What to Do in Greymouth, the Largest Town on the West Coast
Greymouth is a must-stop on a West Coast road trip! Not only will you want to grab supplies, have a coffee at the bustling cafes and wander around the art galleries, but the town is also in close proximity to many outdoor adventures. Get stunning views from the town’s walks, such as along the Floodwall to the Blaketown Tiphead, or feel the adrenaline on a self-drive quad biking tour! Discover the mining history of the area at sites like the Brunner Mine Memorial or the town’s museum. At the end of it all, you can relax with a beer or a full tour at the local brewery. Plan your visit with this list of things to do in Greymouth!
1. Do the Floodwall Walk
An easy walk within Greymouth, follow the floodwall beside the Grey River towards the river mouth. Features of the walk include a monument to 300 men who died in West Coast mining disasters, watching the locals fish, passing historic cranes and birdwatching at the sandbar. At theBlaketown Tiphead, enjoy spectacular views all the way to Aoraki Mt Cook on a clear day! Additionally, this is a great place to watch the sunset. Check out the 10 Best Walks in Greymouth for more walks in the area.
Location: Mawhera Quay
2. Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail
Greymouth marks the beginning of the 2-4 day West Coast Wilderness Trail. This 120km bike trail to Ross takes old miners’ trails through rainforest, past glacial rivers, lakes, wetlands and along the Tasman Sea. Stop along the way in quaint West Coast villages like Kumara, Lake Kaniere and Hokitika. The trail is mostly off-road and starts from the centre of Greymouth with plenty of bike hire and shuttle options for the one-way trip.
Location: The trail starts on the Floodwall opposite the i-SITE
3. Take the TranzAlpine Train through Arthur’s Pass
Greymouth is the final (or first) stop on the renowned TranzAlpine Train. This scenic train journey takes passengers through the majestic Arthur’s Pass National Park all the way to Christchurch. Enjoy the views from the open-air viewing carriages and relax with a treat from the cafe carriage.
Location: Greymouth Train Station, Mackay Street
4. Visit the Brunner Mine Site
A short drive from Greymouth is where one of New Zealand’s worst industrial disasters occurred. In 1896, an explosion killed 67 miners. The Brunner Mine was mined from 1864 and also produced coke and brick – many of these relics you can see today. Learn about the history of the mine at the Brunner Mine Memorial and on a short walk accessible from a restored suspension bridge crossing the Grey River. For more attractions like this, see the 10 Interesting Historical Places on the West Coast.
Location: State Highway 7, 11km east of Greymouth
5. Take a Trip Down the Grey Valley
Take the road less travelled and discover the history and small towns of the Grey Valley. The valley follows the Grey River incorporating interesting towns like Blackball. Snap up a photo of Formerly the Blackball Hilton, a hotel and pub that famously got into a dispute with a certain international hotel chain. You’ll also want to pop into the Blackball Salami Company’s store to taste incredible gourmet meat products. The valley also has a myriad of hiking and mountain biking trails which you can find out more about in our 10 Best Walks in Greymouth and Mountain Biking on the West Coast.
Location: Blackball, 24km east of Greymouth on the Taylorville-Blackball Road
6. Go on a Self-drive Off-roading Adventure
Explore the stunning forest and a fair bit of mud on a self-drive 4×4 tour with On Yer Bike! Choose your self-drive off-roading adventure: a 44 buggy or quad bike. Alternatively, just enjoy the ride in one of the beasty Hagglund machines around a purpose-built mud-tastic track extending more than 16km through a mix of farmland and forest.
Location: 511 State Highway 6, 5km north of Greymouth
7. Tour a Working Brewery at the Monteith’s Brewery
Beer is kind of a big deal in New Zealand, so check out the brewery of one of New Zealand’s biggest beer brands right here in Greymouth! The Monteith’s Brewery offers tours of the working brewery and gives visitors the opportunity to pour their own pint. Check out the on-site mini-museum, enjoy tasting trays and pair beer and food at the restaurant.
Location: 60 Herbert Street
8. Visit the Historic Shantytown
Step back in time at this recreated pioneer town with more than 30 buildings to explore. Ride a steam train through the town, experience a working sawmill, pan for gold, check out an interactive museum and dress up in old-world costumes for fun photo opportunities. There’s even an on-site cafe! Check it all out at Shantytown.
Location: Rutherglen Road, 11km south of Greymouth
9. Check out the History House
Learn about the people that flocked to Greymouth and the West Coast during the coal mining and gold rush eras to earn their fortunes despite the dangers and hardships of the jobs! The History House is a museum packed with relics found all over the region. Find more museums in the area with our 10 Interesting Museums on the West Coast.
Location: 27 Gresson Street.
10. Visit the Local Art Galleries & Jade Studios
Wander the streets of Greymouth and you’ll find plenty of inspiration, as well as unique souvenirs of your visit to the West Coast. Check out Shades of Jade selling authentic West Coast pounamu carved into all kinds of jewellery or check out the Garth Wilson Jade studio. See fine art photography and gifts at the Nimmo Gallery & Store.
Location: Shades of Jade – 22 Tainui Street, Garth Wilson Jade – 63 Rutherglen Road, Nimmo Gallery – 102 Mackay Street.