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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Larnach Castle

It’s not a European castle, but it’s still pretty incredible. Set against a stunning backdrop of harbour and city, it all feels very Downton Abbey.
By Concrete Playground
September 06, 2017
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Larnach Castle

It’s not a European castle, but it’s still pretty incredible. Set against a stunning backdrop of harbour and city, it all feels very Downton Abbey.
By Concrete Playground
September 06, 2017
  shares

Okay, so it's no 900-year-old Windsor Castle but given that until recently it was New Zealand's only castle, Larnach Castle is mighty impressive. With an incredible backdrop of the Dunedin harbour and city, it feels very Downton Abbey and is a pretty compelling place to visit. Built on Otago Peninsula by William Larnach in 1871, the castle was a grand gesture for his first wife Eliza. In other words, it's the Taj Mahal of Dunedin.

During the 20th century, the castle changed hands numerous times and fell into disrepair. In 1967, the castle was bought by the Barker family, lovingly restored, and subsequently opened to the public. But it's not just the castle and its grandiose architecture that's impressive, the gardens at Larnach Castle — rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance — are also worth checking out.

For $31, you can take a self-guided tour of the grounds, including the castle tower, gardens, historic stables and outbuildings as well as the ballroom cafe and gift shop. If you really want to be king of the castle, treat yourself and stay overnight in the luxury accommodation.

Larnach Castle is open daily from 9am–5pm. During the summer months, the Garden is open until 7pm.

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