A castle, a garden and some more familiar names

In the last post, I mentioned the number of places we saw on the map with Scottish names in this part of New Zealand.  Dunedin, the final destination on this trip, is named after my home town, Edinburgh (Dunedin is the Gaelic for Edinburgh), and one place I have wanted to visit since I first heard about it as a child.  After all, what could be more exciting than to go to the other end of the world to a town called after where you live?

Anyway, we arrived there about lunch time and drove out to Portobello, a village halfway along the Otago Peninsula (go to the end of that to see albatross).  The name comes from the ‘seaside beach area’ of Edinburgh.  We had lunch at the 1908 cafe, before heading to New Zealand’s only castle.



A cannon at the Historical Society


Portobello beach…New Zealand

From there we drove to Larnach Castle, built in 1871 by William Larnach, for his first wife Eliza. The Castle is still privately owned, with the current family having invested time and money in restoring the building.  The entrance fee is $30 per adult, which we thought perfectly reasonable, given the amount of money it must take for the upkeep of such a building and its fantastic garden.  We were both quite shocked that people turned around at the gate when they discovered they had to pay – how did they expect the place to run?

Anyway, I read that Larnach who built the castle had three wives, that his daughters hated living in the house as it was far from Dunedin society, and he committed suicide in 1894 on the brink of financial disaster.  The house is a real Victorian monstrosity/delight (take your pick), and well worth a visit regardless of what you think.  The gardens have been rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance, and are lovely to walk around (even in gloomy weather).

IMG_6742Karl and Larnach Castle

Another view

IMG_6741A wee statue


A wishing well


Karl meets Alice

The White Rabbit is also here


A bit of the garden

IMG_6754More of the garden


A view over the water from the castle

From there we drove into town, checked into our bed and breakfast, relaxed, then walked into town for a drink before dinner.  We were kind of exhausted and not in the mood to hunt for somewhere to eat, so went to Velvet Burger, where I opted for ‘The Stag’, a venison burger with salad, portobello mushroom, blue cheese, aioli and plum chutney (and a glass of wine).  It hit the spot, as they say, and Karl was delighted with the ‘Velvet Lady’ (chicken burger, avocado and bacon, cheese and aioli).

This holiday blogging marathon has been a bit of a challenge to do.  Anyway, last part tomorrow!  Thanks for reading.



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