History & heritage

Coaltown Museum

Call Directions

About

Coaltown is a museum dedicated to telling the stories of the pioneers who battled our rugged environment in search of a better life.

Hours

Winter Hours 9am to 5pm weekdays, 10am to 4pm weekends Summer Hours 9am - 5pm 7 days a week

More information

The Buller District has a rich history and our museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the pioneers who battled our rugged environment in search of a better life.

Westport is a town built on coal extraction from wild and remote places like Denniston, Stockton and Millerton where daily life was a struggle and comfort a luxury.

There was only one practical way to get the “black gold” away from the coast for sale to the world's industries and that was through the port at Westport.

Coaltown is a fantastic all-weather attraction that appeals to all ages. Coaltown and Westport are a great launching pad for exploring the Buller District.

Coaltown Museum displays

The various displays focus on the formation of coal, maritime history, unionism, the communities, transport and the men underground.

It is a colourful and modern museum that brings the past to life and links the past to the present.

On display we have a huge “Q” Wagon used on the world-famous Denniston Incline.

This large 8-ton coal wagon is perched at 450 showing the grade of the steepest part of the Incline.

We also have a 20-ton brake drum used to slow the wagons as they raced down the Incline. A simulated underground mine will give you an insight into the working conditions of the miners.

Our collections of photographs and objects will paint a picture of the hard daily life, not just for the miners but also the families that called these wild and remote places home.

Our Maritime Display shows the attempts to tame the mighty Buller River and turn it into a usable port to get the riches out to the rest of the world.

Directions

123 Palmerston St, Westport 7825, West Coast, New Zealand
Get directions

Related Listings

Westport and Karamea
Towns, Places & Info centres
Murchison Information Centre Murchison Information Centre

We do bookings and reservations and provide friendly and professional advice and information.

Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Transport
Air Charter Karamea Air Charter Karamea

Karamea's only aeroplane charter company, offering Heaphy Track and Old Ghost Road transfers.

Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Oparara Arches in Karamea - New Zealand - 1853 Oparara Experience

Join us on one of our guided eco tours amongst the pristine rainforest and limestone caves of the unique Oparara Basin. Several tour options available.

$95 - $150
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Heaphy The Heaphy Track

One of New Zealand’s nine great walks, the Heaphy Track, finishes (or starts, depending on which way you’re heading) at Karamea. The 82-kilometre, four-day tramp attracts visitors from all over the world every year.

Children - Free. Adults $14 to $32
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
See & Do
Denniston Mine Denniston

Once a leading coal mining town, Denniston sits high on a steep incline railway once described as the eight wonder of the world.

FREE
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Towns, Places & Info centres
Karamea information centre Karamea Information and Resource Centre

Karamea has a relaxed ‘off the beaten track’ feel.

Learn more