Denniston is a town that represents a century of wealth and an economic boon period that covered many generations. Denniston is the symbol/icon that represents the coal mining industry.
Over the last 50 years or more Denniston has been allowed to fall into total decay. Broken, rusted and ignored the Denniston Township has all but disappeared. Fortunately a group of well intended people have seen the good sense to return Denniston into a ‘Port Arthur’ of New Zealand’ i.e. have seen the long term tourist potential.
Denniston has also been made ‘famous’ by Jenny Patrick novel The Denniston Rose. The book accurately represents the coal mining era and Denniston in particular. This certainly was a hard tough period, but Denniston.
Denniston is on the small Mount Rochfort Plateau in the Papahaua Ranges 600 metres above sea level, some 20 kilometres north-east of Westport. Near the Granity township a War Memorial to the fallen from Denniston was erected.
During the early years of the 20th century Denniston's population was close to 2000, due to the large coal mine close to the town. It is now little more than a ghost town, with a population of less than 50.