Nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s west coast lies a place beloved for its dramatic history and natural beauty.

Built on the back of a mining rush in the mid-1800s, Greymouth has transformed from a place you can easily skip over to a destination you have to stop at thanks to its fascinating past and booming cultural scene - think recreated pioneer towns and local breweries. Whether you feel like learning about the region’s pounamu history (jade hunting) on our Greymouth tours and holidays or wandering the various nature trails beside the aptly named Grey River, a day or two spent in this charming small town is enough to have you thinking you’ve struck gold. 

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Things to do in Greymouth 

Wilderness beside the TranzAlpine train tracks

Hop aboard the TranzAlpine train

It’s easy to step back in time when Greymouth has preserved pieces of its history for you to learn about, walk through, and enjoy all in one place – the Shantytown Heritage Park. Built on a once prosperous gold mining site, this replica town promises plenty of educational fun with a heritage train, gold panning activities, and a historical museum. You can even take one of those old-timey family photos. 

A reimagined structure from 1860s featured at the Shantytown Heritage Park in Greymouth

Visit the Shantytown Heritage Park

You can’t stay in Greymouth and not wonder about the shiny, richly green stone known as Pounamu or New Zealand Jade that this once bustling mining town has hunted for centuries. So, with your fellow travellers, visit a local boutique studio to learn more about the stone’s unique properties, the cultural significance it holds for the Maori People, and its special connection to the natural world. 

A pounamu pendant displayed on a tree trunk

Learn all about Pounamu (Greenstone or NZ Jade)

When heading to Greymouth, there are a few things on the ‘absolutely must-do' list and one of them is stopping to taste some of New Zealand’s most popular brews - at the best place in town. Considered to be the original home of this country’s craft brewing, Monteith’s Brewery offers tours so you can go behind the scenes (and learn all the secrets) before enjoying a private tasting with your group. 

A couple of beers lined up while a man is pouring more

Sample some local beer at Monteith’s Brewery

While Greymouth doesn’t have that ‘big city’ feel, it’s still worth leaving the concrete buildings and somewhat busy streets behind in favour of the great outdoors – especially if you’re on two wheels. Leaving from the centre of town, embark on a cycling adventure on the 2–4-day West Coast Wilderness Trail where you’ll pass by glacial rivers, endless rainforests, and pristine lakes. Enough said. 

A bike standing by itself in front of a lake in Greymouth

Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail

Greymouth isn’t short on naturally beautiful spots – the Grey River, Cobden Cave, and Paparoa National Park just to name a few – so it only seems right to take a walk in the wilderness. Whether Coal Creek Falls is calling your name, or your feet are itching to take on the Point Elizabeth Track, there are plenty of gentle walks or more challenging hiking trails to keep the active adventurer in you happy. 

The rushing water of Coal Creek Falls in Greymouth

Stretch out your legs and go for a walk

Greymouth isn’t short on naturally beautiful spots – the Grey River, Cobden Cave, and Paparoa National Park just to name a few – so it only seems right to take a walk in the wilderness. Whether Coal Creek Falls is calling your name, or your feet are itching to take on the Point Elizabeth Track, there are plenty of gentle walks or more challenging hiking trails to keep the active adventurer in you happy. 

Greymouth tour reviews 

Greymouth FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). 

However, we continue to strongly recommend  that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

Getting to Greymouth is relatively easy as it's conveniently located along State Highway 6, meaning you can easily drive there from neighbouring cities such as Christchurch and even Wellington on the North Island. This means you can also take public transport in the form of bus services with routes connecting you from Christchurch, Queenstown, and Dunedin to Greymouth. This is definitely the cheapest option but it will take you longer than driving. You can also fly into Greymouth from surrounding New Zealand cities with Air New Zealand offering daily flights. This is by far the quickest way to travel to Greymouth. 

Learn more about how to get to Greymouth

The west coast of New Zealand (where Greymouth is located) is known to be the wettest coast on the South Island so you can expect plenty of rainfall throughout the year with an approximate average of 2,553mm. But that doesn't mean it doesn't experience its fair share of sunshine too, especially in summer. Although the average daily temperature is sitting at a chilly 11°C, the temperatures in summer can reach a warm 18°C with around 6.5 hours of sunlight expected. Because of its low-lying, coastal location, Greymouth hardly ever sees snow. 

Learn more about the weather in Greymouth

There isn't necessarily a specific 'best time' to visit Greymouth as each month of the year promises an incredible adventure. However, if you're seeking warmer weather, the months of December, January, and February are the ones to go in as they see the least amount of rainfall and the most amount of uninterrupted sunlight hours. With optimal weather though comes larger crowds and higher prices, so if you want to avoid paying a premium for accommodation and activities, try visiting Greymouth in the shoulder months of March and April before the weather starts getting colder. 

Apart from the obvious clothing items you'll need depending on what time of the year you're visiting Greymouth, you should also pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes (preferably ones that you've already worn in), a day bag or backpack, a reusable drink bottle for the days where you're spending long periods of time outside, a camera, and other sun smart items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. 

Greymouth is known for having some of the best natural landscapes on New Zealand's west coast and while it'd be pretty hard to try to see them all, these are some of our favourite walking/hiking trails so you can see as much natural beauty during your stay: 

  • Point Elizabeth Track (1 hour, 45 minutes one way) 
  • Greymouth Floodwall to Blaketown Tiphead (30-45 minutes one way) 
  • The Woods Creek Track (30-45 minutes one way) 
  • Carew Falls (20 minutes one way) 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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