Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle but in reality it’s a large mansion. It is, however, a very beautiful historic house built in the mid 1800’s that has been lovingly renovated by the Barker family since the 1960’s after it fell into disrepair.
The castle was built by an Australian banker who moved to Dunedin and became wealthy by trading as a merchant. He wanted to build a magnificent home and sourced the finest materials from Europe.
We were given a guided tour who is obviously very passionate about the castle. She has been running tours for years but still loves it as much as the first tour she gave. She took us through most rooms in the castle, giving us the history and telling us ghost stories. We were in one of the smaller reception rooms and I felt like I was swaying a little bit. It felt weird until the guide started telling the story of the ghost who creates an energy and often makes people sway. OMG I’d just felt my first ghost. After that we were allowed to walk around the castle ourselves, venturing up to the room. The stairs to the roof were so narrow only one person can use them at a time. We had to yell out to make sure no one was coming down before we could go up. The view was absolutely magnificent. You can see all over Dunedin.
We were given one hour to look inside the castle and the gardens. I spent 15 mins looking at the rooms we hadn’t looked at with the tour guide then spent the rest of the time looking at the gorgeous gardens.