Greymouth sits on the Grey River and is the largest commercial centre on the West Coast. Within the town centre are several historical buildings of note, making it a pleasant place to stroll. For a taste of adventure, there are many activities to do.
The Wild West Adventure Company can take you glow worm caving, four wheel driving, white water rafting, horse back riding, riverboat cruising, bush walking, camping or relaxing in local hot pools. In the centre of town you will also find the Monteith's brewery and a tour of this is highly worthwhile. Just to the south is Shantytown, a replica of a working goldmine village with reconstructed buildings, mine working and a wonderful collection of steam trains.
Greymouth is also where the Tranz Alpine train arrives and departs.
Shantytown is a faithfully restored replica of an 1860's West Coast gold mining town. It is a living monument to the hardy pioneers who forded the wildly exotic rivers and streams and scrambled through the rugged subtropical rainforest in search of their fortunes. A 20-minute ride on one of the original bush steam trains takes you deep into gold country. Among the collection of pioneer relics and Kiwiana that has come to comprise Shantytown's unique and valuable collection are some true gems. This vast and significant collection is housed in over 30 historic buildings, enabling you to wander your way through the town as interlopers into a bygone era. You can also try your hand at gold-panning under the helpful tuition of the highly experienced gold claim staff.
From humble origins in 1868, the Monteith's family-owned Phoenix Brewery became the West Coast's most popular brewery for its strong tasting, full-bodied ale. The Phoenix Brewery later merged with a group of small breweries to form Westland Brewing Company, predecessor to today's Monteith's Brewing Company. In this informative brewery experience, you will learn about the heritage and traditions of the brewing business. Witness the making of a fine beer in open fermenters by coal-fired boilers, using only the finest ingredients. Watch the brewers carefully hand craft the beer in small batches to develop the full natural flavours. When each batch is ready, the brewers employ a brilliant time honoured tradition for quality control - they taste it.
On completion, you will receive a tasting a 3 beers of your choice from the tap at the Brewery bar, plus your very own personalised Monteith's 500ml bottle with your name on it - a personalised endorsement from the head brewer himself.
U-Drive 4x4. Choose your trail - relaxed or full on nail biter. Drive through tunnels, down canyons & rivers, see glow-worms & rainforest. Your guide can drive for you when you wish!
A thrilling 4x4 adventure with a Glow-worm Cave, drive-thru tunnels, gold & gemstone hunting & a short guided rainforest walk with a swing bridge. Drive yourself to the limit, (or we will drive for you), on one of the West Coast's stage coach trails, over Mountain Passes, rainforests, across rivers and thru tunnels cut by 1860's goldminers.
Get to drive a Toyota Landcruiser or Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4 vehicle, in which you can take up to 4 people, plus an instructor with support vehicle in case you get stuck. Choose one of 4 trails depending on how much excitement you want!
You'll meet one of the Wild West's local gold prospectors who will take you into the outback to visit some of his claims. He "claims" to have gold in your pan within one hour! You will head off up the Grey River Valley to the Nelson Creek Goldfields and then onto the gold miners back country trails. Enjoy a short rainforest walk and negotiate the early Chinese gold-diggers maze. Learn about the Native Beech Forest ecosystem found in abundance here.
On the way, make your fortune at the 1860's WILD WEST GOLD MINE. This historic, underground mine was opened in 1866 and is worked from time to time by a local prospector who keeps the mine operating. Experience the Wild West's living heritage as you pan for the elusive gold flakes & red garnets. See how the old timers did it - you can operate their gold sluice boxes and their tea billy!
These trips are not ‘drive around a purpose built track'. You follow stage coach trails built in the 1860's stopping at points of historical, landform & recreational interest. You are with a qualified 4x4 instructor so you'll finish your tour with a whole lot of new ‘rugged terrain' driving skills.