Once the site of the Maori pa Mawhera village, Greymouth’s gold mining history is highlighted in regional museums and heritage parks. It’s also the arrival point for the renowned TranzAlpine train journey and a base for outdoor adventures.
Things to Do
An important cultural attraction covering New Zealand’s history as an 1860s gold-rush town, Shantytown Heritage Park is tucked within a natural rainforest reminiscent of Maori days before colonisation. The park recreates a 1900s pioneer town with a steam train, sawmill and Chinatown section. Kids can pan for gold, hunt for treasure and soar through the village on a flying-fox zip wire.
Adventurous travellers can take off-road adventures on quad bikes, ATVs, four-seater buggies or group-sized 15-seat Hagglunds. Terrain options include rainforests, mud pools and hills. Recuperate at day’s end with craft brews at Monteith’s, a favourite local brewery offering tasting sessions and tours.
Traverse the 223-kilometre TranzAlpine rail line from Greymouth to Christchurch. Absorb the dramatic ecosystems of New Zealand while gliding through Arthur’s Pass National Park, the alluvial Canterbury Plains, alpine gorges and beechwood forests.
Get a feel for local art at Nimmo Gallery & Store, which features the work of landscape photographer Stewart Nimmo as well as sheep-themed souvenirs, handicrafts and handmade clothing. You can also buy New Zealand jewellery, Hokitika glass creations and possumdown apparel at the Historic Greymouth Railway Station gift shop.
You can rent a car at the Greymouth train station or from Hokitika Airport, about 40 kilometres away. Taxis, shuttles and bike hires offer transportation to Shantytown and other attractions.