Karitane was a small town we came across on our scenic drive from Oamaru to Dunedin. A very small town, it is located in a beautiful position, lovely hills on oneside, beach and nice bay the other side. The Waikouati River empties into the Ocean here.
It has quite a history, going back to Sealers & Whalers that arrived in the 1820's, and built a whaling station here in 1837.
It is a popular holiday spot now, I can see why, it was very appealing for a quiet holiday! There is kayaking, fishing charters and walks where there is a good chance of seeing fur seals or sea lions, as well as the wide range of sea birds.
Karitane is described as Dunedin's 'big wave' spot - not for the inexperienced surfer.
Do stop at the lookout on the hill heading to Dunedin, the views of Karitane and the bay & rolling hills are fantastic!
Karitane is 5 minutes drive off State Highway 1, just 35 kilometres north of Dunedin's city centre.
Glenfalloch Homestead and Gardens
The blend of natives and exotics are azaleas, rhododendrons and many varieties of fuchsia. Doves flutter in the trees, peacocks roam free, and tea may be taken in the most pleasant of surroundings. The original homestead (1871) still stands.
Larnach Castle is New Zealand's only Castle
It is a Neo gothic Castle that has lovely architecture, carved ceilings, antiques and furnishings, it is beautiful inside and out!
The history of this Castle is quite fascinating.
It all began with William Larnach , of Scottish descent, being born in 1833 in New South Wales, Australia. His banking career began in Melbourne then followed the gold rush to the Australian goldfields. When gold was discovered in Otago, in the 1860's, Larnach became the manager of the Bank of Otago in Dunedin.
When it came to building the Castle, Larnach a man of great vision, created a magnificent residence for himself and his family.
The site he chose was on a hill, giving panoramic views of Dunedin, Otago Harbour, the Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. The site was cleared, then approx 200 men spent 3 years building the shell of the Castle and then European craftsmen spent 12 years embellishing the interior
Materials from all over the world were used - marble from Italy, slate from Wales, tiles from England, glass from Venice and France. No expense was spared in creating Larnach's dream home! Many New Zealand native woods were also used - kauri, rimu floors and honeysuckle panelling. In 1885 a 3000 square foot Ballroom was also added.
Larnach was not so lucky in his love life, he was married three times and had six children. He was pre deceased by his first two wives and his eldest daughter, Kate. He took his own life in the New Zealand parliament buildings in 1898. After Larnach's suicide in 1898 the family was torn apart by legal battles over Larnach's property as he died intestate. The family then sold the Castle in 1906..
Very nice to have a look at, we really enjoyed seeing all the antiques, unfortunately, no photos were allowed, so I had to buy a postcard set from the shop for my memories.
We were impressed with this Castle, enjoyed the beautiful interiors, the planned garden with its plants and the views!
Entry to the Castle in 2010 including the tower, ballroom cafe, gift shop, Castle gardens, grounds, historic stables and outbuildings. Informative brochure provided, in several languages
Adult $25.00 Child (5-14) $10.00
Gardens & Grounds Only (self-guided)
Entry to the Castle's gardens and grounds, ballroom cafe, historic stables and outbuildings. Informative garden and native plant trail brochures and maps provided to assist with exploring the gardens and grounds.
Adult $10.00 Child (5-14) $ 3.00
OPEN.... 9am daily, last admission 5pm
Albatross Centre and Albatross breeding colony
This is a real must see , particularly because it's the site of the only Royal Albatross mainland breeding colony in the world.
(Its probably easier to see it visiting independently than being part of a tour as we were and not getting enough time).
The Albatross centre looks quite interesting (in the few minutes that we had there) but what you really need to do is travel up the hill on foot behind the centre, to the viewing area where you can see the Albatross at very close range (so some backpackers told me) - and there's plenty of breeding gulls up there too that you can see flying around in flocks from the foot of the hill at the Albatross Info Centre.
Flemish Renaissance in the antipodes!
Dunedin's photo-perfect train station was seemingly built for tourists. The building at the bottom of Stuart Street, is said to be the most photographed in the country. It certainly is an eye-catcher and to top off its charm, it is still a functioning railway station. Sadly the passenger services are now only limited to the tourist train route to and from the Taieri Gorge (see that entry), because the train from Christchurch no longer runs. The interior of the station features recently restored Italian tiling.