Cargill’s Castle Trust : Let’s re-establish clifftop walking track to Tunnel Beach

Sun, 3 Apr 2016
ODT: Cliff top path plan tabled for talks
Cargill’s Castle Trust plans to re-establish a clifftop walking track between Cargill’s Castle and Tunnel Beach. Plans will be tabled for discussion at a meeting this week. Cargill’s Castle, built in 1877 on the St Clair clifftops, was originally occupied by prominent Dunedin business man and politician Edward Bowes Cargill and his family. They had a pathway laid from the castle to Tunnel Beach, which the trust is keen to restore. In December, the trust was awarded a $5000 grant by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission to assist with legal fees and survey costs for the proposed 2km clifftop route.

Cargill’s Castle Trust chairman Steven de Graaf says local residents and the wider public are invited to hear about the plans and air any concerns at this week’s meeting: Wednesday 6 April, St Clair Golf Club at 7pm

Cargill’s Castle Trust was established in 1997 to stabilise the ruin, develop the surrounds as a clifftop park, and provide walking access for the public. To keep its plans moving forward, the trust needs fresh energy, particularly for fundraising, and is looking for members to come on board.
Find out more, go to

Old news via DCC Draft LTP 2015/16-2024/25:

Wed, 20 May 2015
ODT: Track costs study
Dunedin City Council will investigate the implications of taking over maintenance of a coastal walkway linking Cargill’s Castle and nearby Tunnel Beach. Councillors voted for the investigation at yesterday’s long-term plan deliberations after Cargill’s Castle Trust chairman Steven De Graaf brought up the track at last week’s submission hearings.

[click to enlarge]
DCC Webmap - Tunnel Beach - Cargills Castle - St Clair, Dunedin JanFeb2013 (1)DCC Webmap - Cargills Castle, 111D Cliffs Road, Dunedin JanFeb2013DCC Webmaps JanFeb 2013 1. Tunnel Beach/ Cargill’s Castle (red star)/ St Clair 2. Cargill’s Castle, 111D Cliffs Road, Dunedin

Cargill’s Castle is one of the most significant historic structures in Dunedin and one of only two castles in New Zealand.

The mission of the Cargill’s Castle Trust is to retain the castle as part of the cultural, historic and recreational fabric of Dunedin, for the benefit of Dunedin and visitors, through:
• Conserving the castle structure as a significant Dunedin landmark. The Trust does not intend to rebuild the castle, simply to stabilise and retain the ruin.
• Development of Cargill’s Castle as a clifftop park and providing walking access for the public.
• To provide interpretation of the history and cultural significance of the castle, including the Cargill family and the castles noted architect, F W Petre.
• Inclusion of Cargill’s Castle in the proposed Blackhead to St Clair Track.

The castle has a fascinating history, find out more here.

█ Heritage New Zealand – List No. 3174 [History and Assessment]

Cargills_Castle_Original_Photo [] 1vCargills_Castle_Original_Black_and_White [] bw1Cargills_Castle_Recent_Photo___Front [] bwImages: Cargill’s Castle Trust web gallery

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Infrastructure, Inspiration, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Tourism, Town planning

11 responses to “Cargill’s Castle Trust : Let’s re-establish clifftop walking track to Tunnel Beach

  1. KolA

    Great idea although I’m afraid it can share a destiny of Caversham tunnel which was built in 2 years more than 140 years ago; and was supposed to be a flat cycle ride, but instead has been padlocked for the last 8 years thanks to DCC bureaucrats.

    • Lyndon Weggery

      KolA – please don’t be too hard on DCC bureaucats about the Caversham Tunnel. The pragmatic and practical reason it has blocked to cyclists and pedestrians is because major stormwater/sewer lines run through it down to South Dunedin flat from Kaikorai Valley Rd. Because of the obvious Health & Safety concerns and current South Dunedin sensitivities with further potential flooding you will have to be patient for a few more years until the wider perspective is adequately addressed by Council with all our support.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I don’t get it: “obvious Health & Safety concerns.” They’re not open sewers and drains surely? And people have been into the tunnel. If the worry is damage to pipes then couldn’t a “boardwalk” type of protection be built over the top, easily moved for servicing the drains?
        And if at some stage pipes have to be replaced the tunnel could be closed while maintenance is carried out. Annoying for those who had become accustomed to using it. A temporary annoyance, that’s all, and wouldn’t that be more than compensated for by having the use of it _before_ years of deliberations and the wait until it becomes someone’s pet project to be (at last) advanced at top speed.

      • KolA

        Sorry I can’t buy it. Tunnel been used for ages before one cycling enthusiast suggested to improve it when it suddenly became a hazard.

  2. Cargill MacBeth. His best friends never told him. Several yars ago, a young theatre company envisaged and presented ‘MacBeth’ with Cargill’s Castle as..DUNSINANE! Did Birnham Wood? No, it was just a bunch of Dunedin tearaways in shrubbery.

