The Castle Cruiser

The Castle Cruiser Octagon, Dunedin view on map
The Castle Cruiser
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  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
  • The Castle Cruiser
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"The Castle Cruiser" is Dunedin's premier transport and guided tour to New Zealand's only Castle, Larnach Castle.

Our vehicle - "The Eliza Jane" (named after Larnach's beloved first wife)- is a 13 seater luxury bus. Air-conditioned "she" has leather reclining seats, DVD player, stereo, individual headphones, drinks fridge, as well as facilities to provide full driver commentary.

Your comfort is assured given this is the best appointed vehicle that goes daily to Larnach Castle. Go on treat yourself to something special.

Our tour is 4 hours duration, the longest of the daily tours to the Castle meaning we spend both the longest time at the Castle as well as exploring Dunedin city with our comprehensive city sights tour.

Tours depart at 9.30am with pick-ups starting 20 minutes prior.

Cruise ship day departures are 9.45am from Port Chalmers and 10.15am from Dunedin i-Site Information Centre in the Octagon.

On cruise ship days our tour duration is 6.5 hours from Port Chalmers and 5.5 hours when picked up from in town. Our city tour also is extended to take in even more sights than our usual daily tour hence we have called the tour on cruise ship days Dunedin's "Big Day Out".

A full historical commentary is given en route which is complemented by spectacular Otago Peninsula views. Photo stops are also made to capture this beauty.

Castle and Gardens entry are included as is a fully guided tour of the rooms that are open to the public.

This tour is a not to be missed Dunedin attraction and makes the Larnach Castle experience even more worthwhile given you get to know the full history, drama and tragedy that beset the castles original owner, William Larnach and his family.

We also have Combo Tours that provide excellent value for money and will make your Dunedin experience one to both "save-or" and remember!

Our rates are valid 1 October - 30 September each year when they are subject to change which may be reflected in any forward bookings after that date for the following season.

