NZ Skeptics Conference 2019

29th November - 1st December, The Arts Centre, Christchurch

The 2019 New Zealand Skeptics Conference will be held on the weekend of Friday November 29th, Saturday November 30th, and Sunday December 1st in Christchurch. The conference venue is The Great Hall, an award-winning heritage landmark building located at The Arts Centre in the heart of Christchurch.


Events begin on Friday with a fun social evening, followed by two days of skeptical presentations, panel discussions, and engrossing speakers, along with a Gala Dinner on Saturday evening. Sunday afternoon concludes with the Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Skeptics.

Fantastic Speakers!

Once again, we feature an amazing set of both international and local speakers, covering many fascinating skeptical topics.

SGU – The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

The team behind one of the leading Skeptically-oriented podcasts is coming to Christchurch! The ‘SGU’ is a weekly show that has been running since 2005, talking about the latest scientific news and debunking woo in all its forms - including pseudoscience, the...

Susan Gerbic

Returning to New Zealand is Susan Gerbic. A self-proclaimed skeptical junkie, Susan is the co-founder of the Monterey County Skeptics hailing from California. She contributes regularly to the Skeptical Inquirer (CSICOP) and the Skepticality podcast, and also is the...

Conference Venue

Our 2019 conference is hosted in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island. Christchurch is a lively centre, filled with amazing architecture and beautiful parks and gardens, and packed with things to see and do. Enjoy the eclectic heart of the city, the relaxing natural environment and thrilling adventure activities. Come for the skepticism, and stay a little longer for all the city offers.


Our Venue, The Great Hall at the Christchurch Arts Centre, is an award winning achievement in architecture. It’s a showcase of architectural achievement dating from 1882, including a stained glass memorial window constructed in 1938 out of over 4,000 individual pieces of glass. In recent years, post 2010 earthquake, the facility has been strengthened and fully restored along with the addition of modern heating, lighting and sound.


The Great Hall

The conference starts in









There is plenty of accommodation available in the central city, with much of it being within walking or low-cost travel distance of the venue. For those on a budget, the YHA and YMCA are both very close by, both offering comfortable and inexpensive lodging.

You can also check out these websites for affordable accommodation.


AirBNB    BookaBach    NZ Tourism Guide


As in any large city, car parking is at a premium. For those travelling into the venue, there are some free all-day parks to be found on Gloucester Street, one block north of the Great Hall. During the weekend, there is less pressure on available spaces, however, one should still be prepared for a short walk from one of the many commercial parking areas. The Christchurch City Council parking map provides a view of most parking spots and their costs.

Cool things to see and do while in Christchurch


Christchurch City

Christchurch Botanic Gardens: Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English oak tree, the gardens are extensive and contain an impressive array of plant collections that delight at any time of year. Just across the road from the conference venue.

The Christchurch Tramway: Hop-on and hop-off, and enjoy a journey in style through the changing face of Christchurch’s city centre on board the beautifully restored heritage Trams. The tram has a stop right outside the conference venue!

Cathedral Square: The geographical centre and heart of Christchurch. View the remnants of the Anglican Cathedral, highlighting the power of the 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Within walking distance of the conference venue.

Canterbury Museum: The museum is world renowned for its natural and human history collections. Just across the road from the conference venue.

Punting On The Avon: Sightseeing rides in a small, flat-bottomed boat poled by a guide dressed in Edwardian clothing. Within walking distance of the conference venue.

New Brighton Beach and Pier: One of the best and most accessible beaches close to the city.

Christchurch Gondola: A unique Christchurch sightseeing experience above the Port Hills that you’ll never forget. Breathtaking views of the Christchurch cityscape, the Canterbury Plains and out to the mighty Southern Alps.

International Antarctic Centre: Experience Antarctic penguins right here in Christchurch.

Air Force Museum of New Zealand: Truly one of the finest collections of vintage and modern, commercial and military aircraft, and their roles in our society.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve: See the unique New Zealand kiwi bird in its natural environment.

Orana Wildlife Park: New Zealand’s only open-range zoo located on the outskirts of Christchurch

Port Hills: Panoramic views of Christchurch City and the Southern Alps.


A little further out

Lyttelton: The historic port town of Lyttelton.

Governors Bay: Continuing around Lyttelton Harbour, this bay offers amazing views.

Akaroa: A historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Explore the beautiful old French village, experience the restaurants, and see the smallest dolphins in the world, the Hector’s Dolphin.

TranzAlpine Rail Journey: One of the most scenic train rides in the world.

Hanmer Hot Springs: A trip to Christchurch isn’t complete without a visit to Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa.

Lord of the Rings Tours: Treat yourself to a day tour of the unforgettable filming sites for the epic movie ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Questions? Contact us

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This conference is run by the NZ Skeptics