Introduction

Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast and the region's 'Big Smoke'. For locals it's a refuelling and shopping pit stop, for travellers it's a noteworthy portal to tramping trails. Arriving on a dreary day, it's no mystery why Greymouth, crouched at the mouth of the imaginatively named Grey River, is sometimes the butt of jokes. But with gold-mining history, a scattering of jade shops, and worthy walks in its surrounds, it pays to look beyond the grey.