William Larnach built the castle for his beloved first wife Eliza Jane Guise. Construction began in 1871, and 200 workmen laboured for three years before the family moved in. Skilled European craftsmen worked for twelve more years to embellish the interior wit hthe finest materials from around the world. Building was completed with the addition of the splendid ballroom in 1887.
In 1967 Margaret and the late Barry Barker purchased the empty, derelic castle and its setting of ruined gardens. Their wish was to restore and secure the survival of the historical buildings. It was their family home where their children grew up, but it was always their intention to share it with visitors. Larnach Castle has been restored and furnished, brought to life since that time.
Larnach Castle Garden is a ‘Garden of international Significance’ as assessed by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.