Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast and is the turnaround of the Tranz Alpine train journey, recognised as one of the top train trips in the world. The town sits along the bank of the Grey River (named in honour of Sir George Grey), about half a mile from the coast.
Greymouth has several scenic walkways along the river and parks, while the surrounding Grey Valley offer adventure activities, heritage attractions and guided nature tours.
Get in Edit
By car Edit
- Approximately 2½ hours drive north of Fox Glacier.
- From Christchurch 250 km 3½ hours
- Punakaiki 45 min, Westport 1½ hours, Reefton 1 hour
By train Edit
See also Train travel in New Zealand
The world-famous TranzAlpine, operated by Tranz Scenic departs from Christchurch station at 8:15AM and arrives at Greymouth at 12:45PM daily. Trains depart Greymouth at 2PM for Arthur's Pass National Park and Christchurch.
By bus Edit
- Intercity Coaches operate comfortable coaches from Nelson, Westport, Punakaiki and Franz Josef Glacier. Schedules coincide with train arrivals.
- West Coast Shuttle offers a daily return service from and to Christchurch. (Ideal for day trips to Arthur's Pass). Departs Greymouth at 8AM and travels via Arthur's pass (9:30AM) and Christchurch airport (11.30) and the Christchurch Square midday. Leaves Christchurch at 3PM, via airport then Arthur's Pass arriving back in Greymouth at 7PM.
By plane Edit
Get around Edit
This is a small town and you can easily walk to inns and restaurants within the town. If you want to go further afield, your choices are:
- Taxi - Greymouth Taxis, 138 Mackay Street, phone +64 3 768-7078. 50 m from the train station, Greymouth Taxis can arrange trips to Punakaiki or other nearby destinations.
- Rental car - The Greymouth train station has rental car counters from Hertz, Budget and a variety of discount agencies. Advance reservations are recommended.
- Organized tours - Several tour companies will pick you up at your inn, take you to nearby destinations, then return you to your hotel (or to the train station in time for your departing train). Check brochures in the train station or at your hotel.
- 1 Monteith's Brewery. The local brewery offers tours.
- 2 Shantytown Heritage Park. A replica gold mining town complete with sawmill, gold sluice and gold panning. A steam train runs several trips each day. Shantytown also operates New Zealand's only steam school in association with Tai Poutini Polytech.
- 3 Left Bank Art Gallery, 1 Tainui Street. Art gallery (with some works for sale) with space for emerging artists. The gallery has an impressive collection of greenstone. The gallery is in the former Bank of New Zealand built in 1924.
- 4 Southern Breakwater, Blaketown. A great viewing platform to watch the waves crashing.
- 5 Brunner Mine Historic Area, Taylorville. Historic site of the Brunner Mine.
- 1 Westland Recreation Centre, 83 High Street, ☏ . Great public swimming pools with waterslides, spa and sauna. Also a gym and indoor courts.
- 2 On Yer Bike Adventures, 511 State Highway 6, Coal Creek, ☏ . Off-road quad biking through 300 acres of West Coast rainforest and farm.
- 3 Cobden Cave (from the CBD cross the Cobden Bridge, turn right and park in the small gravelled area immediately by the bridge). A 2-minute walk on a flat gravel track along the Grey River. Explore the cave entrance and the first chamber without a torch. Sturdy footwear is advised for inside the cave. Visitors are advised to go no further than the first chamber. Free.
- 4 Greymouth Flood Wall (West Coast Wilderness Trail) (the start of the trail is on Mawhera Quay opposite the Railway Station). A lovely flat walk along the flood wall beside the Grey River. There are beautiful views of the river and the Twelve Apostles range, as well as some of the commercial and industrial areas of the town. Follow the trail further to see the historic and modern port areas, then the harbour where there are often fishing boast docked. Continue to the Southern Breakwater, historic gun emplacement, and then the beach. This trail is for walking and cycling. The whole trail can be accessed at various points. Free.
