Greymouth is the largest town on the South Island’s West Coast and lies beside the Tasman Sea and the Grey River. This history and tradition-rich town has also been blessed with mountains that stand tall, rivers that run deep and New Zealand’s famous rain forests. Being situated close to the foot of the Southern Alps, Greymouth is a great launch point for exploring the West Coast in your rental car. Hit the road to experience some of these great attractions or head further a field on a road trip.
Start off the trip in Greymouth itself where you may discover the idea of what an early West Coast life was like at Shantytown, a replica pioneering gold-rush town with 30 historic buildings. If you’re up for some action, take a ride with On Yer Bike, go saltwater fishing or experience blackwater or whitewater cave rafting, and scenic kayaking.
If you’re after a more relaxing time, explore some of the art galleries in the area; pick up some beautiful locally made Pounamu (greenstone) jewellery or some traditional Maori carvings. You can also hunt for creative and unique souvenirs made by local artisans from wood, paua, bone, or wool. Finally, experience the making of Monteith’s fine beers with a Monteith’s Brewery Tour.
Greymouth Road Trips
Heading 45 minutes north of the town, you will find the popular Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki. The area also offers spectacular scenic landscapes fit for horse trekking, rock climbing and bouldering. For an unforgettable experience go canoeing on the Pororari River in the breathtaking surroundings of the Paparoa National Park. Explore the spectacular the limestone formations carved by the water over the years and spot some of the beautiful local wildlife.
Another must-stop destination is spectacular Karamea, one and a half hours drive north from Westport. Located between the mountains and the sea the area offers an ideal natural setting for trampers and cavers, rafters and kayakers. Karamea is the gateway to the Kahurangi National Park, home to the famous Heaphy Track. Explore the spectacular Oparara Basin with its magical limestone arches and caves and explore the wildlife in The Fenian, an old gold mining track featuring a stunning mixed beech/podocarp forest.
A trip to the West coast would not be complete without visiting Glacier Country. A 2 hour drive south of Greymouth, Franz Josef Glacier is a stunning demonstration of the power of moving ice, slowly shaping the valley and creating magnificent ice and rock formations. Take a guided walk to experience this spectacular glacier environment.
With glaciers and rainforests co-existing next to each other, the Greymouth area will give every tourist a car rental road trip to remember.
Getting around Greymouth is easy with a rental car and there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
New Zealand Rent A Car has car rental locations throughout New Zealand and the South Island, including a handy Greymouth car rental depot, offering a wide range of reliable affordable rental cars to suit all budgets.