Historic Riccarton House (1856) sits proudly amid 12 hectares of pretty parkland and forest beside the Avon River. The grounds host the popular Christchurch Farmers Market on Saturdays; the rest of the week you can visit the lovely restaurant on the ground floor.
The biggest draw, however, is the small patch of bush behind the house. Enclosed by a vermin-proof fence, this is the last stand of kahikatea floodplain forest in Canterbury.
Kahikatea is NZ's tallest native tree, growing to heights of 60m; the tallest trees here are a mere 30m and around 300 to 600 years old. A short loop track heads through the heart of the forest.
The majority of the house is only accessible on a guided tour, departing at 2pm Sunday to Friday (adult/child $18/5, one hour), as well as at 11am on Sundays only.