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About Castlereagh Conference Centre

Inspired by the surrounding landscape, Castlereagh Conference Centre was designed to make your visit a unique, comfortable and fun experience. 

Castlereagh Conference Centre is located at the foot of the Blue Mountains in a very peaceful setting with spectacular mountain scenery all around.


We are located on the edge of the Penrith Lakes Scheme, adjacent to the Sydney International Regatta Centre and our venue comprises principal elements of the Upper Castlereagh Heritage Precinct with continuous historical links back to 1815.

Our venue has accommodation for up to a maximum of 48 guests with a minimum of 20 people. All our rooms are twin ensemble beds. Linen is included in all our rooms. All our rooms are ensuited with Air Conditioning, Kitchenettes, microwaves and TV.

We also have meeting space for up to 80 people. We offer both fully catered and self-cater options.

You can hire our venue for Retreats, Weddings, Conferences, Group Accommodation, Functions/Events.


A short timeline of the history of Castlereagh


John Lees granted 90 acres of land at Castlereagh 

John Lees bitten by a snake receives treatment and becomes a Christian 

On 7th October 1817 the first Wesleyan Methodist Church in Australia was opened.  It was a small chapel next to John Lees farmhouse at Castlereagh.

The second chapel was opened at Castlereagh by John Lees.  This chapel is now marked out by pavers in our courtyard.

John Lees passed away

The third and current chapel is opened at Castlereagh 

Centenary celebration of the establishment of the first Wesleyan Methodist Church in Australia at Castlereagh 

John Lees remains re-interned to their current location in the Upper Castlereagh Methodist Cemetery 

Methodist Church joins with Presbyterian and Congregational Churches to form the Uniting Church in Australia 

NSW Department of Planning signs deed of agreement with Penrith Lakes Development Corporation to quarry around much of the Castlereagh area, forcing many families to sell and move away. 

Rev Dr Gloster Udy presented a proposal to the Uniting Church for Castlereagh to be set up as a Conference and Retreat Centre under a 99 year lease.  This was agreed to by all parties 

1847 Chapel and 1868 Sunday School hall were both renovated  

Castlereagh Conference Centre officially opened 

John Lees

John Lees was a solider in the NSW Rum Corps who arrived in Sydney on the Ganges in 1797.  After leaving the NSW Rum Corps in 1804, John Lees was granted 90 acres by Governor King, where he farmed wheat and corn and lived with his wife Mary and his growing family.   In the early days John became addicted to alcohol, and as a result suffered a loss of some of his lands and livestock because of his alcohol addiction and debts.

One day while chopping wood for the fire, John was bitten by a deadly snake. He raced himself to Windsor, 12 miles or 19 kms away to seek medical help.  At the house of the Anglican Chaplain Rev Cartwright, he received medical aid and survived the snake bite.   This changed the course of John’s life forever, and he decided from this point forward to become a committed Christian.

The Rev Samuel Leigh came to Castlereagh in 1815 where he stayed and prayed with John Lees and his family.  After several visits by Rev Leigh, John Lees decided to build a chapel beside his farmhouse.  This chapel was opened on the 7 October 1817 and was the first Wesley Methodist Church built in Australia.

John died on 28 August 1836 and was buried at the Church of England cemetery at Castlereagh.  In 1921 John Lees was reinterred to his current grave site in the Upper Castlereagh Methodist Cemetery. Today the Penrith Uniting Church is also known as the John Lees Christian Centre in honour of this early Christian pioneer.

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