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Denniston Incline, Bridal Track Walk

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Waimangaroa  » Denniston Incline, Bridal Track Walk – Walk detail

The Denniston Bridle track walk is a pleasant, if rather steep in parts, bush walk of 5k that will take you around 2 hours. A short branch track near the top leads to the incline that carried coal down (and sometimes brave passengers up), this is a great walk too. A lower branch to the Waimangaroa-Denniston road offers a shorter walking option.

Quick Facts

        • Location: West Coast South Island
        • Distance: 5.00 kms
        • Time needed: 2 Hours
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: One Way
        • Elevation: 560m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: Yes
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    You are in the bush all the way to the bottom.

  • Track Quality

    Down hill all the way, good for running and Mountain Bikes

  • Hazards

    A little steep in places and lots of rocks

  • Transport


  • Water


  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    16 Km to Westport

  • Area & Track History

    In 1879 the Denniston Incline was built to move coal from Denniston down 1.700 feet to Conn’s Creek. 14 wagons of coal per hour at 12 tons each speed along at 80kph down the 1 in 1.69. Incline. The Denniston mining community of over 1500 people had only one way to get from Denniston down to Conn’s Creek and back, ride the 1,700 feet in the coal wagons. A lot of food and household goods and people never made the dangerous journey up to Denniston. When the new 5km Bridle track was opened in 1858 it was forbidden ride the coal wagons. In 1967 the Incline was closed down because of the drop in coal sales and the expensive repair work needed to keep the Denniston incline operating. After moving 12 million tons down the Denniston incline it was decided to close it down and use trucks to move the coal down the new Denniston road.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Denniston Incline, Bridal Track Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Denniston Bridle Track

After climbing up the Denniston Incline Breakhead I returned to the car via the 560m decent down the Denniston Bridle Track to Conns Creek road. The start of the track was just to the left of the Denniston Breakhead, 10m. The day I did this walk there was a warning about a slip across the track, it was not a problem at all.

Point 2: Conns Creek Road

There is not a lot to see on the Bridle track, quite steep at the beginning. I pity the miners who had to hall there goods up this incline. The bush in places was not to bad, a lot more open then I thought. There were two slips, both had steeps cut into them but it would have been no problem otherwise. The track past a couple of interesting rock formation and one creek with the water running under the rather large boulders and that was that. One Mile Log Road turn off it is just 5 minutes from the turn off, or continue on for 30 minutes to Conns Creek Rd. You drive past the end of this track when you drive to the start of the Denniston Incline. The Bridle track would be great for mountain bikes.

All walks in Waimangaroa…

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Contact info

Denniston 7891, New Zealand

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