- 5 Kowhai Bush Walk (from Greymouth CBD go south on SH6/Tainui Street; turn right on Brunner Street beside Dixon Park; turn right onto Turumaha Street and left beside the dairy; follow the road toward Anzac Park and a sealed parking area). A 10-min loop walk through a small remnant area of Kowhai forest and over boardwalks through estuarine vegetation. There is a wide range of aquatic birdlife to be seen on the tidal lagoon, and other native & introduced species in the forest for those with patience to spot them. During the day you may be lucky and spot a Kōtuku/white heron and at dusk you may see or hear a ruru/morepork. The track is flat across a rough gravelled surface and wooden boardwalks.
- 6 Cobden Aromoana Lagoon Walk (Cobden/Northern Breakwater), Cobden (drive across the Cobden Bridge from Greymouth, turn left on to Bright Street; turn Left on Cardwell Street then follow Nelson Quay and North Tip Road towards the sea until you reach the lagoon walk parking area which will be on the right). Always open. Enjoy views of the Cobden Lagoon and the wide range of water birds that can be seen there. You may be fortunate enough to spot the rare Kōtuku/white heron. On a clear day there are beautiful views of th Southern Alps, and closer at hand the Twelve Apostles range. The track is a flat gravelled surface of about 20 min, with a 100-m walk along the road edge of the lagoon back to the parking area. There is also foot access to the beach from the track, and seats and a picnic table along the way to rest at. Free.
- 7 Point Elizabeth Trail. A nice hike, the Point Elizabeth Trail, connects Rapahoe, just north of Greymouth, to a northerly "suburb" of Greymouth, on the north side of the river. This is probably most practical if you can be dropped off at one end and picked up at the other end.
- 8 Coal Creek Falls. Enjoy the lovely bush walk down to the impressive Coal Creek Fall.
- 9 Woods Creek Track, Dunganville. This 45-min forest track passes by tailraces and dams and through historic tunnels built by gold miners.
There is a large supermarket, and "The Warehouse", a large general goods type store, next to the train station, making Greymouth a good place to stock up on essentials for your trip. (You must walk around the station to enter their parking lot; do not cross the railway tracks at the station and try to climb over the fence.)
- 1 Red Books, 138 MacKay Street. W-Su 10:00-17:00. Sweet little second-hand book shop with a pot-bellied stove. Prices and stock are good, especially for New Zealand and West Coast books, but cash only.
- 2 Shades of Jade, 22 Tainui Street, ☏ . A range of locally sourced New Zealand (Pounamu) Greenstone that has been expertly carved into necklaces, earrings and rings.
- 3 Nimmo Photography - Gallery, Store & Studio, 102 MacKay Street, ☏ . Discover Stewart Nimmo’s unique West Coast imagery.
- 4 Garth Wilson Jade, 63 Rutherglen Road, ☏ . Authentic West Coast pounamu (jade).
- 1 Robert Harris Cafe, 123 MacKay St, ☏ . Good coffee, cafe breakfast and lunches.
- 2 Bonzai Cafe, 31 Mackay St, ☏ . Pizza in a friendly casual atmosphere with tables and booths. Don't expect crispy New York pizza: this is pan pizza of the kind New Zealand served in the 1980s. A nostalgia trip.
- 3 Buccleugh's on High, 68 High Street, ☏ . M-Th 5:30–10AM, 5:30–10PM; F-Su 6–10AM, 11AM–2PM, 5:30–10PM. A wide range of traditional fare, but including West Coast options from both land and sea. You can try whitebait, venison or blue cod. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available.
- 4 The Speight's Ale House, 130 Mawhera Quay, ☏ . Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F 11:30AM-11:30PM, Sa 11:30AM-midnight. Local cuisine, gastropub, bar, pub, vegan options. Good filling pub meals.
- 5 Maggie's Kitchen, 65 Mackay Street, ☏ . M-F 6AM-3PM. Real, authentic provincial Kiwi food. Fisherman's basket, steaks and burgers, fish sandwiches, and – something almost extinct in New Zealand restaurants – lamb's fry (liver) and bacon with toast and chips. Classic.
