Local Activities

The West Coast has many heritage sites worth a visit.  Some of these sites show you the gold and coal mining history.  Greymouth and areas around Greymouth have activities and attractions, which have been outlined below.  Greenstone, or jade, is another natural treasure found on the West Coast. This stone is carved into jewellery and other beautiful pieces of art. Some people find this on South Beach, just behind the motels.

The motels are ideally placed to base yourself to explore everything the central West Coast has to offer, from Westport, Reefton and the pancake rocks of Punakaiki to the north as well as the glaciers to the south. There is something for everyone!

Below are just some of the attractions that are within an hour’s drive from here.

Punakaiki

PUNAKAIKI

– 40 minute drive north

The Pancake Rocks that Punakaiki is famous for,  Dolomite Point and its Pancake Rocks are predominantly limestone, worn and sculptured by the weather and sea, leaving unique stacks resembling pancakes layered on top of each other. The blowholes, the main attraction of the walkway, are active at high tide – check in at the i-SITE Visitors Centre for times. When a heavy sea swell is running, saltwater is pushed at great force through holes in the limestone rock, exiting as a fine spray mist many meters above sea level. The blowholes at full blast are an amazing sight.

cycle trail in bush

WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

– 1 minute walk

In the midst of the West Coast of the Southern Alps, along the Great Alpine Fault, lie a series of tracks carved by pioneering gold rush miners. Today these old tracks, together with extensive water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines, form the West Coast Wilderness Trail. This 4-day cycling adventure reveals outstanding landscapes of dense rainforest, glacial rivers, lakes and wetlands, with views all the way from the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps to the wild Tasman Sea.

Moneteiths Brewery

MONTEITH’S BREWERY

– 5 minute drive north

At Monteith’s Brewing Company we love beer.  We are also very proud of our newly refurbished brewery.  Come and enjoy one of our locally brewed award winning beers. It doesn’t get any fresher than this.  Join us on our brewery experience as we guide you through the traditions and heritage of our brewing establishment.  You will experience and taste our ever changing  and innovative brews; some of which are exclusively produced and sold here by our brewers at Monteith’s Brewing Company.  If you cannot fit the brewery tour in just have a drink and something to eat in the on-site cafe.

Shantytown

SHANTYTOWN

– 5 minute drive south

Living history in a recreated gold-rush village.  Real experiences, real storied and a warm welcome.  All tickets to Shantytown include a ride on one of our two vintage steam trains.  The 1.5 km track travels to a photo stop at the end of the line, where you will find information about saw-milling in the area and maybe see a few weka – a native NZ flightless bird.  On the return trip your train will stop at the Infants Creek Sawmill where you will disembark and take a short walk to our gold claim and sluice area.  The mighty sluice gun is fired up four times per day.  You’ll watch this giant water cannon blast gold bearing gravel from the cliff face, then follow the water races to the gold claim where our gold mining team will tutor you to find your own gold!  When you have panned your gold (guaranteed a strike) another short bush clad walk will have you back in the heart of town.  With a flying fix (zip wire), old fashioned lollies, treasure hunts and wonderful buildings to explore there is plenty to keep everyone occupied for hours.  Reuben Waite;s General Store has fantastic gifts, souvenirs and books to browse.

Four Wheeler

 ON YER BIKE

– 10 minute drive north

The West Coast may have a reputation for it’s high rainfall – (actually it’s 2.5 – 3 m of rain every year!), but because of all that water, On Yer Bike! has the most amazing off road and quad biking and off road adventure tracks through masses of puddles, mud and thriving privately owned rainforest.  You could also try our GoKart adventures, Hagglund ride, and the 8WD Argo.A cafe is onsite for great (fair trade organic) coffee and light meals, souvenirs are available for purchase including photos of your adventure, t-shirts and gifts.

Knifemaking 2

 KNIFEMAKING

– 30 minute drive north

Spend a day enjoying a genuine West Coast experience. We are situated at the foot of the majestic Paparoa Ranges, overlooking the Tasman Sea.  Only 30 minutes from Greymouth (the major town on the coast), Barrytown is home to an eclectic mix of artists and craftspeople. You get to forge your own blade from red hot steel, and complete your knife with native timber handle, brass bolsters and pins.  We start at 9:30 am and finish around 4 pm, with drinks and snacks until around 5 pm. The day starts with a quick run through on safety. The blades are forged and the handle assembled and ground to shape before lunch. Lunch is provided, usually toasted sandwiches. After lunch the blades are ground and sanded to shape before a final polish and sharpen.  Then we celebrate!  TRAVELLING WITH YOUR KNIFE IS NOT A PROBLEM!

Wild West

 WILD WEST ADVENTURES

– 5 minute drive north

Set in a beautiful rainforest canyon you’ll be left in awe floating through a galaxy world of glow-worms. Start with a short bush walk you’ll then have fun running the gentle rainforest river rapids, take a ride down the eye bulge rock hydroslide into the cave entrance and finish with a heart stopper cliff jump! Everything is optional, decide what to do as you go, includes Spa. 
Rafting

RAFTING

– 1 hours drive east or they can pick up 

What better way to experience the West Coast in all its glory than down one of our pristine and wild rivers. The Grey River near Reefton and the Arnold River near Greymouth suit all ages with enough action to get your white water fix.
Caves

