Coaltown Museum

Useful Information

Location: 165 Queen Street, Westport
Open: OCT to APR daily 9-16:30.
MAY to SEP daily 10-16.
Fee: Adults NZD 12, Children (6-16) NZD 5, Children (0-5) free, Students NZD 10, Seniors NZD 10, Family (2+3) NZD 28.
Classification: MineCoal Mine SubterraneaMuseums
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Coaltown Museum, 165 Queen Street, Westport 7825, Tel: +64-3789-8204, Fax: +64-3789-8204. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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2010 completely renovated and new location.


The Coaltown Museum at Westport is a mining museum dedicated to the local coal mining heritage. It includes what they call a true-to-life coalmine, a replica of a local colliery with machinery and tools. The mining technology is explained in a movie.

The most impressive exhibit is probably the 20 ton brake drum used on the Denniston incline. This steep hillside with an angle of 45° was used to transport the coal from the Banbury Mine near Denniston to the valley. The machinery was adapted to this incline and the brake was used to stop and hold a so-called Q wagon, a huge trolley full of coal. The Denniston incline is on the list of Historic Places and a DOC Site. It may be visited with the Banbury Mine Tour.

There are other exhibits on gold mining, saw milling, transport, maritime, a mineral collection, and a brewery. So it is actually a historic museum with a strong emphasis on mining.