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.
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
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.
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.nzPosted 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
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, GreymouthPosted 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
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
White water rafting in Greymouth. The water runs off a glacier and is FREEZINGPosted by Phillippa Hewitt on Friday, 18 January 2008
Kayaking on Pororari River, Paparoa National Park - near Punakaiki, South Island #NewZealandPosted by InsideOutAdventures on Sunday, 2 November 2014
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
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.
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.
Get Trip101 in your inbox