Earnslaw, Larnach Castle, Rail Trail in landmark programme

The TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown.

Real Journeys’ TSS Earnslaw, Dunedin’s Larnach Castle, and the Otago Central Rail Trail are among 12 sites recognised for their landmark heritage.

The Otago sites are now included in the Landmarks Whenua Tohunga programme which aims to bring the country’s history alive.

The other nine sites are: Arrowtown and Arrowtown’s Chinese Settlement, Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, Hayes Engineering Works, Dunedin Railway Station, Historic Oamaru, Edwardian mansion Olveston, Totara Estate, Bannockburn Sluicings and the the Taieri Gorge Railway.

“Landmarks Whenua Tohunga is an exciting venture telling Aotearoa New Zealand’s defining stories and bringing our country’s history alive,” said Paul James, chief executive Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

“Located in some of the most beautiful landscapes in New Zealand, these places and the stories they tell will inspire New Zealanders and visitors to our country.

The Landmarks programme launched last summer with a pilot in Northland. Otago is the first region to be added as the programme rolls out across the country.

Larnach Castle. Image: Larnach Castle & Gardens.

“Nominated by councils and community organisations throughout the region all the sites were chosen because of their significance to the nation, the stories they tell and the experience they offer to New Zealanders and overseas visitors,” said James.

“Combining culture and heritage with stunning landscapes provides a greater visitor experience; from cycle trails to historic homes and railways to gold sluicings and steamboats. TSS Earnslaw is already a must-do experience in Queenstown.”

Real Journeys’ chief executive, Richard Lauder, said a huge amount of work went into maintaining the 105-year-old steamship.

“When she goes on her annual six-week survey, a team of 20 to 30 work on her – everything is custom made. To see her value to New Zealand recognised in this way reminds us how important that work is,” said Lauder.

Landmarks Whenua Tohunga is a joint initiative of Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

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