We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Must Do Exeperience”
Review of The Denniston Experience - CLOSED

The Denniston Experience
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Must Do Exeperience”
Reviewed February 25, 2012

I endorse all the positive comments in the other reviews - well done to the crew and all concerned with this new venture. It's still in its early days and the range of offerings is limited at this stage but the 2-hour mining experience is well worth doing. A bit pricey for a family group, but kids would love being involved in the various activities which make the reality of a miner's workin life very clear.

Highly recommended, and I look forward to a return visit in 12 months with my husband to do it all again.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank beemull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

119 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    106
    12
    1
    0
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“What an amazing experience - if on the west-coast, this is a top priority”
Reviewed January 26, 2012

A friend of a friend said that the The Denniston Experience had just been taken over buy some locals from DOC and had done an amazing job of bring alive this once active coal mine.

So worth every penny and would recommend everyone to head along.

It was very educational and i now understand how hard those time where for the miners.

Cheers

Chris

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank cfboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“This is absolutely brilliant!!!”
Reviewed November 17, 2011

The Denniston Experience was fantasic. Our two guides took us to the miine entrance stopping along the way to explain about the history and what was there. Before going into the mine you get designated a "job" then hop onto a little train and in you go.

You go through the tunnel all the while the guides give you stories about what life was like, what the miners did in their day to day lives and explain about what you are seeing. During this whole tour you try out your "job". I.e if you are a clanger, you ring the bell that warn's people you are coming. The sound effects throughout were truly amazing and the rat sounds creeped me out!!

Afterwards you can walk around the area, enjoying all the amazing views expecially the Denniston Incline which was regarded as the 8th wonder of the engineering world.

Absolutely brilliant and I would highly recommend for everyone that goes to the West Coast.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank CatM22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
christchurch
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“amazing interactive insight into life as a west coast miner”
Reviewed November 12, 2011

. Excellent guides-one was a miner who had worked locally in the mines so had first hand knowledge . The whole experience from start to finish was really interesting. Everyone takes on a role as a worker in the mine so someone shovels and screeds coal , another person is a surveyor, another drills holes with a huge boring device all deep inside the mine! There is also a 'speaking hologram' which is very moving and poignant .
. Not suitable for young children though Also rather costly...but worth it

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank juliestewart01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Really Great experience”
Reviewed August 12, 2011

Very well run tour with lots of great info, Well worth the trip. Its a great look into the past.
The views from the hill were out standing.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
Thank bazils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Denniston Experience also viewed

Westport, West Coast Region
Westport, West Coast Region
 
Westport, West Coast Region
Westport, West Coast Region
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing