All-weather and Indoor Activities in Greymouth
Welcome to one of the rainiest large towns in New Zealand – a place where you’re going to want to have a few activities planned as a rainy-day backup. Luckily, Greymouth is geared up to provide, between the warm and toasty indoor attractions of the breweries to the wild and muddy adventures of 4WD off-roading. Plan your epic rainy day on the West Coast with this list of things to do in Greymouth on a rainy day.
For more all-weather and indoor attractions in Greymouth, check out The Complete Guide to Greymouth.
1. Ride the TranzAlpine Train Through Arthur’s Pass
Often ranked as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine is an unforgettable trip. The four-hour train ride goes from the rugged rainforest wilderness of Greymouth to farming plains of Christchurch, passing through commanding alpine landscape in the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Even if the weather isn’t ideal, you can still observe the breathtaking scenery from the comfort of the train carriages with panoramic windows. Treat yourself to local cuisine and regional wines from the cafe carriage in between watching the braided rivers, lakes and bush-clad mountains go by.
Location: Greymouth Train Station, 164 MacKay Street, Greymouth.
2. Go On an Off-roading Adventure with On Yer Bike
An exhilarating ride and good muddy fun, especially in the rain, On Yer Bike is a 4WD off-roading park with quad bikes, 4WD buggies and a Hagglund all-terrain vehicle. One of our favourite options is the Bush & Bog Track, which is a self-drive adventure across kilometres of native forest with waterfalls and farmland tackling all kinds of terrain between rocky stream beds to thick mud. There are also options for families with young children, like the Hagglund experience – an all-weather all-terrain ex-military vehicle that can plough through even the most extreme landscapes! See more tours like this in the 10 Things to Do in Greymouth with Kids.
Location: 511 State Highway 6, Coal Creek, approximately 6km (4 miles) from Greymouth town centre.
3. Tour the Monteith’s Brewery
Learn about the West Coast’s passion for brewing at the indoor attraction the Monteith’s Brewery. On this tour of a working brewery, meander between the vats and bottling machines while learning about the brewing process. You’ll also get an insight into the history of one of New Zealand’s oldest beermakers and see interesting relics in the mini-museum. At the end of the tour, learn how to pour your own pint so you can taste the good stuff too. The brewery also has a bar and restaurant so you can indulge in the various beer and cider combinations on a tasting paddle, as well as pair their drinks with quality food. Check out more experiences like this in the 7 Things to Do in Greymouth for Foodies.
Location: 60 Herbert Street, Greymouth.
4. Check Out the Left Bank Art Gallery
While Greymouth, unfortunately, doesn’t have a token museum you can rely on a rainy day, it does have an art gallery! The Left Bank Art Gallery can be found inside the grand architecture of a former Bank of New Zealand building showcasing contemporary New Zealand paintings, photography, sculptures and crafts. It’s also a great place to check out pounamu (greenstone/jade) art. While you’re there, browse the gift shop for handcrafted textiles, jewellery, jade, vintage pendants and carvings making for a unique souvenir to take home. See more activities like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Greymouth.
Location: 1 Tainui Street, Greymouth.
5. See a Carving Demonstration at Garth Wilson Jade
On the way in or out of Greymouth, perhaps to the Shantytown Heritage Park if it’s just drizzling, visit Garth Wilson Jade for live pounamu (greenstone/jade) carving demonstrations. The carver welcomes visitors with stories of the pounamu’s history on the West Coast and how he and his whanau (family) have gathered quality pieces of pounamu from the surrounding rivers and mountains. Browse his unique pieces to purchase if you’re looking for an authentic and cultural souvenir to take home.
Location: 63 Rutherglen Road, Paroa, approximately 9km (6 miles) from Greymouth town centre.
6. Carve Your Own Maori Bone Pendant
Nestled in the native coastal forest of Barrytown, just north of Greymouth, is the Skeleton Crew Carving Studio. This is a place to get a hands-on experience, designing (or choosing a template) and carving your own Maori-style pendant made from bone. Bone is easier and quicker to work with than the greenstone carving you can experience in Hokitika, making for a fun workshop experience that will only take you a couple of hours – just enough time to wait out the rain! With one-on-one tuition and guidance, you’ll leave with a professional-looking pendant necklace that’s polished to perfection!
Location: Barrytown, approximately 29km (18 miles) from Greymouth town centre.
7. Make Your Own Knife in Barrytown
For more crafting in Barrytown, how about making your own quality knife? Barrytown Knifemaking offers travellers the opportunity to handcraft a knife in their backyard among the punga and nikau palms. Experience the sweat of the pioneers as you immerse in this traditional skill of forging and hammering your chosen knife design. In this small-group all-day workshop, enjoy drinks, toasted sandwiches and other refreshments throughout.
Location: 2662 Coast Road, Barrytown, approximately 27km (17 miles) from Greymouth town centre.
8. Browse the Greymouth Sunday Market
Although most of New Zealand’s markets operate rain or shine, at least you don’t have to get wet if it’s raining during the Greymouth Sunday Market. Located inside the Tai Poutini Polytech if it’s raining (or outside if not), between 10am and 2pm every Sunday, the market is well worth having a look to pick up local artisan goods like cheese, relishes, jams, mustards, homebaked goods, hot coffee, hot doughnuts and more. You’ll also find unique souvenirs among the arts and crafts stalls featuring pounamu carvings, jewellery, merino wool clothing, soaps, candles and the list goes on!
Location: Tai Poutini Polytech, 73-87 Tainui Street, Greymouth town centre.
9. Try Whitebait, a West Coast Delicacy
Between mid-August and November each year, locals can be seen lining the rivers of the West Coast in the hope of catching whitebait, i.e. immature fish. Why? Because New Zealanders love whitebait fritters! See what all of the fuss is about by trying some for yourself during the whitebait season at the likes of Buccleugh’s on High or Sevenpenny, two popular dine-in restaurants, or with some classic Kiwi fish and chips from Cobdens Takeaways.
Location: Buccleugh’s on High – 68 High Street. Sevenpenny – 9 Tainui Street. Cobdens Takeaways – 126 Bright Street.
10. Have a Bite to Eat at Greymouth’s Taverns and Cafes
Speaking of food, that’s kind of what’s left when it comes to rainy day activities in Greymouth. Have a sit down with a coffee and a bite to eat at one of Greymouth’s cool cafes, like DP1 Cafe with its vintage-style decor and table numbers printed on old record discs. Or how about the Kiwi-style cafe ambience of Maggies Kitchen for affordable and hearty breakfasts, fish and chips or something else? While you might have tried Monteith’s (see point #3), don’t forget The Speight’s Ale House pouring more South Island-brewed beers along with filling lamb shank, gourmet burgers and whitebait when in season. Check out more recommendations in The Foodie Guide to Greymouth.
Location: DP1 Cafe – 104 Mawhera Quay. Maggies Kitchen – 65 Mackay Street. The Speight’s Ale House – 130 Mawhera Quay.