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public garden

Riccarton House and Bush

16 Kahu Road, Riccarton, Christchurch 8041


Riccarton House & Bush is a unique New Zealand heritage site consisting of two historic buildings, flanked by beautiful open parkland and ornate gardens, bordered by the River Avon and set against extensive native bush forest featuring Kahikatea trees up to 600 years old.

In 1843 the area is known to Maori as Putaringamotu – “the place of an echo” – became home to the pioneering Deans family, the first Europeans to settle the Canterbury Plains. The family’s dramatic story of endurance and tragedy; of dreams, love and promises, is woven into the fabric of these beautifully restored buildings and emerges as you explore the house, grounds and beyond.

Riccarton Bush, Stroll for 10 minutes to a tranquil grove of tall kahikatea trees at the heart of this ancient native forest. As Canterbury’s sole remnant of kahikatea floodplain forest, Riccarton Bush has national significance. For 300,000 years, the shifting gravels of the Waimakariri River triggered a changing mosaic of podocarp forests across the Canterbury Plains. In response to a continual cycle of flooding, forests established wherever suitable conditions were created, only to be destroyed in their turn. These 600-year-old kahikatea trees are the latest generation of a forest that established on this site 3000 years ago. They have survived through two cultural periods, Maori then European, that saw widespread fires sweep the Plains and native vegetation give way to pastoralism and cropping.

Garden Size

This tranquil 12-hectare reserve is located just 3.5 km from Christchurch city centre.


From ceremonies to receptions Riccarton House is the perfect venue for your special day. Our restaurant and catering team based in the Heritage 1 Listed house provide a wonderful mix of old-world rustic charm with modern food, service and style.

We have a number of locations both inside the house and outside where we can host your wedding.

Our team will work closely with you to make sure every detail of your wedding is covered in the preparation for your big day.

We are able to host your wedding any day of the week. On Saturday's wedding can commence after the market from 3 pm.

Other Facilities

Established in 2003 The Christchurch Farmers' Market is New Zealand's premier Farmers' Market was created from a desire to easily serve local, seasonal ingredients and produce to the people of Christchurch. 

The market has grown from 10 stalls to now over 80 stalls each Saturday. Some of the original stallholders from the beginning are still with us today.

 The Farmers' Market runs every Saturday from 9 am until 1 pm all year round. With the best of Canterbury's produce on offer, Hummingbird coffee and live music, the market is a must-do every week.

The market is widely acclaimed for both the quality and diversity of its fresh farm products, and artisan and prepared foods. It is renowned throughout the country as one of the top farmer's markets to visit. We aim to make sure that the actual stallholders are the producers themselves – people who grow, rear or bake the food that they sell.

Ask questions, explore their knowledge, get recipe ideas and find out what each stallholder has to offer.

Please note that there is no onsite parking on market days.


  • Price
    Free entry to the bush and grounds.
  • Parking
    Off-street parking is provided.
  • Wheelchair Access
    Disability access to the ground floor of Riccarton House only. Yes, the grounds are flat and wheelchair friendly.
  • Dogs allowed?
    Dogs under control and preferably on a lead.
  • Cafe/Restaurant available?
    Located at the historic homestead of Riccarton House, Local. the restaurant offers wholesome seasonal and rustic food. Many of our ingredients are sourced from our very own Farmers Market held every Saturday from 9 am on the grounds of the restaurant. Fresh herbs, salads and other seasonal produce are also sourced from the 5 planter boxes outside the open working kitchen. Dine either al fresco in our gorgeous rose courtyard or sit inside one of the heritage rooms with open fires and views over the Avon river. Catch up with friends or family over a coffee or lunch at Local or talk to us about booking Local. for your next special event a wedding, birthday, anniversary or corporate events. Opening Hours: • Monday to Friday 10.30 – 4.00 pm (Summer hours) • Wednesday to Friday 10.30 am – 4.00 pm (winter hours) • Sunday 9 am – 4 pm • Saturday the cafe is closed due to the Christchurch Farmers Market • Other hours by prior arrangement Please contact the Restaurant on: • Phone: 03 348 6190 • Website: http://www.localatriccartonhouse.co.nz
  • Children allowed?
    Yes but please supervise at all times.
  • Seating
    Yes, there are numerous areas around the grounds to sit and relax.
  • Function Center?
    Restaurant, functions and catering enquiries contact Riccarton House Bistro, Phone +64 03 348 6190, Fax +64 03 348 6192 Email: info@localatriccartonhouse.co.nz Web: www.localatriccartonhouse.co.nz
  • Guided Tours
    Guided heritage tours of Riccarton House operate every day at 2 pm (except Saturday). Experience the pioneering family story of dreams, love and promises… Our tour entwines the Deans family story, from its origins in lowland Scotland to the triumphs and tragedy in New Zealand, with a guided experience of over 20 rooms throughout Riccarton House. Rooms as diverse as the Victorian dining room, nursery, coal cellar, Edwardian bedrooms and Jane Deans 1856 bedroom are visited. All are fully restored and decorated and furnished in period style. Many original family items, ranging from china, furniture, brogue shoes and a violin are on display. Our tour offers something for everyone and we confidently guarantee that you will enjoy the experience. Adults $18 A student with ID $12 Senior (over 65) $15 Children (5 to 18) $5 Children under 5 free Family $35 (2 adults plus 2 or more children) We also offer private tours for pre-booked groups at times to suit. We can host clubs, societies, corporate and family and social groups, etc. An evening candlelit tour is a special experience. Morning/afternoon teas, lunch or cocktail food and beverage can be built into a tour package. Guided eco-tours through the ancient native forest of Riccarton Bush are available for groups of 10 or more visitors. Bookings are essential. Please contact our Ranger for further details and your requirements.


16 Kahu Road, Riccarton, Christchurch 8041

By car: From the city centre take Deans Avenue through Hagley Park to Kilmarnock Street and the Kahu Road entrance. From the airport follow Memorial Avenue, turn on Clyde Road and Kotare Street which also leads to the Kahu Road entrance. By bus: No 23 bus from the city to Avonhead. On foot: Allow 45 minutes to walk from the city centre through Hagley Park to Riccarton House and Bush. Only 5 minutes walk from Riccarton Mall on Riccarton Road.