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The Denniston Experience

Address: Denniston Plateau, Denniston, Westport, New Zealand
Phone Number: 0800 881 880
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Ranked #1 of 2 Attractions in Denniston
Owner description: New Zealand's only underground coal mining experience! Enjoy a fully guided tour into an original...
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Attraction details
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Owner description: New Zealand's only underground coal mining experience! Enjoy 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. Open every day! The onsite office is often unmanned - Please phone to book in advance.
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44 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Wellington
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

Back in the 1870s prospectors found reserves of 70 million tons of coal up on the plateau the problem was how to get it off the mountain. The solution was to build a railway line that lowered coal wagons on cables down to the valley floor. Empty wagons were pulled up by the full ones. The Denniston Incline was described... More 

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Nelson, New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2015

Loved this trip we followed the signs they helped a lot recommend you get the pamphlet from the information room first $2. amazing walking around we didn't do the trip into the mine as it costs a lot of money. Walking around was as good as anything we saw a few old chimneys. It is good to read the book... More 

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Napier, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

How did people survive in this environment? The women must have had a terrible existance. Whilst it was no picnic for the men, living with danger all the time, the bleak and almost impossible terrain must have been very depressing. Altogether a very enlightening experience for us as we live in such luxury in comparison. Following the path of "The... More 

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Plymouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
13 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

The ride to Denniston Experience is amazing the views as you drive to the top of mountain are brilliant well worth the effort and time it took. Very instructive notice boards only sorry it was not openb for the Experience when we arrive

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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

Great guides & awesome photos information boards. We did the tour & would really recommend this, you can walk around the area unguided but u miss the chance to go into the mine. Those guys (& kids) worked in unreal conditions back in the day, life would have been pretty hard for all those in the families of denniston.

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Hokitika
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

This would have to be one of the best tours we have ever done. Such a treat. Very much still in it's natural state the mine was really interesting to explore and John our tour guide was very knowledgeable. We really like the way we were given the experience of real 1800's miners. Well done guys!

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Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2015

Our guides John and Don had a lot of interesting tales and knowledge to share. The entire experience was amazing and gave us a real insight to what mining would have been like in the 1880s. Well worth a visit and worth the miners fee.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2015

This is Def worth a look as its like no other. Amazing thing is a lot of this happened late 1800s. Top views and guide guy was very good and knowledgeable. Worth a look

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Queenstown, New Zealand
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

A bucket list experience for anyone who has read either of Jenny Patrick's 'Denniston Rose' or 'Heart of Coal'. It seems expensive at 1st glance, but when you consider what is involved it is well worth the expense. Tour guide's knowledge and the commentary are wonderful. HINT: Take some time before your trip underground to explore the old Denniston Incline... More 

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Porirua, New Zealand
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
37 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014

After reading the "Rose" books, this trip was a must, can't wait to take the grandchildren up to the plateau.

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