Greymouth is the biggest town on New Zealand’s West Coast and the region’s ‘Big Smoke.’ For locals, it’s a refueling and shopping stop; for travelers, it’s a remarkable portal to hiking trails. Arriving on a dark day, it’s no mystery why Greymouth, bent at the mouth of the imaginatively named Grey River, is sometimes the target of jokes. But with gold-mining history, a scattering of jade shops, and excellent walks in its surrounds, it pays to watch beyond the grey.
Top Things to do in Greymouth
- Explore a Cave: Cobden Cave is situated around a 2-minute walk on a gravel track along the Grey River. Explore the first chamber and the cave entrance without a torch. Sturdy footwear is recommended for inside the cave. Visitors are suggested to go no further than the first chamber and request the local laws. It is an excellent place for photography and spending some time at one of the world’s oldest natural caves.
- Greymouth Flood Wall: A lovely easy walk along the flood wall beside the Grey River treats your eyes with fantastic views. There are stunning views of the creek and the Twelve Apostles range and some of the town’s industrial and commercial areas. Follow the trail further to see the modern and historic port areas and the harbor where there are fishing boats docked. Move to the Southern Breakwater, a well-known gun emplacement, and then the cleanest beach in the region. This trail is for cycling and walking.
- Kowhai Bush Walk: A 10-min walk through a remnant area of Kowhai forest and over boardwalks through estuarine vegetation takes you to Kowhai Bushes. There is an extensive range of aquatic birdlife to be observed on the tidal lagoon and other introduced and native species in the forest for those with the endurance to spot them. During the day, you may be lucky and spot a white heron/Kōtuku, and at dusk, you may see or hear a morepork/ruru. The track is flat across wooden boardwalks and a rough graveled surface.
- Cobden Aromoana Lagoon Walk: Explore the views of the Cobden Lagoon and the wide variety of water birds that you can see there. You may be lucky enough to spot the rare Kōtuku/white heron here as well. On a clear day, there are stunning views of the Twelve Apostles range and the Southern Alps. The track is a flat graveled surface of about 20 minutes, with a 100-m walk along the roadside of the lagoon back to the parking region. There is also foot access to the beach from the track and free seats, and a fantastic picnic table along the way to rest at.
Now You Know