Compare Greymouth Car Rental Deals
Big savings on Greymouth car hire
Compare the best Greymouth car rental deals from Avis, Ace, Apex, Budget, Dollar, Ezi, Hertz and Thrifty.
* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.
Car Hire Options at Greymouth
There's a range of car hire companies operating at Greymouth. You'll find them here and can easily compare their best deals. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the rental counter.
Car Rental Brands
If you plan picking up a rental car in Greymouth it won't be from the airport, but the railway station. The airport at Greymouth is very small and used for scenic flights only.
Greymouth is about three hours drive from Christchurch. But rather than drive, many people choose to take the TranzAlpine train which is rated as one of the world's top 10 rail journeys. This 223 km trip across the Canterbury Plains and through the breath-taking Southern Alps takes 5 hours and is highly recommended.
Once you arrive by train you'll then need to pick up a rental vehicle car so you can fully explore Greymouth and the surrounding area.
All the car rental companies have counters at the Greymouth Railway Station which is at 164 Mackay Street.
The rental counters can be found in the middle of the station building. If the rental counter is unattended, when you arrive use the phone on the counter. If you are picking up an Ace vehicle check-in is at the Hertz counter.
Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these car rental brands in Greymouth:
Maximum Choice. Best Deals.
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Best deal we could find after looking at all the rental car websites.
Quick and easy
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Easy, I had no problems at all. Prices seemed to be ok. I didn't check others. Definitely recommend.
Better prices and variety than going direct
Best car hire rate I could find. Recommended to a friend and she said same.
Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.
Easy to compare the different rental companies in one place. Lots of choice which is great. Prices seemed cheaper than other sites including when I looked at booking direct
Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.
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Greymouth Car Hire Tips
Why renting a car makes sense
Greymouth is a popular base for exploring the spectacular and isolated West Coast of the South Island where there is just so much to see and do.
To make the most of your time exploring the sites in and around Greymouth a vehicle is essential, especially for places off the beaten track. We have some suggestions of places you might want to explore further down the page.
Having a rental car gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and roam further afield exploring this stunning part of New Zealand.
The West Coast is a popular part of NZ for tourists to visit and so it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods.
Driving from Greymouth
If you're picking up a rental car in Greymouth it's likely that you'll be doing a one-way rental and returning the car in another part of the country.
From Greymouth you could head down the West Coast through Hokitika and on to the famous Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Going further south will take you to the Haast region, an area so spectacular UNESCO made it a "World Heritage" area. From here you could drive on through to Queenstown or Christchurch where you could drop off your rental vehicle.
Driving north from Greymouth are the Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes, where columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of hotcakes. On from here is the gold and coal mining town of Westport. From here you can drive north to isolated Karamea and start of the famous Heaphy Track through the Kahurangi National Park. Or from Westport continue your driving adventure on towards Nelson and Picton. Here you could drop off your car or alternatively take it on the ferry across to Wellington and continue your travels in the North Island.
Return with a full tank
Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.
If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.
If you're returning a car in Greymouth, topping up your rental car's tank before you drop it off back is not a problem. With all depots being in town there are petrol stations nearby.
Attractions around greymouth
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring the West Coast region from Greymouth. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the West Coast Tourism website....
Shantytown is one of Greymouth’s premier tourist attractions, a replica settler village where the West Coast’s history comes alive. It’s an easy drive from the town centre — only 10 km south. It recreates life during the gold rush through a number of means.
The village includes 30 stores and buildings across 2 streets; a highlight is the old Beehive shop, where you can have an old-fashioned milkshake or lolly mixture. A flying fox helps to keep younger ones entertained while you picnic in the park or grab a bite at the cafe.
Entry to Shantytown includes a vintage steam train ride. There are regular departures throughout the day between 9.45 am and 4 pm, so you never have to wait too long. The trip runs through native rainforest along an old sawmill tram route from the 1800s, for about 1.5 km. At the end of the line, passengers can disembark to stretch their legs, snap some photos and look out for weka — a native New Zealand bird that often frequents this particular spot. On the return journey, the train stops at the sawmill — from here it’s a quick stroll to the gold claim area, complete with a powerful sluice gun. Watch as gold speckled gravel is blasted from a cliff face, then down to the gold claim where you can pan for gold under the experienced eye of a tutor.
The Shantytown sawmill offers another perspective on pioneer life. A boardwalk leads through the interior, complete with the squeals of clanking heavy machinery and old film footage that loops on big screens.
There’s also the fascinating Victorian Princess Theatre - catch the holographic show here before you leave, which incorporates old transcripts, photographs, and records with modern special effects to reenact old tales.
