Larnach Castle, Dunedin - Half a century of Stewardship

04 February 17

Source Otago Daily Times

Almost 50 years after  taking on the mammoth task of restoring the grandeur to Larnach Castle,  owner Margaret Barker says the work continues.

On March 3, Dunedin’s Barker family will celebrate 50 years of blood, sweat and tears  restoring and commercially operating the 147-year-old castle.

When the family moved into the castle in 1967 it was "a bit like camping", Mrs Barker said.

"Nothing worked and the roof leaked.‘‘It was never at any time domestic bliss, but it was exciting."

Larnach Castle managing director Norcombe Barker and owner Margaret Barker on the castle grounds...

Larnach Castle managing director Norcombe Barker and owner Margaret Barker on the castle grounds earlier this week. Photo: Gerard O'Brien.

Fifty years on, the castle which was a diamond in the rough in the 1960s, had numerous international accolades for both its interior and 35-acre grounds.

Larnach Castle managing director Norcombe Barker said while maintenance of the castle was an ongoing project, the family was keen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their guardianship.

"This is an enormous milestone for the castle and our family.

"The transformation of the castle has been a lifetime project for the family ..."

As a child he did not ever consider it was unique to grow up in a castle. However, as a teenager it was a great venue for parties, he said.

"When Mum and Dad went away my friends used to come up here for big parties."

As repairs on the castle made it start to gleam again, the Barkers’ relationship with their home and business  changed too.

Mr Barker had attended numerous weddings in his home, while Mrs Barker moved out of the castle about nine years ago, but  retained an apartment there.

The growth of the castle and the family would be on display in a multi-media exhibition at the castle from March 2.

A series of events including a staff reunion, yesteryear gala ball and tree-planting ceremony would be held throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary.

Most Grand Pacific Tours visit Larnach Castle. Click here to order your 64-page Coach Holidays brochure. 

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

Tour Reviews Read


All (118)

Special Offers (3)

Discover New Zealand (25)

Tour Highlights (9)

General (12)

In the Press (24)

Industry (2)

Ultimate Small Group Tours (4)

Cruise & Luxury Coach Tours (2)

Solo Travel (5)

Festive Season Tours (2)

Warbirds Over Wanaka Aviation Event (30)

Most Popular Articles

Travel Talk

Number of news items returned: 1 to 15 records of 118

Hobbiton Movie Set

03 September 2018


Discover the Real Middle Earth   The idyllic village of Hobbiton™ is Middle-earth at its best. Located within the rolling green farmland ...

Take an Ultimate Small Group Tour to New Zealand

31 March 2015


New Zealand has an endless array of world class experiences, sights, sounds and tastes for travellers to enjoy. The country ...

Discover New Zealand by Sea and Land

01 December 2016


Experience a holiday like never before with Grand Pacific Tours. Cruise on one of the most luxurious Superliners, the Celebrity ...

FREE upgrade to EMIRATES Business Class valued up to $2580 per couple**

04 June 2019


Everyone deserves a bit of luxury! Stretch out and relax with a free Business Class upgrade on Emirates flights when you ...

New Zealand is world's 'greenest' destination

24 November 2014


New Zealand has been named as the overall winner of this year's Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism awards. By Charles Starmer-Smith ( New ...

New Zealand is magical by coach

27 October 2015


Whether you are marvelling at the spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords or simply relaxing in a thermal pool, New Zealand is ...

TranzAlpine Rail Journey

14 August 2019


The journey of a lifetime Climb aboard one of the world’s most famous train journeys and travel between Christchurch and Arthur’s ...

Ultimate Small Group Tours

05 April 2019


  Experience business class on wheels The beauty of travelling aboard the Ultimate Coach in a small group is that every aspect of ...

Experience the best of New Zealand

03 November 2014


There’s a reason the sun shines on New Zealand before anywhere else – every new day in Aotearoa is something ...

An Introduction to Modern Luxury

02 January 2019


The Celebrity Solstice® offers you more than you ever imagined. Enjoy casual outdoor activities on a freshly manicured lawn on the ...

Southern Land

05 January 2015


Nuclear-free New Zealand takes the lead when it comes to conservation. Touring through the South Island, Casey-Ann Seaniger falls in ...

Explore New Zealand in Ultimate Luxury

12 January 2018


There comes a time in our lives where we begin to prefer quality over quantity and crave more comfort and ...

Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

31 July 2018


Relax on the Milford Sound Overnight Cruise while you view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you’re ...

Queenstown secures its place on global Monopoly Board

27 March 2015


New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown has yet another grand accolade to add to its already extensive collection. Source: The South Island ...

TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

08 September 2015


Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw, undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience Queenstown’s famed ...