Striking Gold Not Grey in Greymouth
Posted on January 09, 2013 by sguese
The largest town on New Zealand’s West Coast, Greymouth is not as dismal as it
sounds. Crouched at the mouth of the Grey River, this town is more associated with gold than grey. With its proud mining history, Greymouth became important with the discovery of gold in the 1860s. Its most prized possession however is pounamu, or jade. While often just a stopover en route to Nelson or Christchurch, pan for gold in Greymouth and you won’t be bored.
Most guidebooks will tell you to avoid the shantytowns in cities, but Greymouth doesn’t. Its Shantytown is a replica of a West Coast gold-mining town. It includes over 30 historic buildings and 10,000 historic objects, photographs and textiles. You can take a stagecoach over an old bush road or pan for gold to feel even more like Greymouth circa 1860.
Drink Liquid Gold at Monteith’s Brewery
Most visitors to Greymouth would rather drink their gold than pan for it. Monteith’s Brewery provides you with the town’s liquid gold, beer. Travelers looking for a more intoxicating experience can tour and taste their way through this New Zealand brewery. The brewery provides a nice pour of the town’s drink of choice.
Experience Greymouth’s other color, jade at the Jade Country Greenstone Experience
Greymouth is not just proud of its gold panning history. It is also a town for jade, as best seen at the Jade Country Greenstone Experience. The site contains exhibits of the work of Ian Boustridge, one of the country’s best sculptors of greenstone. It is good place to pick up a souvenir or wander Discover Walkway. The walkway goes through the legends and forms surrounding New Zealand’s greenstone along with displays of carved and raw jade.
Find Greymouth’s Artistic Side at the Left Bank Art Gallery
The Left Bank Art Gallery in Greymouth is the best progressive gallery in town. It continues the jade education with some contemporary jade carvings. Art fans looking to see a bit more will appreciate the prints, paintings and photographs also on display in the gallery.
Make a day trip to a different hue, Blackball
Those who hire a care in Greymouth can pick up and head out to Blackball, an off the beaten path destination. The quaint historic village sits just 28 kilometers from Greymouth. It was a base for gold seekers in 1864. It is one of the best places to feel just how life used to be on the coast.
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