Friday, March 9, 2012

Larnach Links

To raise funds for the Choir's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2013, a group of Choir members visited Larnach Castle and environs on Sunday 4 March, accompanied by professional guides Jane Edwards and Lyndsey Garden. On the itinerary for the afternoon were:
  • Larnach Castle grounds, a ‘Garden of International Significance’ (one of only four in NZ)
  • Extensive tour of castle and grounds
  • BYO lunch in the historic stables
  • Other points of interest on Otago Peninsula linked with William Larnach.
The Choir members reported they had a most enjoyable time and learned interesting facts about the life and times of William Larnach, who came to Dunedin in 1866 as manager of the Bank of Otago. He soon became quite prosperous, gathering large amounts of money through land speculation, farming investments, and a timber business. Between 1873 and 1887, Larnach constructed a large mansion on the ridge of Otago Peninsula, now known as "Larnach Castle". Larnach himself took up residence in 1874.

The photos in the slide show are by Deborah Dons.

Here is what Deborah had to say about the outing:

On a very cool, sunless Dunedin morning, a good number of keen Choir members, some with family and friends, met to take the Larnach Links Tour with Larnach Castle tour guides, Jane Edwards and Lyndsey Garden. We were taken on an informative, interesting and colourful journey on Dunedin’s attractive peninsula following the life and interests of William Larnach.

The bus drove along the inner peninsula road at sea level stopping at various locations where we learnt of William’s early years in Dunedin, his attraction of the peninsula, and the challenges he endured – or at least his builders and staff – in his choice of building site and construction of the property we know as Larnach Castle. We strolled through the gardens admiring the plantings and spectacular views and toured the castle learning more of Larnach himself, his family, life in the 19th century and earlier times of the settlement of Dunedin; and of the present owners and their love for and development of the property as an historical attraction for locals and tourists alike.

We called into the charming and historic Pukehiki Church before returning to the car park at Anderson’s Bay. Altogether, we were treated to a wonderful day and the sun finally shone on us to end a great tour. I would recommend the day to everyone should the tour be offered again. Thank you Jane and Lyndsey.

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