The Best Things to Do in Greymouth New Zealand

Greymouth, New Zealand is the gateway to the wonders of the West Coast. The town is situated at the mouth of the Grey River and is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The popular South Island destination boasts some incredibly unique and scenic attractions within short distances. We’ve travelled extensively on the West Coast, and Greymouth is a regular stop. Keep reading; we will let you know the very best things to do in Greymouth New Zealand. 

View of Grey River from the Greymouth Floodwall

What is Greymouth New Zealand, Best Known For?

Greymouth Floodwall

Greymouth is best known for its rich history, reflected in its many historic buildings and landmarks. The town is also famous for its stunning natural beauty, with the Tasman Sea to the west and the Southern Alps to the east. 

Many unique Greymouth attractions exist, such as the Shantytown Heritage Park and Monteith’s Brewery.

Best Landmarks in Greymouth, New Zealand

River view, Greymouth NZ

Greymouth is a port city and home to a thriving fishing industry. There are several things to see and do in the port area, including walking along the riverfront. It is a popular destination for tourists.

The Shantytown Heritage Park is another significant landmark in the town, showcasing the region’s history through interactive exhibits and displays. The meticulously recreated 19th-century gold mining town allows you to step back in time. You can even hop on a steamtrain ride and try your hand at gold panning.

Best Things to Do in Greymouth, New Zealand

Coastal views on Coast Road, New Zealand

There are many interesting things to do in Greymouth, including visiting the galleries and museums. It’s a great place to visit if you’re interested in history. 

If you’re interested in outdoor activities, you can hike the nearby hills. However, one of the best things to do in Greymouth is to walk along the stunning coastline and enjoy the spectacular views of the Tasman Sea. 

Southern Breakwater Viewing Platform and Greymouth Beach

One of our most loved hangouts is the Southern Breakwater Viewing Platform at the mouth of the Grey River. A popular spot for fishing, watching the rough waves, and taking in the views of the town and coastline. It is the best spot for photos of the coastline, with views to the north and the south.

It is also the entrance to the harbour and port. The entrance, across a bar between breakwaters to the cargo and fish unloading wharves, is known to get extremely dangerous in wild weather.

Also, the wharf is located at the end of the main Greymouth beach – Karoro Beach. You can spend some time relaxing or taking a stroll along the beach and watch the waves rolling in. 

However, the best time is at sunset. West Coast sunsets are phenomenal!

The Floodwall Walk

If your time is limited, the Floodwall Walk is a short stroll along the picturesque Grey River from the train station. Following the floodwall towards the river mouth will offer you pretty river and town views. 

Along the walk, you will see historical relics and several historical markers that tell the story of Greymouth’s mining heritage. You will also find the monument dedicated to the memory of those lost in West Coast mining disasters.  

Read Next:

If you are heading to Westport next, make sure to read our post on Westport and discover the Best Things to Do in Westport New Zealand. Greymouth to Westport is only a 1.5-hour drive along the Coast Road.

Point Elizabeth Walkway

The moderately challenging scenic walk along the Point Elizabeth Walkway offers stunning coastline views. 

Additionally, there is a chance to spot dolphins, whales, and seals in the area. It makes this walk one of the coolest things to do in Greymouth.

Visit the Left Bank Art Gallery, a vibrant hub showcasing the works of local artists. Browse through a diverse range of art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, and perhaps even take home a unique piece as a memento of your visit.

A prominent feature of the gallery is their jade (pounamu) collection by leading carvers. 

Additionally, the gallery is housed in the historic former Bank of New Zealand. It was built in 1924.

West Coast Wilderness Trail

If you enjoy cycling, you will regard the West Coast Wilderness Trail section as one of the best things to do in Greymouth. This 132-kilometre trail takes you through lush rainforests, river valleys, and coastal plains, offering an unforgettable biking experience.

For those dedicated cyclists, it’s a 4-day trip across the length of the trail. We’ve visited the areas the trail goes through, and it is one epic journey that makes us want to take up cycling!

Shantytown Heritage Park

Shantytown is a meticulously recreated replica of a 19th-century gold rush town, offering visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience life as it was during that era.

