1. The Croesus Track
This old miners' track crosses the southern Paparoa Range between Barrytown, north of Greymouth, and Blackball in the Grey Valley. It’s 18km long and can be hiked in two days or one really long day. Recently, it has also been popular with mountain biking.
For a shorter option hike for an hour or so up from Barrytown to enjoy the ancient forest and the views over the Tasman Sea.
2. Point Elizabeth Walkway
Another track, but this one much shorter, easier and closer to Greymouth. Start at either Cobden or Rapahoe and follow a gravelled coastal walk through the subtropical forest of nīkau palms and mamaku (black tree fern) twined with supplejack vines and kiekie.
There are also large podocarps such as rimu, kahikatea and miro, along with the northern rātā and its crimson flowers during spring and summer.
3. Greymouth Breakwater
For some free entertainment, travel out either side of the breakwater in town to watch local surfers battling the often-large waves, as well as the fishing boats coming and going across the challenging Grey River Bar. The breakwaters are made from huge blocks of quarried rock, known as rip rap. When the surf is huge there can be quite a gathering of onlookers.
4. Lake Brunner
About half an hour’s drive inland from Greymouth is this tranquil area based around the small settlement of Moana.
There are actually seven lakes here, offering a range of activities, experiences and views, from the tranquil to the adventurous.
The Tranzalpine train that travels between Christchurch and Greymouth stops here, and there are plenty of DOC tracks and walks nearby.
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This small, quirky town is about 30km inland from Greymouth. It was named after the Blackball Shipping Line, which originally leased land nearby to mine for coal. Before that it was also known as Joliffetown and Moonlight Gully.
These days it is famous for its historical hotel formerly known as the Blackball Hilton, as well as its Blackball sausages.
To complete the unusual experience, carry along to Roa – formerly a mining settlement – and another end-of-the-road, West Coast experience.