Do you want to stretch your legs and see more of the Paparoa National Park? The Croesus Track is a living example of an old mining track; you can even get a feel for what a miner’s life was like when you visit or stay at the old Croesus Top Hut, or camp out beside the Garden Gully Hut. It makes for a great tramp for new hikers, or alternatively for more advanced mountain bikers.
The Croesus Track travels between Blackball in the Grey Valley (a quick 20-minute drive from Greymouth in your rental car) and Barrytown on the Tasman coast, weaving across the Paparoa Range. Allow 2 days to complete the trail.
It starts from the tiny town of Blackball — most famous for its historic hotel, called ‘Formerly the Blackball Hilton’ — as a gravel road. It then enters lush forest before climbing to Ces Clark Hut. Stop here for lunch and enjoy the incredible outlook, or stay overnight. Nearby Croesus Top Hut is open to visitors when Ces Clark Hut is full. Carry on up the Paparoa Ranges (from here most riders turn around and return downhill to Blackball) — at its highest point, the track rises 1 km above sea level. The route along the open peaks is marked by poles.
Originally constructed in 1881, the track was cleverly built using advanced stonework to work around the rugged and steep slopes in the area. It’s a prime example of a ‘pack track’ or ‘bullock road’, built to allow early settlers access for the purposes of tourism, mining, farming etc. Horses and bullocks would travel these tracks transporting goods from point to point; many of today’s roads initially began as pack tracks.
Lots of historic sites and relics from the gold rush days remain and can be seen along the way, such as old alluvial workings and the remains of a quartz mine at Garden Gully Battery (just 15 minutes from the hut of the same name — built in the 1930s by prospectors, it has since been fully restored).
Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki
Punakaiki is most famous for the so-called Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point, just a 40-minute drive from Greymouth in your rental car. Part of the Paparoa National Park, they are one of the very top natural attractions on the West Coast.
Here, giant columns of rocks resembling stacks of hotcakes were formed millions of years ago when the remains of plants and marine life were melded with limestone and mud on the bottom of the ocean floor. Over time they built up and rose higher and higher, buoyed by seismic activity. Wind and rain then entered the picture and played their part in eroding the softer sandstone, carving horizontal lines into the rocks, and leaving behind the wonder of nature that we see today.
At high tide, the sea shoots up through blowholes between the rocks, shooting geysers of salty spray skyward. It’s a truly impressive sight, particularly at the surge pool known as Devil’s Cauldron. The swell tends to hiss and roar and will often spray the closest onlookers.
An easy walkway leads from the roadside around the edge of the cliffs and back. Plan for 30 minutes to an hour to spend here. The path begins in native forest (you may see the weka, a native bird, pecking around here) giving way to scrub and flax. Coming up to the coastal edge you’ll see staircases carved into the rock faces. There are informational signposts that tell you about the geology of the rocks, too. You may be lucky and spot some Hector’s dolphins coming in close to shore.
Other activities in and around the tiny township of Punakaiki mainly revolve around the outdoors. You can go horse riding on the beach, canoeing on the Pororari River, or tackle one of the walking and hiking trails, such as the Truman Track, Pororari River Track, Cave Creek or Punakaiki to Bullock Creek Rd.
In 1896 the Brunner coal mine became the scene of one of New Zealand’s worst mining disasters, with an explosion killing a total of 65 workers. Today the Brunner Mine is both a historic site and a tourist attraction, paying homage to the tragedy. Located in Stillwater, it’s just a 10-minute drive east and inland from Greymouth in your rental car. It offers a glimpse into the past, the evolution of the site and the astounding stories of the people who toiled here once upon a time.
Allow at least an hour to explore this area. The walk is about 2 km long in terms of distance, though you don’t need to cover the full length, and takes in the brickworks factory, old ovens, and remnants of tunnels. The northern and southern ends of the mine site are connected by an old suspension bridge, over the Grey River.
Informational panels explain the ruins that are still standing - the beehive coke ovens are especially significant, even on a global level, as there are very few surviving examples of these today - and there is a memorial to the original accident as well, which was put up for the centennial anniversary.
The Brunner mine was one of New Zealand’s earliest industrial sites. Not only was coal mined here, but bricks and similar products were also manufactured as well, from the 1860s through to the 1940s. Coal was initially uncovered here in the 1840s by Thomas Brunner, although the commercial site was not established for another 20 years. Come the 1880s, the mine was pumping out more coal than any others in the country — boosted by the building of a railway to Greymouth, and the suspension bridge.