The Top Places to Visit Near Greymouth
The largest town on the wild West Coast of the South Island, Greymouth makes an ideal base for exploring New Zealand’s rugged side. Whether you’ve made your own way here or taken the TranzAlpine from Christchurch, it’s worth staying at least a couple of days in Greymouth to enjoy its amazing day trips. To the north, you have the striking rock formations in Punakaiki, while to the south is the artsy town of Hokitika. Inland also has a couple of noteworthy day trips well worth fuelling the car up for. Find out more in this guide to the best day trips from Greymouth.
For more trip-planning talk, check out The Complete Guide to Greymouth.
5 Best Day Tours from Greymouth
Before checking out the self-drive day trips from Greymouth, take a look at these day tour alternatives. Leave the hassle of organising a trip, not to mention the driving, to experienced tour guides by selecting one of the below day tours from Greymouth:
- Punakaiki Pancake Rocks Scenic Tour with Explore West Coast (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Explore Hokitika Gorge and Tree Top Walkway with Explore West Coast (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Shantytown Heritage Park Tour with Explore West Coast (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Greenstone Tour with Arahura Greenstone Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Greymouth to Christchurch TranzAlpine with KiwiRail (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Moana and Lake Brunner
The Best Day Trip from Greymouth for Families
Travel time by car: 35 minutes one-way
Get off the beaten track and discover the West Coast’s inland adventures by taking a day trip to Moana. On the shores of Lake Brunner, Moana offers walking and hiking trails, excellent swimming in summer, and trout fishing. All of this has the backdrop of Lake Brunner’s reflective tannin-filled waters and the Southern Alps mountains.
Plan your trip to Moana using the 6 Amazing Things to Do at Lake Brunner & Moana.
The Best Day Trip from Greymouth for Couples
Travel north along the Great Coast Road to the tiny settlement of Punakaiki. While the town might be small, it’s home to some big attractions like the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, the Punakaiki Cavern and the Porarari River Track. Punakaiki also offers horse riding and kayaking tours.
For more information on activities, check out the 9 Awesome Things to Do in Punakaiki.
The Best Day Trip from Greymouth for Luxury Travellers
Take a day trip to Hokitika to explore its beautiful beach of driftwood sculptures, visit greenstone carving studios and much more. Some of the surrounding highlights include the scene of milky blue waters in a rugged river gorge at Hokitika Gorge, as well as the unique Westcoast Treetop Walk (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Check out the 10 Awesome Things to Do in Hokitika for more activities.
The Best Day Trip from Greymouth for Foodies
Travel time by car: 1 hour one-way
A charming historical town along the Inangahua River, Reefton offers some surprising finds. Not only is it a mountain biking and trout fishing mecca, but it is a pioneer in the public distribution of electricity. Learn about it at the town’s historic power station and see the street light which was the first to be lit by electricity in the Southern Hemisphere. You can also try your hand at gold panning, meet “The Bearded Miners” and enjoy the endearing tearooms.
Find out more about what you can do here using the 15 Awesome Things to Do in Reefton.
Arthur’s Pass National Park
The Best Day Trip from Greymouth for Budget Travellers
Travel time by car: 1h10mins one-way
Dividing Greymouth and the Canterbury region is Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps. Enjoy a scenic drive to Arthur’s Pass Village which is the start of a myriad of walking trails to various waterfalls enveloped in mountain scenery. You’ll also find plenty of mountain biking trails, as well as the Temple Basin ski field open in winter.
Find out more about exploring Arthur’s Pass National Park on the Department of Conservation’s website.