Marie Stone

Marie reports here on our blog about travel, adventure and weddings.

Marie Stone Author

Greymouth the centre of the West Coast

Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast and the perfect base to explore the West Coast’s unique natural attractions and activities. Enjoy all that the West Coast has to offer by bus.  Surrounded by lush green hillsides and facing the Tasman Sea, this coastal settlement has a lot to offer. Greymouth’s central location puts it halfway between the West Coast’s most northern and southern attractions. From Punakaiki in the north down to Port Jackson in the south, you are within easy reach of everything, including the mighty Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. Greymouth has a history of gold and coal mining, jade manufacturing and fishing even though the river has two sandbars.

You don’t have to go far to enjoy the best of Greymouth attractions and activities. Visit the Jade galleries, catch a live band at one of the cafes or take a tour of Monteith’s Brewery. Quad biking, kayaking, mountain biking, caving and jet boating are just a few of the West Coast activities to enjoy in a choice of 5 National Parks. Greymouth has its own beautiful walks and tracks which include the walks around Lake Brunner and the Brunner Mine Site.

One of Greymouth’s most popular attractions is Shantytown Heritage Park, a replica gold mining village complete with steam train rides, theatres, old-time shops and the opportunity to pan for gold. Greymouth accommodation has more than enough choice to keep everyone happy from backpackers, motels and hotels to cosy bed and breakfasts. One thing you will notice is the friendly West Coast hospitality which is found across all styles of accommodation. During the whitebait season you are likely to see the local fisherman wading through the rivers with their large nets seeking a catch. Make sure to try this local delicacy if you can. 

The towns of Westport and Hokitika are a short bus drive away and home to Jade factories and craft shops galore. Watch the craftsmen at work change rough greenstone into a stunning piece of jewellery. Take a bus out to Blackball and have lunch at a historic hotel, formerly known as the Hilton. Greymouth is the heart of New Zealand’s West Coast, where you’ll find everything you need for your chosen adventure.