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The Denniston Experience

Denniston Plateau, Denniston, Westport, 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! Enjoy a fully guided tour into an original 1880's underground coal mine. Kitted out with a... more » 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. « less
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Porirua, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014 NEW

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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Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014

My husband and I recently visited the Denniston Plateau and had an amazing tour through the old Banbury mine. We were both pleasantly surprised at the level of participation and interaction with the environment that we had. Don was a fantastic tour guide and it was made all the better for us knowing that he had spent a number of... More

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Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

If you are interested in the history of mining, this is a great tour. It is like taking a step back in time. You will get a great sense of what the miners endured. Liz, was a great guide. Just be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes.

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Blenheim, New Zealand
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

We did not do tour as closed when we were there. We walked around the Denniston area and saw the Denniston Incline. From when we visited a number of years ago the area has been looked after well. There are new bill boards up explaining things and where things were. There has been a lookout built looking over the Incline... More

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Titirangifern, Manager at The Denniston Experience, responded to this review

Great to here you had a good time. Just to let everyone know: We are always open, however you do need you to phone the 0800 number to make a booking in advance. Often our onsite office is closed as our guides are setting up for or conducting a tour. It does take approximately 2 hours for all mine set... More

Christchurch, New Zealand
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
48 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

Having read The Denniston Rose by Jenny Pattrick,some years ago, I was determined to come up here and see for myself what it was like to be in NZ's harshest yet most productive coal mine. The shere feat of getting the rail link through the INCLINE from the plateau to Conn's Creek and the Rail Line below is mind-boggoling! The... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
8 helpful votes 8 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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