 UNDERWORLD ADVENTURES

– 1 hours drive north

A superb 4 hour Black Water Rafting adventure in the Paparoa National Park. Visitors are fitted out with designer wet suits, wet suit socks boots gloves and helmet at the NWA Ltd Charleston Base. A courtesy coach takes you to The Nile River Rainforest Train for transport through the primeval rain forest and towering limestone cliffs of the Nile River Canyon.Once changed, a short climb is required to enter the enormous Nile River Cave System where you meander through a calcitic paradise of stalactites and stalagmites in the upper dry levels of the cave.  Down in the lower active levels of the Cave, you meet up with a slow moving underground river on which you float in your tube using only the natural light of a simply awe inspiring display of glow worms for navigation.  You emerge from the cave into a remote and untouched world before leaving its tranquillity for the rushing bubbling waters of the low grade Nile River Rapids.
Temple Basin

 TEMPLE BASIN SKIFIELD

– 1 hours drive east

Temple Basin is less than an hour’s drive from here.  Temple Basin is renowned for its steep and rocky big mountain terrain. Never fear if you’re Joe Average, there is plenty of intermediate terrain. For first timers there’s a snowy knoll to practice the basics before progressing to the wide open slopes accessed by Cassidy Tow.  If you’re wondering about groomed slopes/pistes, you won’t find any. Temple Basin is an unadulterated alpine experience and an off-piste paradise.
Buller Gorge

 HOKITIKA GORGE

– 50 minute drive south

Sometimes you see photos of a tourist spot and think yeah right, it can’t look as good as that in real life. The Hokitika Gorge is one of those places. The vivid turquoise water surrounded by lush native bush looks too good to be true but trust us, it is well worth a visit. The Hokitika Gorge is 33kms from Hokitika.  It is a short walk from the carpark through a mainly rimu and podocarp forest to a viewing platform where the water has to be seen to be believed. You can walk a little further across a swing bridge to get closer to the stunning blue river and the sheer ravine.

west coast treetop walk, new zealand

 

 WEST COAST TREETOP WALK

– 40 minute drive south

Only 40 minutes from here is the newest visitor attraction on the West Coast.  It is the West Coast Treetop Walkway and it offers an environmentally friendly view along a 450 metre long steel walkway, 20 metres up into Rimu and Kamahi rainforest canopy looking out over Lake Mahinapua, the Southern Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west.  The walkway has two entry points, is accessible by wheelchair and pram and can hold 4000 people at any one time. A unique feature is the Mahinapua Springboard, an end section that curves out gently by itself over the forest canopy towards Lake Mahinapua. The Hokitika Tower is a spiral staircase tower extending a further 40 metres skywards.  Across a newly created car park is Mahinapua Cafe, which seats 80, a gift shop, featuring local crafts, and ticketing booth. Access to the start of the walk structure is via a formed pathway that will take most people less than 5 minutes to walk.

Acquatic Centre

 AQUATIC CENTRE

– 5 minute drive north

Check out the many facilities you can find at the Grey District Aquatic Centre.

History House Museum

 

 HISTORY HOUSE MUSEUM

– 7 minute drive

The History House Museum is the place to come for information on the rich history of the West Coast.  Visitors to the region and residents are welcome to visit the Museum. We are open from 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am – 2pm on Saturday. Outside of these hours, please phone the i-Site on 03 768 7080 for groups of 10 or more (if you have less than 10 people, still check with the i-Site as they may have a request from another group to make up numbers). ​
Kiwi

 KIWI HOUSE

– 25 minute drive south

The National Kiwi Centre is situated in the heart of Hokitika in an undercover facility that provides viewing of kiwi in our nocturnal house that replicates their natural environment. During your visit you can take part in feeding the giant eels (10am, 12 noon and 3pm daily). The eels are approximately 85 to 100 years old.  The kiwi also get fed after each eel feeding. You can view the tuatara, New Zealands oldest living dinosaur.
Blue penguin

 BLUE PENGUINS

– 1 minute walk west

The blue penguin is the world’s smallest penguin at just 35-43 cm tall and weighing a little over 1 kg and their numbers are declining.  They occupy their burrows from June to March, and these burrows are all along the west coast with some being situated right near the park.  Blue penguins only come ashore after dusk and before dawn. 

 Wilderness wings

WILDERNESS WINGS FLIGHTS

– 25 minute drive south

Mt Cook and Glaciers – The Southern Alps Grant Tour.  Experience a spectacular Mt Cook and Glaciers flight and see breathtaking views of New Zealand’s highest peaks and largest glaciers including the magnificent Franz Josef and Fox glaciers.  Discover the wonders of the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks and see why this amazing alpine regions now hold World Heritage status.  Fly in comfort in your first class window seat and enjoy our highly experienced pilot’s offer informed in-flight commentary,  Your satisfaction is guaranteed!  You can add a unique special experience landing at our private airfield amongst the beautiful peaks and valleys in the Southern Alps. 

 Horse and wagon

HORSE AND WAGON TOURS

– 30 minute drive north

Come and meet Murphy the Clydesdale, our cuddly gentle giant who will take you on a unique and tranquil journey back in time.  Golden Sands Horse and Wagon Tours offers you the opportunity to travel in the footsteps of the early pioneers, down one of New Zealand’s most beautiful, unspoiled wild West Coast beaches. On the way, learn about our rich ‘Coast Road’ gold mining and pioneer heritage as if you were a part of it yourself.  The pace is relaxed, with plenty of time for exploring. Activities include gem stone collecting, (Barrytown beach is the best jade hunting beach in NZ), making damper bread, boiling the billy over an open fire, wildlife spotting and photography. 
 Greymouth golf club

GREYMOUTH GOLF COURSE

– 10 minute drive east

Greymouth Golf course is an 18 hole golf course which is flat so no hills to climb up and down.