The town features fully furnished buildings, a functioning steam train, and interactive exhibits that provide insights into the hardships and triumphs of the early settlers. Visitors can engage in activities like gold panning, exploring the museum, and enjoying scenic train rides. The popular Greymouth attraction is one of the best things to do in Greymouth, New Zealand, especially for young families.

The Great Coast Road

One of the very best things to do in Greymouth and one of the “Do Not Miss” Greymouth attractions is taking a scenic drive along the famous Great Coast Road. It is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular coastal drives. In fact, in 2018, Lonely Planet voted The Great Coast Road one of the best coastal drives in the world. 

The winding road offers stunning rugged coastline views of the ocean, cliffs, rock formations, and rainforest. 

Read the full story about The Great Coast Road New Zealand and all the stops to take.

Whether you drive the entire length or just a portion, the Great Coast Road promises an unforgettable journey with plenty of opportunities to capture amazing photographs and soak in the West Coast’s natural beauty.

The road is also home to a number of New Zealand landmark attractions, including Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. 

Greymouth To Punakaiki is just 30 minutes drive. We consider this drive one of the best things to do in the South Island.

Read about the geological natural wonders in Punakaiki in NZ Must Do: Best Things To Do in Punakaiki New Zealand.

Best Places to Eat in Greymouth, New Zealand

Monteith's Brewey beer tasting tray

Monteith’s Brewery Bar

Visit the famous Monteith’s Brewery Bar and enjoy a hearty meal while savouring the flavours of their locally brewed beers.

The iconic establishment offers a range of delicious food options to complement its outstanding selection of Monteith’s beers. Many travellers consider visiting the brewery one of the best things to do in Greymouth town. 

While you are there, you can take a tour of the brewery and learn about the craft of brewing its renowned beers. You can also enjoy a tasting session and discover the history behind these local brews.

We have recently written a comprehensive review of Monteith’s Brewery in Greymouth, one of the best breweries in New Zealand.
Click the link above to discover the best food on Monteith’s menu, as well as information on the brewery tour and overall brewery experience.
You can also find out why we ranked it as the No. 1 restaurant in Greymouth in 2024 in our review of the best West Coast brewery.

Speights Ale House

Indulge in a dining experience at the Speights Ale House, another popular establishment in the town centre.

Known for its warm and inviting atmosphere, this restaurant serves various tasty dishes alongside its famous Speights brews. It’s a great place to enjoy a satisfying meal and relax with friends or family.

Do Duck In Bakery

A must-visit for pie lovers, Do Duck In Bakery, next to the Mobil petrol station, offers a mouthwatering selection of freshly baked pies. They also have fresh pizza, pastries, and cakes. They are a perfect takeaway option for a quick and satisfying meal on the go. A local favourite, Do Duck In Bakery, shouldn’t be missed whether you want a quick lunch or some road trip snacks.

Westfleet Fresh Retail Seafoods

Westfleet Fresh Retail Seafoods is a popular seafood retailer that offers a range of fresh fish and seafood products delivered by fishing boats daily. If you are happy to cook your own seafood, the locally sourced seafood is a chance to try fresh and delicious New Zealand fish. 

They have a large variety, including snapper, hoki, groper, tarakihi, gurnard, sole and more. They also offer other frozen seafood products such as mussels, squid, and seafood chowder.

How to Get to Greymouth?

Greymouth is easily accessible by bus from all major towns in New Zealand or by train from Christchurch. The TranzAlpine train, one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, stops in Greymouth.

The town is on State Highway 6, a short 1.5-hour drive from Greymouth to Westport and a 30-minute drive from Greymouth to Hokitika. It is a 3-hour drive from Christchurch to Greymouth through the epic Southern Alps.

Is Greymouth Worth Visiting   

Greymouth is a unique town with a rich history and stunning natural beauty. It’s an excellent place to visit if you’re interested in history and outdoor activities. The town has many historic landmarks and unique attractions. With so many things to do in Greymouth, it’s no wonder it’s a popular destination for tourists worldwide.

Hey There, if you want to find out all the best things to do in the South Island, read our curated New Zealand South Island Bucket List – South Island Must Do!

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