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Greymouth

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Greymouth (Māori: Māwhera) is the heart of the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island.

Understand

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

By car

By train

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

  • Intercity Coaches operate comfortable coaches from NelsonWestportPunakaiki 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

  • Greymouth Airport (GMN IATA). No regularly scheduled flights arrive or depart here, although charter flights can be arranged. (updated Nov 2019)
  • Hokitika airport has two flights per day from Christchurch. Greymouth Taxis (+64 3 768 7078) run connecting shuttle buses.

Get around

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.

See

  • 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. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 4 Southern Breakwater, Blaketown. A great viewing platform to watch the waves crashing. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 5 Brunner Mine Historic Area, Taylorville. Historic site of the Brunner Mine. (updated Sep 2020)

Do

  • 1 Westland Recreation Centre, 83 High Street, ☏ +64 3 768 9076. Great public swimming pools with waterslides, spa and sauna. Also a gym and indoor courts. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 2 On Yer Bike Adventures, 511 State Highway 6, Coal Creek, ☏ +64 3 762 7438. Off-road quad biking through 300 acres of West Coast rainforest and farm. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 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. (updated Oct 2019)
  • 8 Coal Creek Falls. Enjoy the lovely bush walk down to the impressive Coal Creek Fall. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 9 Woods Creek Track, Dunganville. This 45-min forest track passes by tailraces and dams and through historic tunnels built by gold miners. (updated Sep 2020)

Buy

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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 2 Shades of Jade, 22 Tainui Street, ☏ +64 3 768 0794. A range of locally sourced New Zealand (Pounamu) Greenstone that has been expertly carved into necklaces, earrings and rings. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 3 Nimmo Photography - Gallery, Store & Studio, 102 MacKay Street, ☏ +64 3 768 6499. Discover Stewart Nimmo’s unique West Coast imagery. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 4 Garth Wilson Jade, 63 Rutherglen Road, ☏ +64 3 762 6226. Authentic West Coast pounamu (jade). (updated Sep 2020)

Eat

  • 1 Robert Harris Cafe, 123 MacKay St, ☏ +64 3 768 5959. Good coffee, cafe breakfast and lunches. 
  • 2 Bonzai Cafe, 31 Mackay St, ☏ +64 3 768-4170. 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 3 Buccleugh's on High, 68 High Street, ☏ +64 3 768 5154. 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 4 The Speight's Ale House, 130 Mawhera Quay, ☏ +64 3-768 0667. 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 5 Maggie's Kitchen, 65 Mackay Street, ☏ +64 3 768 5265. 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 6 DP1 Cafe, 104 Mawhera Quay, ☏ +64 3 768 4005. Su-W 8AM-5PM, Th F 8AM-9PM. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 7 Priya Indian Restaurant, 84 Tainui Street, ☏ +64 3 768 7377. Daily 11AM-2PM, 4-5PM. Authentic Indian food. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 8 Hong Kong Restaurant, 6 Whall Street, ☏ +64 3 768 6968. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 9 Sevenpenny, 9 Tainui Street, ☏ +64 3 762 6879. Excellent lunches and baking. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 10 Paroa Hotel Restaurant & Bar, 508 Main South Road, ☏ +64 3 762 6860. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 11 Cobden Takeaways, 126 Bright Street, ☏ +64 3 768 6302. Takeaways, fish and hand-cut chips. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 12 Sampan House, 35 Albert Street, ☏ +64 3 768 4818. Chinese, Asian. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 13 Australasian Bar & Grill, 201 High Street, ☏ +64 3 768 4023. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 14 Rapahoe Beachfront Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Rapahoe, ☏ +64 3 762 7701. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 15 The Dragonfly Gap Cafe, 1 Guinness Street, ☏ +64 3 768 0988. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 16 Woodstock Brewing Co. Greymouth Grill, 29 Boundary Street, ☏ +64 3 429 6202. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 17 Blanchfield Bakery, 13-15 Guinness Street, ☏ +64 3 768 5507. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 18 Santa Fe Milk Bar, 78 Turumaha Street, ☏ +64 3 768 5215. 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. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 19 Sushi Bar, 115 MacKay Street, ☏ +64 3 768 5151. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 20 Parky's, 3 Marsden Road, ☏ +64 3 768 0373. Fish and chips, takeaways. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 21 Columbus Coffee, 41 Water Walk Road, ☏ +64 3 768 0976. (updated Sep 2020)

Drink

  • 1 Hopaholics Brewery, 25 Boundary Street, ☏ +64 21 0867 7464. Craft brewery. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 2 Union Hotel, 20 Herbert Street, ☏ +64 3 768 4013. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 3 Recreation Hotel, 68 High Street, ☏ +64 3 768 5154. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 4 Australasian Bar & Grill, 201 High Street, ☏ +64 3 768 4023. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 5 Paroa Hotel Restaurant & Bar, 508 Main South Road, ☏ +64 3 762 6860. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 6 Monteith's Brewery, 60 Herbert Street, ☏ +64 3 768 4149. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 7 Railway Hotel, 120 Mawhera Quay, ☏ +64 3 768 7023. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 8 Speights Ale House, 130 Mawhera Quay, ☏ +64 3 768 0667. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 9 Sevenpenny, 9 Tainui Street, ☏ +64 3 762 6879. (updated Sep 2020)

Sleep

Backpackers

  • 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, ☏ +64 3 768 4868, toll-free: 0800662472, ✉ stay@noahs.co.nz. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. $29. (updated Jul 2016)

Bed & breakfast

  • 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), ☏ +64 3768-7839. 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, ☏ +64 3768 4674, toll-free: 0800 185 748, ✉ rosewoodnz@xtra.co.nz. 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. 

Connect

Wireless Internet is available for free at the public library (18 Albert St, just off Mackay Street), and at certain hostels and hotels.

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