The Southern Heritage Trust maintains an Information Gallery for the Northern Cemetery in the Sexton’s Cottage, which is open on a regular basis on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the summer season. It is also open at other times, depending on the availability of volunteers: if you are planning a visit out of hours, it may be advisable to check first by phoning 03 471 8265. The regular Sunday openings have now been discontinued for the winter.
The burial records of the cemetery are available for inspection in the Information Gallery, and there are exhibits outlining the history of the cemetery and the lives of some well-known Dunedin identities buried here, including William Larnach, Thomas Bracken, and Thomas Hocken.
The most spectacular of the tombs in the cemetery is the newly refurbished Larnach’s tomb. We hope to be able to run our own tours of this tomb in the future but the matter is still under negotiation.
We have also published a number of cemetery trails brochures, which may be bought at the Sexton’s Cottage at $3 each. These provide information and a map for self-guided tours of graves and memorials which share a common theme. At present the series consists of eight brochures, each on a different theme:
- Tragedy Trail- an assortment of victims, heroes and villains
- Angel Walk – monuments featuring the image of an angel
- Nine Artists – nine people who won renown in the world of art
- Intriguing Ladies – the lives of some fascinating Victorian women
- Gentlemen of Fortune – enterprising men who played a part in founding Dunedin
- Anzac Trail – sixteen young soldiers who died in the Gallipoli campaign
- The Gold Trail – people whose businesses prospered during Dunedin’s gold rush years
Also available is the guide ‘The Roses of our Victorian Cemetery’ produced by the Otago Branch of Heritage Roses NZ Inc. at a cost of $7. The Northern Cemetery has in fact the best collection of Heritage Roses in New Zealand.