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Your guide to Greymouth
All About Greymouth
Located on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Greymouth is a former gold mining town on the Grey River that’s home to the country’s oldest craft brewery and a recreated 19th-century gold mining village where you can pan for gold and ride a steam train. Surrounded by Grey Valley, the fast-growing city is a prime spot for outdoor adventure such as hiking, fly fishing, and kayaking. While here, you can also explore one of the many cave systems located along the nearby Nile River. If you want a bird’s eye view of Greymouth and Grey Valley, head to the Kings Walk Domain, which features a zig-zagging hiking trail that passes four different lookout points.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Greymouth?
Because New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to what you experience in North America. Thanks to the wide array of activities offered in Greymouth, there is no bad time to secure your Greymouth holiday rentals. The summer generally experiences warm weather, which is perfect for hiking or kayaking. During spring and fall, things are quieter, and you should still have some warm, sunny days to explore the nearby walking trails. The temperature can drop substantially during the winter, which makes it a bit chilly to be out on the water. It is a good idea to pack extra layers and a waterproof jacket if you plan on spending much time outdoors during the winter months. Additionally, some businesses may close for the off season, so it is a good idea to double check schedules and opening hours if there are any particular things that you want to do during your winter visit in Greymouth.
What are the top things to do in Greymouth?
Paparoa National Park
Located just a 40-minute drive north of Greymouth, this national park begins at the coast before climbing up into the Paparoa Mountains. Within the park, you can find untouched coastal forest, dramatic limestone rock formations and canyons, and the spectacular Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. This unique rock formation, which resembles stacks of pancakes, was formed more than 30 million years ago after fragments of marine life under the seabed were exposed to intense water pressure. You can also witness blowholes during a visit to Pancake Rocks, just make sure to keep a lookout during high tide.
Point Elizabeth Track
This two-hour hike takes visitors through old gold mining sites and the Rapahoe Scenic Reserve, a pristine stretch of mixed coastal forest with nikau palms and black tree ferns. As you walk along the Point Elizabeth Headland, you are rewarded with glimpses of the surrounding landscape culminating in cliff top views overlooking the ocean as well as inland views of the Paparoa Mountain Range.
The five-hour-long TranzAlpine Train journey is one of New Zealand’s few long-distance train routes, meandering by some of South Island’s most beautiful mountain scenery as it traverses the Southern Alps, passes through pristine native beech forest, and weaves through the plains of Canterbury.