Greymouth is the largest town on the west coast and lies at the mouth of the Grey River.
It was an important port during the gold rush, and continued to thrive when the mining boom came to an end. Old photographs and memorabilia in the History House Museum reveal the region's mining and nautical past.
Also worth visiting is Shantytown, a recreation of an 1880s gold mining settlement, ten kilometres south of Greymouth, where visitors can learn about prospecting and try panning for gold themselves.
It's a friendly town, although it is mainly used by travellers as a stop-off. Greymouth marks one end of the TranzAlpine Train and the Great Alpine Highway, both of which connect it to Christchurch on the east coast.
The driving route is one of the most scenic in the country, crossing the Southern Alps by way of Arthur's Pass - a rugged mountain pass 920-metres above sea level.
The eponymous national park is a popular destination for walking, climbing and skiing.
Top itineraries in Greymouth
This tailor-made holiday combines the best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. You'll explore New Zealand's world-famous glaciers and remote fjords with a self-drive before discovering Australia's sacred Ayers Rock, stunning beaches and delightful waterside cities.
From the subtropical beaches of the Bay of Islands, the geothermal pools of Rotorua and wine lands of Hawke's Bay to the majestic glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand is home to some of the world's most spectacular driving routes.
Discover the spectacular landscapes of New Zealand's north and south islands on this fly-drive holiday, which includes a journey across the Southern Alps aboard the iconic TranzAlpine Express.
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