Greymouth is at the western terminus of the TranzAlpine line. Although it is located on the South Island's west coast, The town sits along the bank of the Grey River (named in honour of sir george Grey), about half a mile inland. The town has suffered many floods from the river untill a floodwall was built in 1992 which has since 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 Shanty Town or tours to franz Joseph Glacier, not as a destination in its own right.
Shanty Town is a replica gold mining town complete with sawmill, gold sluice and gold panning. A steam train runs several trips each day. Shanty Town also operates New Zealand's only Steam School in association with Tai poutini Polytech.
Atomic shuttles operate daily services from Nelson, Christchurch, and Franz Joseph Glacier.
West Coast Shuttle offers a daily return service from and to Christchurch. (Ideal for day trips to Arthur's Pass). Departs Greymouth at 8.00 am and travels via Arthur's pass (9.30) 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.
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 (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.
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).
Golden Coast B&B 10 Smith Street, Greymouth, phone (03) 768-7839 The first B&B to open in Graymouth, in 1967. Three clean rooms and with shared bathrooms, plus ensuite unit. Friendly owner. NZ$75 - $130 per night, depending on room and number of guests. 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.)
Rosewood B&B (Greymouth B&B), 20 High Street, Greymouth, New Zealand, ☎ +64 3768 4674, Freephone: 0800 185 748, mailto:email@example.com, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 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.NZ$125-185. edit
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.
Visit the biggest and less crowded glacier - the Fox Glacier located 2.5 hours drive south of Greymouth.
Take a day trip to Christchurch or to Arthur's pass.
catch the train to Arthur's Pass (1.30 departure) and coach back to Greymouth (5.15 at arthur's Pass)arrive back to Greymouth at 7pm