- 6 DP1 Cafe, 104 Mawhera Quay, ☏ . Su-W 8AM-5PM, Th F 8AM-9PM.
- 7 Priya Indian Restaurant, 84 Tainui Street, ☏ . Daily 11AM-2PM, 4-5PM. Authentic Indian food.
- 8 Hong Kong Restaurant, 6 Whall Street, ☏ .
- 9 Sevenpenny, 9 Tainui Street, ☏ . Excellent lunches and baking.
- 10 Paroa Hotel Restaurant & Bar, 508 Main South Road, ☏ .
- 11 Cobden Takeaways, 126 Bright Street, ☏ . Takeaways, fish and hand-cut chips.
- 12 Sampan House, 35 Albert Street, ☏ . Chinese, Asian.
- 13 Australasian Bar & Grill, 201 High Street, ☏ .
- 14 Rapahoe Beachfront Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Rapahoe, ☏ .
- 15 The Dragonfly Gap Cafe, 1 Guinness Street, ☏ .
- 16 Woodstock Brewing Co. Greymouth Grill, 29 Boundary Street, ☏ .
- 17 Blanchfield Bakery, 13-15 Guinness Street, ☏ .
- 18 Santa Fe Milk Bar, 78 Turumaha Street, ☏ . Fish and chips, as well as their specialty, the Santa Fe – a grease bomb of cheese, potato, and bacon, battered and deep fried. Worth experiencing once. Nothing to do with New Mexico.
- 19 Sushi Bar, 115 MacKay Street, ☏ .
- 20 Parky's, 3 Marsden Road, ☏ . Fish and chips, takeaways.
- 21 Columbus Coffee, 41 Water Walk Road, ☏ .
- 1 Hopaholics Brewery, 25 Boundary Street, ☏ . Craft brewery.
- 2 Union Hotel, 20 Herbert Street, ☏ .
- 3 Recreation Hotel, 68 High Street, ☏ .
- 4 Australasian Bar & Grill, 201 High Street, ☏ .
- 5 Paroa Hotel Restaurant & Bar, 508 Main South Road, ☏ .
- 6 Monteith's Brewery, 60 Herbert Street, ☏ .
- 7 Railway Hotel, 120 Mawhera Quay, ☏ .
- 8 Speights Ale House, 130 Mawhera Quay, ☏ .
- 9 Sevenpenny, 9 Tainui Street, ☏ .
- Global Village Backpackers, 42-54 Cowper St. Lowest prices offered to BBH members. Very clean, friendly backpackers. $17-44.
- 1 Noah's Ark Backpackers, 16 Chapel St, ☏ , toll-free: 0800662472, email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. $29.
Bed & breakfast Edit
- 2 Golden Coast B&B, 10 Smith St (from train station, take sidewalk up to bridge, do not cross river, instead turn right and walk up to Smith Street), ☏ . The first B&B to open in Greymouth, in 1967. Three clean rooms and with shared bathrooms, plus ensuite unit. Friendly owner. Breakfast included. $75-130 per night.
- 3 Rosewood B&B, 20 High St, ☏ , toll-free: 0800 185 748, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Rosewood combines modern luxuries such as ensuite bathrooms in 3 rooms (one with facilities for the disabled) and a huge guest share bathroom for the remaining 2 rooms, tasteful furnishings with top quality king- and queen-sized beds (cotton linen, your choice of pillows, cosy duvets and extra woollen blankets). There is off-street parking to the rear and wheelchair access. $125-185.
Wireless Internet is available for free at the public library (18 Albert St, just off Mackay Street), and at certain hostels and hotels.
Go next Edit
- Punakaiki – to the north
- Reefton – inland to the north-east
- Hokitika – to the south
- Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier – further to the south
- Take a day trip to Christchurch or Arthur's Pass. Catch the train to Arthur's Pass (1:30PM departure) and coach back to Greymouth (5:15PM at Arthur's Pass) arrive back to Greymouth at 7PM.
|Routes through Greymouth|
|Punakaiki ←||N S||→ Hokitika|
|END ←||W E||→ Hanmer Springs|