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The Denniston Experience

Denniston Plateau | North of Westport, West Coast, Denniston, New Zealand
0800 881 880
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Ranked #1 of 2 attractions in Denniston
Type: Tours
Owner description: New Zealand’s only underground coal mining experience!Underground Union ExperienceEnjoy a fully guided tour into an original 1880’s underground coal... more » Owner description: New Zealand’s only underground coal mining experience!Underground Union ExperienceEnjoy a fully guided tour into an original 1880’s underground coal mine.Kitted out with a hard hat, lamp and raincoat your journey begins with a short guided walk from the carpark to the railway station. A narrow gauge train takes you along a section of the old coal haulage route, with spectacular views over the Waimangaroa Gorge and then into the mine.Advanced audio and visuals bring the experience alive, with the sights and sounds that would have been usual back in that time. Have a go at your allocated mining job; hewer, trucker, clipper, maybe you will be the shot firer........ Learn of the myths and legends of the early coal mining culture. Watch a ghostly miner hologram to understand the harsh life of an old time Denniston coal miner. « less
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30 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

I had read The novels Dennison Rose and Heart of Coal and really wanted to see myself the 'plateau and the incline'. We did not blink at the costs as getting to Westport and Dennison was not something we would repeat soon due to the distances. It was an awesome experience, the 2 hrs trip just flew by. My 14... More

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Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

Real underground mining experience we went on a coldish day you need to wear warm clothes. Totally outside my comfort zone and felt safe the whole time - really recommend this one !! Amazing guide with tremendous knowledge.

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Morrinsville, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

This would be one of the best attractions we have done in NZ. They made it possible for us to do by offering the 5pm slot as we were travelling up from Franz Josef. Thanks to Don our guide for making this experience really enjoyable with his jokes and making it feel very realistic. Our children loved the interactive parts... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Christchurch, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We were very fortunate to have Lizze as our tour guide, she was very competent, knowledgable and witty with it. My family considered this one of the best experiences of our recent holiday. extremely good value for money, informative and not weather dependent. I am interested in trains, mines and history so it was all laid on with this trip.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Wellington, New Zealand
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
49 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Having no interest or family history in mining this wasn't something I really wanted to do but my friend really wanted to do it - and I am so glad we did! For the price ($90NZD) you definitley get your moneys worth. This is a very well run, professional operation. After getting geared up with jackets and hard hats with... More

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Poole, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
17 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

My husband wanted to do this and I wasn't that bothered as I thought it was quite expensive but I'm glad I let him talk me into it. The guide (Don) was excellent and made the trip really interesting but also fun. We all had a job down the mine and this helped to make sure everyone was included in... More

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Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

We were meet at a small cabin at the entrance to the attraction. Our guide was Don an ex miner. We were asked if we were claustrophobic, then we walked down to the "train" that would take us into the mine a short distance and from there we walked through various offshoots of the main mine. How the miners worked... More

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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We ended up being the only people on our tour with Don the guide. Before we went we thought it maybe a slightly unusual thing to do but once we got there we realised we hadn't may a mistake - it was highly enjoyable and on a par with anything else we did In the South Island. The whole tour... More

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Fox Glacier
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Our work group had a fantastic time being guided through the coal mine with Liz. We thoroughly enjoyed her enthusiasm and humour. Liz you are awesome! The Denniston Experience is simply a must if you are up in the Buller region. We had a perfect view from the incline of the coast below but I almost wished for some rain... More

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Edinburgh, Scotland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

There's loads to see and discover at Denniston - the top area of the incline and the old workings are well described on boards. But you can really make the trip by taking advantage of the Denniston Experience and travel into one of the old mines. Our guide was an ex-miner himself so was easily able to depart from the... More

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