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Coaltown Museum

123 Palmerston St
New Zealand


Once you have driven over the Buller Bridge you are on the main street of Westport- Palmerston Street
Stay on this street until you reach the clocktower building on your right at 123 Palmerston St.
The Westport I-site and Coaltown Museum is located next door to the clock tower.

Coaltown Museum

The Buller District has a rich history. Opened in June 2013 our new Museum will take you on a journey through gold rush days to the settling of the district and the early development of our mining industry, the lifestyle and living conditions of its people, the geology of coal, extraction and transport systems, to port and shipping developments serving our coal and cement industries

Coaltown is a fantastic all weather attraction that appeals to every age. A great launching pad from which to explore the Buller District.

  Colourful, modern displays bring to life coal extraction and transport from wild and remote places such as Denniston, Millerton, Stockton and Seddonville along with the living and working environment of the people who made it happen and called these places home. 

Imagine yourself in the homes of those early pioneers, empathise with the women on wash day. Immerse yourself in our country's earliest union struggles. Imagine a wild incline ride on our Q wagon's 45 degree decent of the famed Denniston Incline. View the twenty ton braking drum used to control it. A simulated Mine will give you insight into the day by day working environment of a miner.

Our Maritime Display features attempts to tame the mighty Buller River and the construction  and working of the port. A three cylinder triple expansion steam marine engine, formally driving the harbour drege SD Mawhera is on display, representative of the steam era that powered our early rail and shipping.

Special interest displays will be featured from time to time complementing our history and heritage offerings. Planning is underway at present to engage with travelling exhibitions as they become available as well as those of local interest.

On display at present is a collection of cameras from around the world owed by local man Graham Howard.  The collection dates from 1885 to the 1990's and is accompanied by a collection of photographs taken by local photographer Dan Moloney in the early 1900’s.

Anyone wishing to contribute to this or any exhibit should contact the Museum


Current Promotion

Adults $10.00
Children $2
Pre School Free
Rate Payers $5 
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General Info

Payment Options:

Cash, EFTPOS, credit card

Open 7 days a week

April – November Winter Hours
10am to 4pm weekends and 9am to 4.30pm weekdays
December - March Summer Hours
9am - 5pm 7 days a week

offered for organized tour groups 10+, please contact us below.

Contact Details

123 Palmerston St
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 789 6658

or The Westport I-site


Contact Us