Explore The Gold-Mining Town Greymouth, NZ With These 10 Things To Do!

things to do in greymouth nz

With a mile long history of Gold Mining, Greymouth is the largest town of New Zealand’s west coast. Along with the gold mining, this town is also popular for its history of Jade hunting. This old town used to be known as the Mawhera to the Māori dynasty, which loosely signifies, ‘Wide-spread river mouth’. The history of this town is also painted with the picture of dramatic floods around the famous Grey River.

The West Coast of the South Island is also famous for its amazing natural beauty. The hills and mountains of this area merge with the Tasman Sea, with the wide variety of native forests and the lakes. The glaciers around this area are also accessible from the city of Greymouth, and so is the beauty of Southern Alps. Search for the history of the town or explore the beauty of nature with these best things to do in Greymouth, NZ.

1. A visit to Shantytown in search of the history of gold

Shantytown is known as the village of the gold-rush. The historic building of this heritage park will give you an excellent feel of traveling into the 19th-century. There are around 30 historic buildings and a church which was constructed in the 1970s to preserve and showcase the history of gold mining. These buildings were created as replicas of the shops of the 19th-century, including a hotel, lodge, bank, shoe-shops, butcher shops, along with a hospital and a railway station. There is also a small township describing the colony of the Chinese settlers which is called ‘Chinatown’. To complete your journey through history, don’t miss a ride on the vintage steam train.


Address: 316 Rutherglen Rd, Rutherglen, Greymouth 7805, New Zealand

Website: Official Website of Shantytown

2. Have a taste of beer in Monteith’s Brewery

Monteith’s Brewery not only offers the finest taste of beer, it also takes you through the history and tradition of the brewing. This brewery was established in the late 19th-century, and it used to be called Phoenix Brewery. This legendary brewery also gives you the experience of witnessing the brewing process of the beer first-hand.

Monteith’s Brewery

Address: 60 Herbert St, Greymouth 7805, New Zealand

Website: Monteith’s Brewery

3. A TranzAlpine train ride to get a glimpse of the Southern Alps

A post shared by Geoff O'Hearn (@geoffohearn) on Jun 10, 2017 at 12:56am PDT

The TranzAlpine train connects the two cities, Greymouth and Christchurch. The whole journey covers 223 kilometers (139 miles), through the Southern Alps, Canterbury Plains, and native beech forest. The TranzAlpine train is run by the operator Kiwi Rail. The daily train takes you on a journey between the two cities, providing a view of the snow-covered Southern Alps, Waimakariri River and many other attractions.

TranzAlpine train

Website: Kiwi Rail

4. Opt for a road-trip through the Greymouth-Westport driving route

Our 'Must Drive' this week is the route between Westport and Greymouth - a great winding coastal road with spectacular views. Image: paroa.co.nz

Posted by Volvo Car New Zealand on Thursday, 10 April 2014

This scenic route provides you with amazing views of the coast throughout the whole journey. The Greymouth-Westport route runs through the State Highway 6, with the stretch of the coast. On the southern part of the stretch, you can stop and enjoy the Paparoa National Park. The unusual rock formation of Punakaiki is not to be missed around this area.

5. Punakaiki: the land of pancake rocks

Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki, NZ
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Christian Michel used under CC BY 2.0

Sandwiched between Westport and Greymouth, the Punakaiki settlement is the gateway to one of the wonders of nature, the pancake rocks. A short walk through the native forests from the Dolomite Point takes you to the coastal region which has the bunch of lime stones, shaped like pancakes. A visit to the Punakaiki can normally be completed in a half-day trip.


Website: Official Website of New-Zealand

6. A day trip to visit the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers

The west coast of New Zealand is glittered by the presence of the amazing glaciers. The Franz Josef Township is one of the gateways of these wonders. The glimpse of the Fox Glacier will remind you of the ice age, with its white frozen rivers. The Fox Glacier is named after a Prime Minister of New Zealand, William Fox. On the way, visit the Lake Matheson. Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, Lake Matherson portrays the amazing reflective beauty of Mount Tasman and Mouth Cook. While visiting the lake, you can enjoy a cup of coffee in the Matheson Café. In the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, you can experience adventure activities like skydiving over the Fox Glaciers, glacier walks, or a chopper ride around the glaciers.

Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers

Website: Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers

7. Take a hike through the Point Elizabeth Walkway

Southern Alps, Tasman Sea, Point Elizabeth Walkway, Cobden, Greymouth

Posted by Justine Orme on Saturday, 10 September 2016

Hiking through the Point Elizabeth Walkway gives the experiences of both a bush and coastal walk. The track with a sea view was originally built by the 19th-century gold miners. The journey ends with a cliff-top viewpoint, which gives a total view of the surrounding areas and the sea. The nikau palm, the southernmost palm tree of the world, can be found on this walking track.

Point Elizabeth Walkway

Website: Point Elizabeth Walkway

8. Take a bike ride to Kumara

Posted by See and Do New Zealand on Thursday, 1 June 2017

Posted by See and Do New Zealand on Thursday, 1 June 2017

If you are not up for some serious walking, you can take a bike ride instead. The cycle trail from Greymouth to Kumara is an easy one. The trail mainly starts from the railway station of Greymouth. Cycling through the path beside the Gray River, you will reach the Tasman Sea. The trail now follows the coastal region of the Tasman Sea, to the Taramakau River. After crossing the river, the trail winds up through the farms and forest of the historical land of Kumara. The town Kumara also has a history of cultivation, and gold hunting. Explore this small historic town properly, before starting your return journey.

Bike Ride from Greymouth to Kumara

Website: West Coast Wilderness Trail

9. Adventure activities around the town

Paparoa National Park
Source: Pixabay

White water rafting in Greymouth. The water runs off a glacier and is FREEZING

Posted by Phillippa Hewitt on Friday, 18 January 2008

If your dose of adventure is not finished with hiking and cycling trip through Greymouth, you can try a serious dose of adventures like white water rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. White water rafting can be done over the Grey River, and you can visit the Paparoa National Park to enjoy activities like kayaking and canoeing. The Paparoa National Park is located very close to Punakaiki, and it can be reached through the Greymouth-Westport driving route.

Paparoa National Park

Address: 4300 State Highway 6, Punakaiki 7873, New Zealand

Website: Paparoa National Park

10. Lastly, enjoy the sea and the sun at Rapahoe Beach

A post shared by Stacey (@stacey_rae29) on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:26pm PDT

If you’ve had enough doses of adventures and history, then head towards the Rapahoe Beach. It is located around 11 km (6.8 miles) north of the Greymouth town. The beach offers you a chance to relax on the beach, alone or with family. The beach is also good for collecting beautiful looking stones; if you are lucky, you can also find the precious greenstone of this area.

Rapahoe Beach

Address: Rapahoe, Greymouth 7803, New Zealand

Greymouth, Jade-hunting, adventures and much more....

The jade-hunting town is also is famous for New Zealand Jade or Greenstone. The jade is called ‘Pounamu’ in the local language, which is also famous for its spiritual significance. So, search for the Greenstone, hike or cycle through the coast, and explore history; your days in Greymouth are sure to be fulfilling and enjoyable.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

The main purpose of Saptami's life is to explore the unknown. After completing her MBA, she did not want to get into a 9-to-5 kind of job. Saptami wants to be free to be able to travel and explore...Read more

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Greymouth
Good things are meant to be shared!