The Castle Cruiser
  • I was the only person on the tour that day. Very thorough and knowledgeable 4
    JANE HANLEY - Jul 4, 2019 (Stayed Jun 2019) Travelbug verified review
  • A tad harsh Jane - I am a Dad after all. ;) I hope you had a great time enjoying Dunedin before you went back to the big smoke. All the best. Mark
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • Mark is a very knowledgeable passionate guide fun and interesting to listen too. WE enjoyed his jokes and guest participation. Very friendly and obliging. Great day out. Picked up at port. Highly recommend this tour. The castle was amazing, and Mark knew his history. 5
    JILLIAN HALLIWELL - Apr 10, 2019 (Stayed Apr 2019) Travelbug verified review
  • Shucks. Thanks for the kind words. Very humbling. I'm glad you had an enjoyable day in Dunedin. I hope the rest of your cruise went well. Kindest regards Mark The Castle Cruiser
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • Mark is very knowledgeable regarding the Dunedin area and history. A trip to Larnach Castle would have been just an old house without the backstory and details he provided. 5
    JAMES GABOR - Mar 18, 2019 (Stayed Mar 2019) Travelbug verified review
  • Thanks for the nice review. I often think of it that way myself when I see others going through without knowing the back story and dismissing it as just another old house. It's the story that makes Larnach Castle come to life. Im glad you appreciated that and I hope the rest of your cruise went well. Kindest regards Mark.
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • Would recommend this for anyone to do. Was a great day out, saw lots of sights and a commentary ongoing to keep you entertained. 5
    RAYMOND NEEVES - Mar 21, 2019 (Stayed Mar 2019) Travelbug verified review
  • Thanks for the 5 star review. Glad you enjoyed the day. Kindest regards Mark
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • We were very pleased that Castle Cruiser was able to accommodate us at the very last minute. Mark was both courteous and cheeky. I would have preferred more time at the Castle to see the extensive gardens, and less time stopping at other sites. 4
    CINDY COMBS - Feb 11, 2019 (Stayed Feb 2019) Travelbug verified review
  • Hi Cindy, Thanks for taking the time to post your positive review. Much appreciated. Unfortunately when we have a few "stragglers" on the bus the time taken at certain sites eats into our time at the castle. I wish the ships would give Dunedin a tad more than the few hours they do so the gardens can be explored at length because, as you have alluded to, they are extensive and also extremely beautiful. I hope that the rest of your cruise went well. Kindest regards Mark
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • Thankyou Mark for an amazing day filled with fun and your knowledge on the history in Dunedin, Lanarch Castle and surrounding areas was awesome.. Highly recommended and if your looking for an amazing tour of Lanarch Castle Dunedin you can't go pass this tour.. Absolutely sensational... Thankyou Jayne, Steve and Marjorie... And baaaa haaaa... 5
    JAYNE HALE - Jan 30, 2019 (Stayed Jan 2019) Travelbug verified review
  • Settle Kimmy. Kimmmmyyyy. (Think Kath and Kim) ;-) Thanks for the amazing review. Glad you had a great day in Dunedin and I could be part of it. What about Artie? I hope Steve is looking after Artie? Does he come when he is called? lol Until next time...take care. Kindest regards Mark
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • Our guide seemed to want to engage endlessly in "insult humour"...generally based on people's nationalities. A little of this sort of thing goes a long way, and six hours of it was a downer. We did get to visit several scenic locations, as well as Lanark Castle, and the guide did have interesting information to impart. However, my own feeling is that we spent too much time at the castle. My preference would have been to shorten this portion and spend an hour in the main shopping area of town...which we drove through without stopping. 3
    - Jan 13, 2019 (Stayed Dec 2018) Travelbug verified review
  • Hi Jane. Thanks for your review. Im sorry you didn't get the Trans Tasman banter that most Aussies and Kiwis appreciate. Nothing was meant seriously and like I more than likely would have said on the day, since I had realised you were from North America, is that "don't feel sorry for the Aussies". It's sad you didn't see it in that light. Im also sorry that you saw the time at the Castle as too long given most people like time to explore the gardens and/or get something to eat while there. The tour is sold as a tour to "Larnach" Castle with a city sights tour included and not as a shopping trip. There is an option for people to do this, if on a cruise ship, by choosing to take the tour from Dunedin city according time for shopping both before and after the tour departs from there. Your review and criticism however have been noted for future reference. For the record here is another review from a few days before that was posted on Tripadvisor. 5 stars My partner and I decided to book this tour while traveling on the Ovation of the Seas. Mark picked us up from the I-site. From the moment we met him the Aussie jokes started rolling but it was all in good fun - it was my partners favourite part of the tour! I really enjoyed the city tour and Castle itself and as a bit of a history buff loved the stories that Mark told throughout the tour and how it all came together as the day progressed. I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the best of Dunedin and I would happily do the tour again - I just hope that Mark has some new jokes to tell next time. Regards Kate and David PS thanks Mark for returning us back to the shop in time. You’re perfect record remains :-) Management response: Owner Thanks for the glowing review Kate. Glad you and David enjoyed the tour. As a Kiwi it's hard not to have a crack at you Aussies (all in good fun though). I promise I will work hard on my repertoire for when you come back. I trust the rest of your cruise went well. Take care. Until next time... All the best. Mark PS: Which shop did I get you back to in time? ;-)
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • The driver (Mark) is on time. He is like a walking history book of Dunedin. Very informative and the whole journey was really fun. Not to mention he remembered all the tourist name. Well done Mark. 5
    JULIYUS SAMUEL - Dec 7, 2018 (Stayed Dec 2018) Travelbug verified review
  • Thanks for the excellent review Juliyus. Notice on here I have spelt your name correctly - unlike on your certificate. Sorry about that! I hope your trip back to the big smoke went well. Travel safe. Kindest regards Mark The Castle Cruiser
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • The tour was fun, I booked both Larnach Castle and the glow worm tour. It's very entertaining listening to Mark's opinion on the history of the castle and how the owner had left an impact on Dunedin. The glow worm trip was nice too. Mark is very helpful and friendly, will definitely recommend him to our friends and family visiting Dunedin. 5
    Tracy - Oct 31, 2018 (Stayed Oct 2018) Travelbug verified review
  • Hi Tracy, It was nice to meet you and your parents. I'm glad that you enjoyed the tours and that you will be recommending the them. Thank you for your custom. All the best. Kindest regards Mark
    The Castle Cruiser
The Castle Cruiser
  • Had a great tour,our driver was very knowledgeable, witty & entertaining. Obviously had researched his subjects. Would recommend the tour to anyone who is visiting or living in Dunedin. Tour could have covered abit more of Dunedin, we thought. 4
    DON SPENCER - Apr 20, 2018 (Stayed Apr 2018) Travelbug verified review
  • Cheers for the feedback. I hope the rest of your time in Dunedin went well. Regards Mark
    The Castle Cruiser

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