It’s amazing to think that just a short distance from Dunedin’s Octagon lies a historical treat waiting to be explored. Situated next to Dunedin’s botanical gardens on Lovelock Ave ,The Northern Cemetery is the final resting place of some famous New Zealand souls.
Opened in 1871 there are over 17,500 people buried in this graveyard. The wealth generated during the gold rush is evident here with some of the most impressive tombstones in the Southern hemisphere on display.
There are so many stories etched in stone here so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to immerse yourself in to the social history of Dunedin’s past. Bring your tissues, as plenty of those stories are tragic ones.
A highlight of the Northern Cemetery is the recently restored Larnach Tomb.
By day or night this is truly impressive and it is said to house the ‘ghosts’ of the Larnach family. If they're not from Larnach, maybe the ghosts belong to Dunedin’s executed criminals who were moved here from Dunedin Prison in 1898.
HOW TO GET THERE
Lovelock Ave is a 7min drive from the city centre.
Public transport runs every 10min along George St.(Normanby). Jump off at Dundas St for a short walk to Lovelock Ave or continue on to the Botanical gardens and walk to the upper gardens and on to the Cemetery.
- Sensible shoes. Dunedin is a hilly place and you will thank me for this tip.
- Camera. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities here with views over the city.
WHAT MAY SURPRISE YOU
Apart from the ghost stories and tragic tales there is also a botanical treat in store for you with many varieties of trees and shrubs. During the summer months the historical roses on display add another dimension to this fascinating location.
WHO WILL YOU MEET?
There are many famous souls here but the following are worth meeting:
- William Larnach
- Thomas Bracken
- Joe Scott
- Thomas Hocken
- Charles Speignt
- William Jarvey
If you wish to go after dark, contact Hair Raiser Tours for details.