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The Denniston Experience

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Address: Denniston Plateau, Denniston, Westport, New Zealand
Phone Number:
+64 800 881 880
Website
Today
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Description:

New Zealand's only underground coal mining experience!

Enjoy a fully guided...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 110 reviews
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  • 96
    Excellent
  • 11
    Very good
  • 1
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    Terrible
Real mining history

Excellently presented tour bringing to life the hardship and toil of working underground and living in a harsh environment.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
M7448SJjohn
,
England, United Kingdom
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110 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 108: English reviews
England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Excellently presented tour bringing to life the hardship and toil of working underground and living in a harsh environment.

Helpful?
1 Thank M7448SJjohn
Kapiti Coast, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Great commentary by an ex miner gives you a great insight into the hardships and lives of those hardy fellas staying 'bent over' for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The hands-on jobs we all got gives a feeling of actually 'doing it'

Helpful?
Thank PeteanMarie K
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

As a person who has a lot of interest in the history at Denniston, i couldnt wait to go on this tour. I enjoyed every second of it! What a life these people lived, living and working in these conditions. Awesome guide, awesome service. Very well done and authentic. Loved it. Wont be the last time I do it either.

Helpful?
Thank Delboy1973
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Absolutely fantastic. Well thought out, historically interesting, engages brain and body. DO wear closed shoes as you won't be allowed in the mine otherwise. If you are claustophobic then possibly this isn't for you, but if you can get over that - do try!

Helpful?
Thank Karen C
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

It was a foggy and rainy day but with the hard hats and high visibility coats provided the weather wasn't an issue. We all had an enjoyable time including out 14 and 17 yr old girls. Our guides were informative having both worked in the mine previously. The tour was full of humour, fun interactive tasks, great holograms and incredibly... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sue R
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This is a great coal mine experience. Not many old coal mines are open to the public, so this is a rare experience, helped by the guides being ex coal miners. A little train ride, going 200m into the mine and having a go at some of the jobs, all ads to the experience. We worth the 5 stars most... More 

Helpful?
Thank oranom
wellington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Did this tour on a cold, rainy day in January - and it was just fantastic. Nigel was our guide and he provided a great service - knowledgeable and happy to answer questions. It's so hard to get the the combination right in a guide sometimes - and he does it perfectly. Our 8 and 11 year old boys just... More 

Helpful?
Thank marniel
Blenheim, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great 2 1/2 hour tour. Heaps of information about the past. Tour guide is very interesting. Going into a real mine and seeing how it worked over 100 years ago was both scary and fascinating. Couldn't believe the harshness of life on the Denniston Plateau.

Helpful?
Thank lovemarlborough2014
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Up with family and did the underground experience. The tour guide was born on the hill and had a great deal of knowledge to offer and insights to what life was like for the miners and their families there. Was a great underground experience and would highly recommend visiting.

Helpful?
Thank Steve A
Greater Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2016

We visited The Denniston Experience as a group of 20. The pre-arranged tour was split into two groups, each very professionally and interestingly conducted. The historic and engineering information was excellent as was the train ride into the mine. Well worth the drive up into the clouds!

Helpful?
1 Thank martingI5453FM

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Questions & Answers

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Papamoa, New Zealand

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?