FRANZ JOSEF – GREYMOUTH (via Hokitika)
Travel distance is approximately 173kms (108 miles).
Allow at least 2.25 hours drive time (not including stops).
Going from the rugged beauty of the glaciers through lush farmland, your journey will then take you through forest regions before the wild beaches of the West Coast.
Boasting some of the most untamed and stunning scenery in the world, the coastal road between Greymouth and Hokitika provides great views of the genuine ‘Wild West Coast’. Make sure you stop off along the route to enjoy the sharp tang of the sea air and enjoy a stroll along the beach while enjoying the entertaining shapes and sizes of the driftwood that adorns our West Coast beaches.
Some notable stops along the route to Greymouth include:
WILD FOOD RESTAURANT
Across the road from The Bushman’s Centre is a unique restaurant and pub that has a fabulous ‘road kill’ menu which includes possum, venison, Thar, Chamois, rabbit, Hare, Whitebait, Mutton Bird, Wallaby and wild pork. Be adventurous and try a Possum Pie!
THE BUSHMANS CENTRE
Located in the tiny township of Pukekura near Lake Ianthe, this is a really fun place to stop for a driver reviver with a difference! This unique tourist attraction has a cafe that caters for breakfast and lunch, a museum with live possums that you can see and feed, live eels and a wild pig, plus a shop full of interesting and unique souvenirs.
Offering New Zealand’s largest range of quality and affordable Pounamu/Jade carvings and sculptures, The carvers at the Jade Factory in Hokitika work exclusively with Pounamu.
Situated by the sea, the town and area is famous for local artists working in jade, gold, driftwood, timber, clay, shell, bone, fibres and paint! The area boasts talented craft artists; sculptors, jewellers, painters and poets that choose to make this inspirational area their home. Hokitika is also home to the famous Wild Foods Festival, which is held in March each year and attracts visitors from around New Zealand and the world.
Between Greymouth and Hokitika on one of the spectacular coastal drives in the world, this is a wonderful place to stop and enjoy the wonderful walks and coastal views. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area is most famous for the internationally recognised Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
Situated at the mouth of the Grey River, Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast of the South Island. This is a popular coastal tourist stop, mainly because of the Greymouth airport and the TranzAlpine scenic train that arrives from and departs to Christchurch daily.
The town offers a variety of cafe, dining and accommodation options for your overnight stay. Choose from modern hotels and motels in the town or beside the ocean.
Highly recommended Greymouth tourist attractions include…
Blackwater Glow-worm Cave Rafting – This Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity is a truly magical and fun way to enjoy some of the special natural beauty that is New Zealand! Float through a galaxy world of glow-worms on subterranean lakes, experience under-ground waterfalls and drift through tunnels on an inflatable tube.
Monteith’s Brewery Tour – Located in Greymouth, the brewery maintains the brewing traditions almost 150 years on from its inception. Tours are available daily and designed so you can experience the making of fine beer in open fermenter’s by coal-fired boilers, learn about a time-honoured tradition that lives on, learn about the origins of each beer and taste profiles plus enjoy formal tasting of each beer style.
Shantytown – Located 10km’s South of Greymouth is an awesome New Zealand culture and heritage attraction with over 30 historic buildings recreating a 19th Century pioneer town, inspired by the West Coast gold rushes of the 1860s. Other highlights include riding the steam train, gold panning and having an old time portrait taken of yourself.
History House Museum – Open weekdays from 10am to 4pm (and some summer and holiday weekends), the museum offers an extensive photographic collection of the history of the West Coast. View thousands of photographs going right back to the 1800’s.
On Yer Bike – Off road and 4WD adventures for all ages. From Quad bikes to the awesome 6-seater 8WD Amphibious Argo, Go-Karts, 4WD motorbikes and Mini bikes! Fun for all the family plus plenty of photo opportunities at beautiful spots throughout the forest on your tour.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch