The Barker Family's lifelong passion project of restoring the Castle continues today. Please be aware that we are currently doing key restoration work on the tower and in some rooms. The tower is currently not accessible for viewing. More information on restoration work here.
Alice in Wonderland at Larnach Castle and Gardens

Visit the Gardens


A New Zealand Garden, rated a Garden of International Significance

"In 1967 we purchased Larnach Castle and its 35 acres of grounds in order to ensure their survival.  Enveloping second growth in the abandoned garden came right up to the Castle walls.  Clearing and felling opened wonderful vistas, and today, our 'new' garden continues to be developed within the original framework of paths, hedges and trees.  Spring brings jewel-like flowers to the rock garden and splendid displays of rhododendrons and azaleas.  Herbaceous plantings peak in summer, followed by Scottish Heathers in autumn.  Special collections of Southern Hemisphere plants grow in size and diversity in our South Seas Garden."

From Margaret Barker's book, "My Home, My Castle"

The gardens at Larnach Castle have been rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance.  Today, the Castle is surrounded by 7 acres of maintained Gardens. The gardens are Margaret Barker's personal creation - not only is she a restorer of historic buildings, but also a passionate gardener.

Margaret has been a Guest Speaker and Judge at the New Zealand Ellerslie Flower Show, is well-respected as a garden star throughout New Zealand and has recently written a book about her garden.

There is always something to see in the gardens at Larnach Castle. This is more than just a Garden of International Significance; it is a unique collection of specialised gardens.  For instance, there is a Patterned Garden, the Lost Rock Garden, the Serpentine Walk, the Rain Forest, the South Seas Garden, the Alice Lawn, and the Laburnum Arch and Green Room.

To assist in exploring the gardens, a colour map is provided, with features to be found including the Wishing Well, the Dungeon, a Methane Gas Generation Plant and a challenge to find the Oamaru Stone Cheshire Cat!

For those interested in our extensive collection of New Zealand native plants, we have a Native Plant Trail brochure that leads visitors around the gardens on a journey of discovery, identifying our native flora.

Children take their own enjoyment out of the map and brochure, treating them like a treasure hunt.

Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity
New Zealand Gardens Trust
Landmarks New Zealand
Tiaki - Care for New Zealand

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