Step back in time and experience a world of Victorian and Edwardian splendour at The Riccarton House, 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 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. Tour the house and learn about the pioneering Deans family. Many original family items, ranging from china, furniture, brogue shoes and a violin are on display.
Darfield is a town in heart of the Malvern farming area. Watch the sheepdogs in action on a working sheep and cattle farm of 1350 acres and view a sheep-shearing demonstration, it is quite fascinating. The Deans family has farmed Homebush since 1851. Originally, they leased 33,000 acres and bought the land when they could afford it. In 1906 the Government divided up all the big runs and Homebush was divided amongst six brothers. The farm buildings, built from the 1850's onwards, and most still survive, including the woolshed, stables, pigsties, house and the apple house built out of bricks made at the Homebush Pottery and Tile Works. They are a magnificent legacy to pioneering rural life and classified in Category One by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The garden was established in the very early days and different generations of the family have made their mark. The trees, planted from 1851, are magnificent and are protected.
On the return trip, see the main Christchurch city landmarks including Cathedral Square, the Avon River, the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral and many more.