The capital of the West Coast region. An excellent base to explore the wild West Coast of the South Island.
Greymouth is the largest town on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Backed by the Southern Alps to the east, it sits at the mouth of the Grey River. It is a port and the main commercial centre for the West Coast region.
Originally the site of a Maori Pa, Greymouth was first settled by Europeans in 1865 when first coal, and then gold, was discovered in the area. Coal mining continues to be an important industry in the area today.
Greymouth has a number of historic buildings dating back to the gold rush era. History House has a collection of photographs depicting early days in the town. The West Coast is also renowned for its greenstone or Jade. At the local Jade Boulder Gallery, visitors can see greenstone jewellery being made. Greenstone is also exhibited at the Left Bank Art Gallery, where there is an interesting collection of contemporary and traditional greenstone designs.
Greymouth’s other attractions include tours of the excellent Monteiths Brewing Company. Nearby Shantytown, a short drive south of Greymouth, is a recreation of an early gold mining town. At this popular attraction, visitors can take a ride on a steam train, visit a working sawmill, and even pan for gold.
Greymouth is an excellent base for those interested in adventurous pursuits. The area offers caving, tramping and numerous other outdoor activities, including excellent fishing on the Grey River. The town is also the terminus for the scenically spectacular and world renowned Transalpine Express train ride to Christchurch.