CHRISTCHURCH – GREYMOUTH (Via Arthur’s Pass)
Travel distance is approximately 254kms (159 miles).
Allow at least 3 hours drive time (not including stops).
This self-drive journey gives you the choice of choosing one night extra stay where you want! We suggest you plan your ‘7th’ (extra) night in either Franz Josef, Te Anau, Queenstown or Dunedin, as all these destinations have enough for you to see and do that would warrant an extra nights accommodation.
This fabulous journey takes you from the East Coast of the South Island, over to the West Coast and then back again! Along the way you will get to experience some of the best New Zealand scenery and wild life on offer!
Today your journey is relatively short as your leave Christchurch city on the East Coast and traverse the rugged beauty of Arthur’s Pass before heading down into the West Coast town of Greymouth for your nightly stop-over.
Some notable stops along the route to Greymouth include:
CAVE STREAM SCENIC RESERVE
Located in the basis of Castle Hill, this photography friendly reserve is a truly awesome natural Canterbury feature. Enjoy an easy walk to the 594 metre cave as you meander past an impressive limestone landscape and sculptured rock formations. It takes approximately 1 hour to walk from one entrance of the cove through to the exit.
Popular with trampers and hunters, the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass is famous for the surreal civil engineering that makes access safer and easier into the West Coast. The village is a favourite base for local tramping, hiking and hunting in the nearby national park. Great place to enjoy a coffee and a leg stretch!
ARTHUR’S PASS NATIONAL PARK
From short walks to advanced mountaineering hikes, the national park offers it all. The most popular short walk is the Punchbowl Falls Track. This one hour return walk provides stunning scenery and native wildlife.
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