Happy birthday to Greymouth – 150 years old.
On 22 July 1864 Reuben Waite, a storekeeper from Collingwood, crossed the Greymouth bar with 70 prospectors in a chartered paddle steamer.
He put his supplies ashore and opened the first store on the banks of the Grey River on what was to become the corner of Waite St and Mawhera Quay (this site is now occupied by DP1 Café – Deposit One).
Greymouth over the years has had its ups and down – gold and coal mining has prospered and slumped.
There have been many hardships – mining tragedies, fishing tragedies, economic boom and bust but it is a resilient town fuelled by a strong community spirit.
Often there is much negative talk about Greymouth, some even describing it as ugly – but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Surrounded by native bush on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other with the Grey River running down to the sea – it is a picture of beauty.
The Southern Alps loom in the background and on a clear day you can see the might of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman off to the south.
There are wonderful bush walks, world-class beaches, great surfing, mountain biking trails, gold and coal mining history, rivers for fishing – something for everyone. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes to see what is right in front of us.
While the town centre may not have architecturally designed buildings it is an industrial town servicing the region of the West Coast with friendly locals and everything the region needs. Sprinkled amongst the modern-day jungle there are some beautiful art deco gems.
Greymouth – there is no-where else I’d rather be.
Happy birthday Greymouth – we love you.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. The Coastal drive has been named one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet and they named the West Coast as one of the top 10 regions to visit in the world. Make sure you include a visit in your NZ itinerary, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.