An Insider’s Guide to the West Coast

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The Brunner mine site is a must-see activity and was recently designated the Tohu Whenua site. Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd

Jase Blair is an NZIPP Accredited Professional Photographer and owner of Katabatic Creative and Printing.com in Greymouth. Who better to divulge the best bits of the West Coast than someone who takes their photos often?

Jase Blair is an NZIPP Accredited Professional Photographer and owner of Katabatic Creative and Printing.com in Greymouth.  Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd
Jase Blair is an NZIPP Accredited Professional Photographer and owner of Katabatic Creative and Printing.com in Greymouth. Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd

What I mainly like about Greymouth is its location. One hour from Arthur’s Pass Alpine Playground, the Magic Coastal Drive and Paparoa National Park a stone’s throw away, and South Westland is just down the road.

I moved to the West Coast for the outdoors and Greymouth is perfectly located near a range of activities – mountain biking, rock climbing and mountaineering, ski touring, tramping and surfing. Adventures of all kinds are here. Plus, the rich local heritage means I can take an after-work walk in the beautiful native bush and stumble upon rusty mining relics slowly being consumed by the earth.

Greymouth is close to Arthur's Pass Alpine Playground, the Magical Coastal Road and Paparoa National Park.  Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd
Greymouth is close to Arthur’s Pass Alpine Playground, the Magical Coastal Road and Paparoa National Park. Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd

If you’re planning on visiting Greymouth the Paparoa Track isn’t much of a secret, but if you haven’t done our brand new Great Walk yet, don’t wait any longer. Stunning views are guaranteed if you’re lucky enough to have good weather, but it’s actually stunning in all conditions. There are also many small walks and trails maintained by the locals that you won’t find on any map. Make friends with a local and they might take you on a bush trail to a secret beach or mountain viewpoint.

A range of activities include trampling the Wilderness Trail.  Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd
A range of activities include trampling the Wilderness Trail. Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd

Visitors and locals alike rave about the almond croissants at the Gatherer Cafe in Hokitika. For beer lovers, Hopaholics Taproom brews local craft beer and has a great atmosphere. They are only open Thursday through Saturday, but it’s worth taking the time. A little piece of coast that everyone loves will soon be moving to Christchurch. Keep an eye out for The Hokitika Sandwich Company, or drop by its original outpost in Hokianga.

Visitors and locals alike rave about the almond croissants at the Gatherer Cafe in Hokitika.  Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd
Visitors and locals alike rave about the almond croissants at the Gatherer Cafe in Hokitika. Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd

When you visit Greymouth, rest assured the weather is – almost – always better than expected. Even if it’s humid (we live in a rainforest, after all), there is plenty to do if you prepare. The Brunner mine site is a must see, rain or shine. Recently designated the Tohu Whenua site, it has a very good interpretation and a well-preserved mining history. It is also a great place to swim in the summer. Of course, the coast is famous for pounamu as well, so visit a local sculptor and find your own taonga.

For beer lovers, Hopaholics Taproom brews local craft beer and has a great atmosphere.  Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd
For beer lovers, Hopaholics Taproom brews local craft beer and has a great atmosphere. Photo / Jase Blair / Katabatic Creative Ltd

To view Jason’s award-winning photographs, visit Katabatic Creative online at catabatic.co.nz and the next time you’re in Greymouth, drop by their print studio, Printing.com.

Check alert level restrictions and advice from the Department of Health before traveling. covid19.govt.nz


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