Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Travel Guide

Greymouth & Grey district heritage places of interest

  • 1 minute

West Coast, South Island

Top 5 must go sites what to see and getting there

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

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.

Heritage building of
Heritage building of "The Bank of New Zealand", now the "Left Bank Art Gallery", Greymouth, West Coast

Check out West Coast Travel Guide for holiday inspiration.


Our editors independently visit tour operators, purchase tickets, pay for accommodation, and rate products and places. We are not paid to go on a tour or visit a place. We only make money if you decide to purchase a product through our website links. You will not pay any extra, that is guaranteed.

We promise to never accept free products from manufacturers in return for boosting their products. Our independence and reviews is funded by your purchases and affiliate commissions, at no additional cost to yourself… read more about our affiliate programme in the terms and conditions HERE.



Related articles


If you have a query about content, travel deals or anything else, our team is happy to answer all your questions 🙂

    Your information is secure, no third party involved.
    100% Safe, secure, privacy guaranteed. Privacy Policy.