Category Archives: Dunedin

Larnach’s Garden

I’ve been to Larnach’s Castle a few times before but never really noticed or appreciated the huge gardens.

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The castle was originally built by William Larnach for his family in 1874. The Barker family bought the Castle in 1967 after it had fallen into a state of disrepair and had basically been abandoned which is when they restored the Castle and then later the gardens.

Outside the ballroom

The Barkers have done an amazing job of creating a massive series of different gardens in and around the Castle. One of the features is a Pergola (the lead pic) which is huge and covered in trees creating a tunnel with a view of Dunedin and the end.

Dunedin through the Pergola

Other areas have small lookouts suspended over banks with amazing views of the harbour.

Fiona enjoying the Garden

We drove up the peninsula in Rafe and its an interesting road. The weather had closed in and it was quite dreary and drizzly, not conducive to nice bright piccies!

On the road to the castle looking towards Port Chalmers

We parked right up the top of the carpark and set off through the gardens.

Rafe tucked up in the top corner

Just the entrance from the carpark was spectacular with really bright flowers and nice trees. I’m not really up on all the names of plants and gardening but even I could see that this was special.

The entrance to the Garden

We came out onto the front lawn of the Castle and because we hadn’t read the instructions :-), we set off in the opposite direction to the intended tour but made it to all the areas of interest !

Larnach Castle

After an hour or so, we ended up in the Castle Ballroom and Cafe. Two open fires burning made it really warm and inviting and after another 30 minutes or so, we set off to head down the road to Portobello.

The Cafe / Ballroom

We had a quick look around Portobello and then headed back around the waterfront back to the city. It is quite a long way and is a slow road back. Its well worth doing and the Gardens and the Castle are a must do too.

More nice Garden
Round the back with the Alice in Wonderland area

The Gardens were $15 each which included parking.

At the Octagon

It was lovely arriving in Dunedin in the sunshine. We came in from Mosgiel and coming over the hill on the motorway with the sea and the peninsula in the distance was an amazing sight.

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The Octagon

We’ve been here before but only for a day here and a day there and it has always been raining and dreary so it was really a nice suprise to see it sunny and warm.

The NZMCA park in Dunedin

We headed straight for the Woodhaugh NZMCA park which is on the northern side of the city  but is very easy to find and handy for buses into town. After arriving and getting settled we walked around the corner and caught a bus into the Octagon.

Walking up to the Bus stop by the river

Fiona was keen to go to the Scottish Shop and check out the tartans. After that we head a quick look around the Octagon before heading down to the iconic Railway Station and having a good look round there. This building is something else.

The Dunedin Railway Station

Opened in 1904, it was Dunedin’s fourth railway station and was designed by Architect George Troup, earning him the nickname Gingerbread George after the pink basalt and Oamaru stone used in the building.

In the Railway Station

It is a stunning building with more than 750,000 mosaic tiles in the floor and is something to see.

Spectacular décor inside the station

Its nice to see Dunedin Railways doing so well with the Taieri Gorge railway excursions. The trains look fantastic and are all original carriages.

The Taieri train

Cadbury’s Café and Chocolate Tours was next on our list so we walked up a couple of blocks to check in for a Hot Chocolate made with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate. No extra sugar required 🙂

Fiona with the Cadburys Chocolate

Its something else and I recommend you try one if you’re in the area. They also do the tours of the factory too but having just done one a few months ago in Belgium, we passed on this.

Plenty of room for more

After wandering around the town a bit more, we caught the #3 bus back to the NZMCA park.

Rafe with Robert and Dawns Burstner next door(in the middle)

When we arrived back at the camp, we had a new neighbour with a new Burstner so I went over and introduced myself and after tea, Robert and Dawn came over for a few glasses of nice Pinot and cider with lots of laughs.

A great day in a nice city in the sun with some nice people.