    • Elizabeth

      I was thinking about ‘woods’ a lot during and after Sunday’s excellent Antiques Roadshow [Series 37 Episode 8 of 27], a World War One Special filmed on location at the Somme battlefields in northern France. During the First Battle of the Somme the 38th (Welsh) Division, volunteer amateur soldiers with little or no arms training, attacked Mametz Wood between 7th and 14th July 1916. Confronting the 38th Division was the elite Lehr regiment of Prussian Guards – highly-trained professional soldiers, equipped with mortars and machine guns; furthermore they were deeply entrenched on easily defended-ground. The wood was eventually cleared by 14th July but at a cost of over 4,000 British casualties. Host Fiona Bruce met with the creator of the Mametz Wood Memorial, Welsh sculptor and blacksmith David Petersen. The memorial, erected in 1987, features a Welsh red dragon on top of a three-metre stone plinth, facing the wood and tearing at barbed wire. It was commissioned by the South Wales Branch of the Western Front Association following a public funding-raising appeal. On 12 July 2013, the Welsh Government announced that it was helping to fund refurbishment of the memorial in time for the 100th anniversary of the Battle in 2016 (this year).

      Rather than labour events and references – just google.

  3. Elizabeth

    There were many proponents for the walk itself …. with one resident saying it would be a fantastic asset to the city.

    Thu, 7 Apr 2016
    ODT: Coastal walkway discussed
    More than 50 people attended a meeting at the St Clair Golf Club last night to discuss the proposal, which had been presented to the Dunedin City Council. The proposed track would be almost 2km and would wind along Dunedin’s south coast from the category-one listed castle to the popular beach and eventually St Clair.

  4. Gurglars

    The $250+ million spent on the stadium would have been far beeter spent on restoring and leasing out Cargills to someone like the Barkers who have demonstrated the ability to make such a tourist attraction work financially. Far better to invest in a potentially profitable castle rather than an ever compounding liability, the stadium.

  5. Elizabeth

    Sun, 7 May 2017
    ODT: Chance to tour heritage homes
    By Brenda Harwood – The Star
    Owners of some of Dunedin’s heritage homes will open their doors to the public later this month in support of the Cargill’s Castle Trust.

    The trust’s Heritage Homes Open Day, which will be held on May 21, from 11am to 4pm, will give ticket-holders the opportunity to visit nine superb historic homes across the city. Open day tickets will include a voucher for coffee and cake at one of four Dunedin cafes.

    Cargill’s Castle Trust chairman Steven de Graaf said it was the first time in seven years the trust had held the tour. “At one stage we held heritage homes tours every year but there has been quite a break since our last one,” he said. “We are really pleased with the quality of the homes generously being offered to us for the event,” he said.

    █ The Cargill’s Castle Trust was formed in 1997 to try to save the castle ruins on the cliffs above St Clair from demolition. The trust lobbies historic organisations and the Dunedin City Council, and raises funds towards its plans to eventually stabilise the ruin and open the area to the public. A new group of trustees has recently joined the Cargill’s Castle Trust, bringing new energy and enthusiasm to the castle project.

    ● Tickets for the Cargill’s Castle Trust Heritage Homes Open Day on May 21 cost $35 and are available from Nichol’s Garden Centre, in Teviot St, Metro Realty, in Roslyn and Rockbourne Gallery, in York Place.

  6. Elizabeth

    Heritage Homes Open Day : Cargill’s Castle Charitable Trust

    [see ODT photo]

    Mon, 22 May 2017
    ODT: $10,000 raised for castle trust
    Dozens leave their shoes at the door of a Forbury Rd heritage home during yesterday’s Heritage Homes Open Day to raise funds for the Cargill’s Castle Trust. Trust chairman Steven de Graaf said more than $10,000 was raised by the open day. […] “It’s the most we have ever raised,” he said. The trust was “making progress” towards its dream of stabilising and reopening Cargill’s Castle to the public. Cont/

  7. Elizabeth

    Bloody Hell – time for a good lynching of the artistes.

    Friday, 26 May 2017
    Cargill’s Castle Trust members incensed at graffiti + Video
    By Timothy Brown
    Members of Cargill’s Castle Trust are fuming after the landmark was sullied by graffiti at the weekend. The graffiti, which reads “ADiCT” and “Duds 17”, was discovered by neighbours of the Highgrove site on Monday, Cargill’s Castle Trust chairman Steven de Graaf said. “You could liken it to someone desecrating an old cemetery,” he said. “It’s a 140-year-old building. You shouldn’t be doing things like that.” Neighbours told the trust about 20 people were seen trying to enter the site on Monday. […] The trust had an expert assess the graffiti, but it would cost them $2000 to remove and was risky. Cont/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s