.

If you have seen any castles in Europe e.g. Edinburgh Castle or the Place of Versailles then you will be disappointed.

I'd give this one a miss!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A Royal Experience”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

My wife and I visited the Castle after staying the night at the accommodation offered on the grounds. It was included in our accommodation so we spent a good three hours soaking up the place. The castle is quite unique. When I first rolled up I was quite taken back, I guess I wasn't expecting much but then you're presented with this grand villa with a huge castle tower erupting from the center you kind of go wow, this is an actual castle. Now I've visited some castles in europe and no this is not as massive or grand as many of them but it's got this sort of crazy, vibe of colonial and victorian and gothic all rolled into one. Some of the detail in this place is simply amazing, the wood work and plaster is superbly done and the view from the top is worth entry on it's own. Your left to explore the castle on your own which I really enjoyed, but you're given a little pamphlet which gives you good little bits of info and guides your tour. The history and story of the castle and it's occupants is also very interesting and clearly explained if you take the time to read all the info. The gardens are also lovely and it was very nice taking a stroll through them.
We also decided to have dinner at the castle which MUST be booked in advance. This was an excellent experience and all of the staff at the castle were so professional and lovely, they make you feel like you're in a Jane Austen novel. Our meal was delicious and our waiter/host was a real gentleman. He was there before I realised I needed him and was never there when I didn't want him. Having the whole castle to yourself is an experience in itself. We had dinner with the other guests of the castle which turned out to be really lovely. It could have easily gone astray if the other guests were uncomfortable with sharing a table but the folks we had dinner with just made the experience even better. I rate the experience and the visit. It is a little expensive, but you really can make the most of it.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Tristan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A Visit to Larnach Castle”
Reviewed 26 July 2014

After living in Dunedin for several years, I finally had the chance to visit Larnach Castle. The grounds were beautiful and the house has been lovingly restored by the Barker family. I felt the $28 entry fee was a little steep considering the tour is self-guided (and it's $5 more for an audio visual tour via smartphone). The history of the Larnach family and Castle is told by a series of posters which were a bit cheesy and hard to follow, but did the job adequately enough . You are permitted to walk into most of the rooms which allows you to experience the incredible interior craftsmanship that took 12 years to complete. The furnishings are also very beautiful and will help you imagine what this house would have looked like in its heyday. Make sure you head up to the tower (via a very cool little spiral staircase) to take in the amazing views of the Otago Harbour - you won't be sorry. Staff were helpful and friendly and the cafe has a nice selection of food and drinks. All in all, a nice experience and one I would not hesitate to recommend.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank TunaDePiedra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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