Standing proudly on top of a hill, this gorgeous Gothic Revival mansion was built in 1871 by Dunedin banker, merchant and Member of Parliament William Larnach to impress his wife, who was descended from French nobility. It's filled with intricate woodwork and exquisite antique furnishings, and the crenellated tower offers expansive views of the peninsula. A self-guided tour brochure is provided with admission, or you can buy an iPhone tour app ($5) that digitally peoples the rooms with costumed actors.

The castle didn't end up bringing Larnach much happiness. After his first two wives died and his third was rumoured to be having an affair with his son, he shot himself in a committee room in Parliament in 1898. His son later followed suit.

After lording it about in the mansion, take a stroll through the pretty gardens or settle in for high tea in the ballroom cafe.