History & heritage
Once a leading coal mining town, Denniston sits high on a steep incline railway once described as the eight wonder of the world. Spectacular scenery, incredible history, a West Coast must see.
Denniston was a hub for coal mining, where families lived in extreme conditions. Denniston offers magnificent views down to the coastal plains of the Karamea Bight and the mouth of the Waimangaroa River.
It sits 518 metres above sea level and originally only had one access: the 1,670 metre incline railway.
The railway used gravity to transport coal wagons between 1880 - 1967.
The high-grade coal was worth the hardship, with unsurpassable clean qualities that supplied even the British fleets. The 100-year-long production that was the plateau can still be seen in the Cornish stonemasonry, the town loop tracks and the walkable 2.5km coal transportation rope road linking Coalbrookdale to the Brakehead.
Walk the 1884 Bridle Path and listen to the Denniston Rose app.
Denniston Plateau also boasts several mountain biking trails in the area.
Denniston is 18 km northeast of Westport. From Westport, follow SH67 north for 15 km. Turn right at Waimangaroa onto the road to Denniston.