With the river, forest, sea and mountains close at hand, Greymouth / Māwhera — the largest town in the West Coast region — is an ideal base for walking and hiking adventures.
Explore what was once one of New Zealand's most productive coal mines, discover gold mining relics, coastal scenery, native forests and spectacular waterfalls on walks in the area.
Coastal bush with stunning cliff top views
Point Elizabeth Walkway is a coastal bush walk following an old water race between Rapahoe Beach and Cobden, on the northern end of Greymouth. Expect great views as it passes through a scenic reserve and past old gold mining sites. Rapahoe Beach is a good swimming spot.
Alpine and ocean views, wetlands and beach
Popular with families and birdwatchers, this short walk around the lagoon offers expansive views inland to the Twelve Apostles Range, Southern Alps and out across the Tasman Sea. Nearby Cobden Island is an alternative walk through a restored whitebait-spawning area. Look out for kōtuku/white heron.
Bush walk, old gold mining tunnels
Family-friendly bush walk that starts 17 km from Shantytown. Take a torch to explore the historic tunnels dug out by 19th century gold miners, and other mining relics such as tail races and dams.
Bush walk to pretty cascade waterfall
An easy one-hour loop through lovely rainforest to picturesque Coal Creek Falls. Rest awhile on the benches overlooking the waterfall or follow steps down to the pool at the bottom. This historic trail once led to the West Coast’s first commercial coal mine. Runanga is a 10-minute drive north of Greymouth.
Early coal mine and monument, historic suspension footbridge
Peaceful native forest on the riverbanks above the Grey/Māwheranui River now surrounds the site of New Zealand’s worst mining disaster where 65 men perished in 1896. Cross the river on the historic 1876 suspension bridge for a lovely bush walk around the tunnel entrances, old coke ovens and brick factory ruins.
Gold fossicking, historic mining relics, forest walks
From Nelson Creek Recreation Area (playground and camping) walk through an old hand-picked tunnel and cross the Nelson Creek suspension bridge to the start of several easy walks or try your hand with some gold panning. Callaghans Track: Climb to the lookout over bush clad valleys; return from there or continue through native podocarp forest to Prices Creek Road.
Multi-day cycling or walking trail, Greymouth to Ross
The Wilderness Trail starts in Greymouth near the railway station, meandering down the coast to the Taramakau River with many access points on the way providing lovely short (or longer) walks on well-formed track. It travels inland to Kumara, via Lake Kaniere to Hokitika, finishing at Ross.