Greymouth is at the western terminus of the TranzAlpine line. The town sits along the bank of the Grey River (named in honour of Sir George Grey), about half a mile from the coast. The town suffered many floods from the river until a floodwall was built in 1992, which has saved the town from further floods. The town has several scenic walkways along the river and parks.
Greymouth still shows much of its industrial roots and would not be considered an especially attractive tourist town. Primarily recommended as a base when checking out Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks), white water rafting, kayaking, visit Shantytown or tours to Franz Josef Glacier, not as a destination in its own right.
- Approximately 2.5 hours drive north of Fox Glacier.
- From Christchurch 250 km 3.5 hours
- Punakaiki 45 min, Westport 1.5 hours, Reefton 1.0 hour
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.
- 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.
Greymouth does have an airport (code GMN), and no regularly scheduled flights arrive or depart here, although charter flights can be arranged.
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. 50m 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.
- Monteith's Brewery. The local brewery offers tours.
- Shantytown. 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.
- Cave rafting.
- Aquatic Centre. Completed in 2009, the public aquatic and sports centre offers indoor pools and waterslides.
- 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.
A large supermarket, as well as "The Warehouse", a large general goods type store, are located next to the train station, making Greymouth a good place to stock up on essentials for your trip. (Note you must walk around the station to enter their parking lot; do not cross the railroad tracks at the station and try to climb over the fence).
- Robert Harris Cafe, 123 MacKay St, ☏ . Best coffee in Greymouth. Also good cafe breakfast and lunches.
- Bonzai Pizza, 31 Mackay St, ☏ . Good pizza in a friendly casual atmosphere. Order at the counter then sit down at a table or booth.
- 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
- Golden Coast B&B, 10 Smith St, ☏ . The first B&B to open in Greymouth, in 1967. Three clean rooms and with shared bathrooms, plus ensuite unit. Friendly owner. Breakfast included. Located 200 meters above the train station (from train station, take sidewalk up to bridge, do not cross river, instead turn right and walk up to Smith Street.) $75-130 per night.
- 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) as well as at certain hostels and hotels.
- 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|