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Art & Heritage

Brunner Mine Site attraction, things to do

  • 2 minutes

West Coast, South Island

Brunner Mine Walk

13 km from Greymouth on State Highway 7 (the road eventually leads to Reefton, Lewis alpine pass and Christchurch).


  • Beehive coke ovens
  • Interpretative panels with their photographs bring to life the miner’s lives
  • Historic suspension bridge across the Grey River — imagine loaded railway wagons brimming with coal being delivered to Greymouth Port
  • Flat easy walk suitable for kids and wheelchair friendly


The Brunner Mine site is unnmissable and a must-go destination for heritage buffs and anyone interested in the story of tragic mining accidents. For more ideas what to do in Greymouth check out HERITAGE GREYMOUTH – PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO.

Mine walk is a 2 km flat easy walk.

The coal manufacturing sites were operational from 1860 until the 1896 disaster.

The heritage site has rare original beehive brick coke ovens, original chimneys and mining relics.

The archeological site is of tremendous significance to New Zealand’s industrial history and must-go destination.

Brunner Mine Historic Area in New Zealand
Brunner Mine Historic Area

Cross both sides of the river to ensure you thoroughly explore the area, Allow up to an hour to view displays.

View of the coal mining town of Brunner, showing the bridge and mine. Ref; PA1-0-498-36, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
View of the coal mining town of Brunner, showing the bridge and mine. Ref; PA1-0-498-36, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

The Brunner Mine was one of several mines situated on the banks of the Grey River, at an area known as “Coal Gorge” between the townships of Stillwater and Taylorville. The town of Brunner (formerly Brunnerton) is nearby. The West Coast had surplus labour of former gold miners ready and willing to extract high quality coal.

The historic bridge (1876) between the two Brunner Mine sites was the first bridge to cross the Grey River. The suspension bridge was constructed to support road and rail traffic on a shared single deck. A railway linking the Grey River mines allowed efficient flow of coal wagons to the Port. Before the bridge coal was transported using a hazardous wire, rope and cage across the Grey river. The narrow gorge was also subject to high winds creating additional danger.

“On 11 April 1877 the bridge was officially opened for horse-drawn coal and goods wagons and pedestrian traffic. Horses hauled the ten-tonne coal wagons across the bridge decking which sloped slightly to help get the coal more easily to the railway marshalling yards.” (source Brunner Mine’s iconic bridge – Tohu Whenua). Today the restored bridge is a walking track linking the two Brunner Mine Heritage sites together.

Bridge leading to Brunner Mine Historic Area in New zealand
Bridge leading to Brunner Mine Historic Area

The chimney on the south bank between the road and railway line is actually part of the Tyneside Mine

The visible remains of the Brunner Mine, on the north side beehive coke ovens, memorial listing miners killed, meticulously restored Q class railway wagons.


Greymouth Stillwater Cemetery is where 33 men were buried in a mass grave.


  • Combine your Brunner Mine exploration with an inland road trip to Lake Brunner
  • Link your Brunner Mine exploration to your onward journey to Reefton. Reefton is approximately 65 km from the heritage site.

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