How to Visit Greymouth on a Budget
The largest town on the West Coast, Greymouth is a lively hub with a rich mining history, spectacular coastal views and close to the must-see natural attractions. Pick any of the free walks in the area and it’s likely you’ll be passing through tunnels carved by miners. You can hit the road to many breathtaking attractions, from the Pancake Rocks to the glacier-carved Lake Brunner, as Greymouth is an idyllic base for star-shaped travel. What’s more, the town is home to vibrant and friendly hostels, homely motels and fun-filled holiday parks. All of this combined with the cheap eats to try iconic West Coast cuisine makes for an awesome budget trip to Greymouth.
Plan your affordable getaway to the banks of the Grey River with this complete travel guide to Greymouth on a budget.
Budget Tips for Greymouth
- Visit in the off-season (May to September) to find discounts on accommodation and tours
- Hostels are the cheapest type of accommodation that often offer a few more extras than cheap motels or hotels – like free breakfast
- Stay in self-catering accommodation to save money on food. There are Countdown and New World supermarkets in town
- It’s handy to have your own vehicle for making the most of the surrounding attractions (but there are tour companies like Explore West Coast that offer transport and tours to see the highlights)
- Fill up your itinerary with the free and cheap things to do in Greymouth.
For more general budget tips, take a look at the 11 Ways to Save Money When Backpacking in New Zealand.
Free Activities in Greymouth
Thankfully for travellers on a tight budget, most of the attractions in Greymouth are free to visit! However, with some of them being a little out of town, you will need to consider fuel costs.
Greymouth is home to some interesting historical sites to commemorate its rich heritage in coal and gold mining. One such site is the Brunner Mine Site, just a quick drive from the town along State Highway 7. A short walk here with lots of interpretation panels tells the story of one of the earliest coal mining sites in the country along with the remains of a coke oven, tunnel and brick factory.
Greymouth’s mining history also makes for some cool sights along its other walks, such as the Woods Creek Track, a 45-minute loop passing trail races, dams and tunnels. Find this walk on the road to the Shantytown Heritage Park.
Of course, in New Zealand, you want to see some stellar scenery, which is easy to find in Greymouth, particularly on the Point Elizabeth Walkway. Take in the amazing views of the wild West Coast with a mix of coastal forest and a rocky viewpoint looking out to the Southern Alps.
Part of the Point Elizabeth Walkway is an attraction in itself, which is Rapahoe Beach. This picturesque beach backed with coastal cliffs is a stunning place to watch the vivid West Coast sunset. The beach is patrolled for swimming on weekends during summer.
And for something a little different, get your art fix at the Left Bank Art Gallery. This free art gallery inside the grand architecture of a former Bank of New Zealand building showcases contemporary New Zealand paintings, photography, sculptures and crafts. It’s also a great place to see pounamu (greenstone) art. Check out the gift shop to browse pieces of handcrafted textiles, jewellery, jade, vintage pendants and carvings making for a unique souvenir to take home.
For more free attractions, like a road trip on the Great Coast Road to the Punakaiki Pancake Rock or a trip to Hokitika or Lake Brunner, see the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Greymouth.
Cheap Activities in Greymouth
With so many of Greymouth’s activities being free, there’s not that much left to put into the “cheap” category! Nevertheless, a quite affordable and alternative experience in Greymouth is a tour of the Monteith’s Brewery.
Learn about the West Coast’s passion for beer brewing on this comprehensive 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 artefacts in the beer museum. At the end of the tour, learn how to pour your own pint and taste the goodness too, of course. The brewery also has a bar and restaurant so you can indulge in the various beers and ciders with a tasting paddle and pair with some food.
For other cheap (but mostly free) activities, head to the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Greymouth.
Cheap Eats in Greymouth
Greymouth is a place you can afford to eat out. In fact, it’s encouraged, as the West Coast is known for a few delicacies, such as whitebait fritters! A great place to try them is Cobden Takeaways (126 Bright Street), which you’ll find on the menu between mid-August and November. It’s also a good place to pick up a classic Kiwi fish and chips with a can of tomato sauce to eat while parked up on the coast.
A surprising highlight on the cheap easts scene is The Lifeboat NZ at Blakedown Tiphead, found at the end of the Floodwall Walkway. It’s a Dutch food truck in a renovated boat! Try their coffee and stroopwafels.
For breakfast or lunch, enjoy the classic cafe charm of Maggie’s Kitchen (65 MacKay Street) serving all sorts from hot breakfasts to fish and chips at reasonable prices.
For more recommendations, head on over to The Foodie Guide to Greymouth.