Larnach Castle has launched a campaign to entice locals to visit the tourist attraction.
Castle spokeswoman Deborah Price said the the castle reopened to the public on Friday, May 22.
A “loyal local offer” had been launched allowing people to pay the full castle and garden entry price – or choose to buy a garden-only pass – and receive an equivalent pass allowing them to visit anytime during the next 12 months for free.
“The response from local residents has been amazing.”
Children could visit the castle for free until October 30, she said.
The accommodation at Larnach Lodge had reopened and a “trust the chef” menu was being served in the castle’s ballroom during the winter months.
Tim Ryan, of Makarora in the Queenstown-Lakes district, said he and his family stayed in the lodge last Saturday night – the first night the lodge reopened.
The family were among the 24 people who dined in the ballroom on Saturday night.
“All of them were New Zealanders – it was special.”
His wife Carmen Howell said the castle was “awesome”.
“It was great experience – the kids have loved it so much.”
Harriet Toa, of Mornington, visited the castle with her husband Reuben and their daughters Lucy and Phillipa on Sunday.
The family signed up for the 12-month pass to the castle and garden.
“We’re quite excited about it. The pass means we can come and enjoy it more often – which will be nice.”