Banbury underground coal mine
1879-1890, a place all but forgotten.

The normal daily tours recommence in October, slight changes to times and prices!

Underground Union Experience Tour

Take a train ride along the old coal transport road high above the dramatic Waimangaroa Gorge and walk 200 metres into the first of the historic 1880's Denniston coal mines. State-of-the-art audio and visual effects simulate the harsh life of a Denniston miner. Here you will perform your allocated miners job; putting up pit props, shovelling coal, more...

A truly authentic, unique and interactive mine experience

Hardy souls..
..lived and worked in the windswept bleakness of Denniston`s infamous mountain plateau on New Zealand's wild West Coast. Midst the endless tapping of picks, creaking of props and earthy black soot of ever present coal dust from an 1880s coal mine, a proud and close-knit community formed within this remarkable land of contrasts.

Plunge deep...
...into the darkness of one of New Zealand's oldest sources of energy and industrial innovation.

...your own pioneering spirit tagging into the Banbury mine and becoming part of its underground workings - swinging banjo shovels, clipping coal tubs, erecting pit props and imagining the extremes of life at the coalface.

Banbury 1879-1890 - New Zealand's only underground coal mine still open to the public. Take a journey inward at the place all but forgotten.

Denniston History

Learn why Denniston was considered the "8th Wonder of the World" and either loved or loathed by locals.

Other Activities

Explore walking and mountain biking around Denniston, along with other natural West Coast attractions.

What visitors say about The Denniston Experience

Amazing trip and staff
Val - Te Puke
Brilliant Experience, a must do!
Phil & Robyn - Dunedin
Very Interesting
We learnt a lot
Jemimah & Elijah - Blenheim
Best thing ever
Amber - Blenheim
Bloody Marvellous
Wayne - Marshlands
Terry & Jo - West Melton
Just the best experience
Christine - Rotorua
Amazing experience
Tania - Queensland
Fab tour
Very interesting and poignant. The interactive part was great fun.
Len & June - Rep of Ireland
Brilliant. Sobering
Mike - Wellington
Thank you!
Very impressive and informative
Sarah - Hamburg
Brilliant. Will tell the world!
Faye - Dunedin
Fantastic Tour!
Tony - Rotorua
Absolutely Awesome
Mitch, Tania, Sophie & Emily - Australia
Outstanding guide
A great experience but I would not like to do it [mining] as a job
John - Wellington
Boys loved it and learnt a lot, thanks.
Fantastic Experience! Really impressed by the guides and the experience. Boys loved it and learnt a lot, thanks.
Wellesley School
Better than Minecraft
Great for the family
Eva, Warren, Flynn and Luke - Dunedin
Great guides and support for nervous mothers, the boys loved it too. Fantastic!
Best tour I've ever done