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Travel Guide

Greymouth & Grey district heritage places of interest

  • 1 minute

@Wikimedia Commons

Top 5 must go sites what to see and getting there

Top five must go heritage sites:

  • Brunner Mine Site
  • Greymouth Railway Station
  • Model School, impossibly cute
  • Runanga Workers Hall
  • Shanty Town (kids will love it)
Brunner Mine Site, New Zealand @Tohu Whenua
@Tohu Whenua

The Grey district has a diverse range of buildings and sites to observe on your travels. It’s part of the story of the Coast. Shantytown heritage park is a great place for kids to wander down a replica 19th century heritage street and hear stories about the heroes and villains who once occupied the buildings. Runanga Miner’s Hall is testimony to the struggles of coal miners to a living wage and support. The importance of the railway in opening up the West Coast economically is elaborated with the ornate beautiful Greymouth Railway Station. Brunner Mine site is a somber story of the risk and dangers of underground coal mining while a rural saw milling community at Kotuku, Jacks Mill built a model house as an exercise for the local pupils.


Greymouth timeline

Greymouth is named after 19th c Governor George Grey. Before Greymouth, the region was centred around Māwhera pā. It was here that Thomas Brunner and Charles Heaphy stayed when first exploring the region. Following the abolition of the provinces in 1876, the modern West Coast region was created. West Coast’s economic fortunes skyrocketed with the 19thc gold rushes and then wealth was found in black gold, coal.  From the 1870s onward, gold mining was replaced with coal mining, and Greymouth became a bustling port for coal and timber exports. Today Greymouth is struggling economically with the closure of coal mining sites and the move of population further north. Tourism is seen as a growth opportunity for the Coast and there are efforts to build infrastructure to support visitors.

Governor George Grey, New Zealand @New Zealand Geographic
Governor George Grey @New Zealand Geographic


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