Riccarton House

Historic and magnificent Riccarton House

Our pre-conference Friday Night Gathering will be a great way for all to kick-off the conference weekend.

The venue is at Riccarton House, a unique New Zealand heritage site, located off Kahu Road, Riccarton.

The evening will start off casually around 6pm, just after the SGU Special Podcast recording session. The venue is available until 9:30pm.

Complimentary light snacks will be served. Note: this is not intended to be a full meal. The venue also has a great bar, for those who wish to partake of cocktails, liqueurs, etc.

Riccarton House is reputed to be haunted!

Riccarton House is a grand Victorian/Edwardian homestead built in three stages – 1856, 1874 and 1900 – for Canterbury’s pioneering Deans family. The house is fully restored, and is decorated and furnished in appropriate period style. Surrounded by lawns, mature trees, gardens and native bush, and bordered by the River Avon, the House enjoys the elegant setting of a bygone era.

Is this the ghost of Riccarton House?

Is this the ghost of Riccarton House?

Caution! The ghost of Jane Deans apparently still keeps a watchful eye on her home.

Her spirit is said to have been spotted looking into the bassinet of the last baby born here in December 1915.

There have been other reported oddities:

  • strange noises have been heard by staff and tradespeople
  • creaky floorboards
  • hidden internal windows
  • supposedly, dogs don’t like to enter the house
  • shockingly, a previous manager apparently once saw wax dripping off a mantelpiece in an upstairs room!

We can’t think of anything else that it could have been, so, obviously, it must have been a ghost.

Will we find compelling evidence of paranormal activity, or just another B-grade special effects horror movie? We’re thinking of offering a prize to any conference attendee who can provide genuine irrefutable evidence of the reality of this ghost, so start looking!

Are these the portraits of the ghosts?

Are these the portraits of the ghosts?

Beautiful entranceway

An elegant hallway greets all guests


Riccarton House is only a short journey from the main conference venue.

Please contact conference organisers if you need assistance in arranging transport.