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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Touring Larnach Castle

Businessman William Larnach had his castle built high on the hills of the Otago Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand between 1871 and 1885 as a residence for his family. To build the large manor home workers had to pull and haul stone up from the bottom of the hill, which is no small feat considering you could be breathless just from walking up it empty handed.

 

 
I arrived late at the Otago Peninsula Motel to check in and was dead tired from my drive down to Dunedin from Christchurch. I was also a bit confused from driving on the wrong side of the road, but thankfully managed with only one minor incident. This was my first stop on my first visit to New Zealand and I was more than excited.

 

 
I was also excited to be recommended Larnach Castle as a stop the next day, just a short drive from where I was staying. Growing up I always had a fascinations with castles and the such, probably due to all the cool things I could build with castle-style Legos, and knew I had to pay Larnach a visit.
 

The views on the drive up to the castle are gorgeous and it’s even better once there. The grounds include a large, well-kept garden that overlook the sea below. And the best part of it all is the Alice in Wonderland theme with hidden gems all over, including the Cheshire Cat perched on a branch high in a tree in front of the castle; my personal favorite was the small Queen of Hearts statue.
 

 

There are no pictures allowed inside the castle, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every minute of it. Renovation of the castle began in 1967 by a family who now own the property, and they intend to keep it open for visitors to enjoy. And I for one am quite thankful for this because I most thoroughly enjoyed my half day visit.

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  1. New Zealand’s Queen of Hearts | Jason's Travels - February 14, 2014

    […] are lots of Alice in Wonderland characters hidden on the grounds of New Zealand’s Larnach Castle, which is situated atop the South Island’s Otago Peninsula. One of my favorites, which seems […]

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