Denniston – Part 2

Let’s continue exploring Denniston. Being on a plateau, a good 600 meters above the township of Waimangaroa and where the railway line stood, it took a bit of work to get the coal down to the trains for transport.

Denniston Heritage Site

They had a few ways of getting down. There was the road, but that was not very efficient, being winding, narrow, unpaved and so very dangerous. So they built a cable railway straight down the hill that was eventually called the Denniston Incline.

Denniston Heritage Site

Gravity would move the filled wagons down the hill and also pull any empty wagons back up.

Denniston Heritage Site

You can probably tell that it wasn’t the safest of ways to transport a fully-laden coal wagon, especially when the wagon derails, which was rather quite often apparently. Since no adult wanted to lose their life down the hill, the ‘drivers’ of these wagons were often young boys of 12 or 13 years old.

Well, that’s all from Denniston. Mining is still going on in the area, but on a hill some 20km further north. I hope today they’ve got a less dangerous method of transportation.

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