The name tells you all you need to know about the location. Greymouth sits at the mouth of the Grey River, on New Zealand’s wild west coast, and is a fantastic destination for a NZ campervan hire. Once a Maori pa site, it is the largest town in the Westland region and well used to catering for visitors passing through on their way north to Golden Bay and Nelson or south towards the alps and glaciers.
A motorhome hire in Greymouth is a great way to explore the Westland region and opens up many possibilities beyond the coast. The laid-back town makes a peaceful and stress-free start to any road trip! It is possible to get there by bus from several larger city centres in the South Island including Christchurch and Queenstown.
New Zealand campervan hire: Take your pick with Motorhome Republic
Motorhome Republic is here to help! We bring the range of available Greymouth campervans together on one site, so you can find the perfect vehicle to suit your plans. Enter the dates, location and driver age into the search engine and you will be presented with a list of rental options from several Greymouth campervan hire suppliers. The list format makes it easy to compare and make an informed decision. All of the relevant details can be seen right on the results page.
New Zealanders like to keep it simple when it comes to road trips. For this reason, you will find that many vehicles on offer are sleeper-vans or small campervans built on a converted van chassis, easy-to-drive and very manoeuvrable. These can be self-contained with a simple toilet and shower, or just a van with double bed and camp cooking equipment. Travellers in such campers will often make use of the many safe and affordable holiday parks around the country which offer shared facilities. This is also a great way to meet fellow road trippers! If you have a big family, don’t worry - you can still rent an RV-style motorhome with beds for everyone.
Eat, drink, be merry – Greymouth restaurants and bars
There is no shortage of places to get a good meal in Greymouth. Lovers of pub fare will enjoy not only the Monteith’s Brewery, but also the Speight’s Ale House which serves up generously proportioned meals in a category 1 historic building near the centre of town. For something a little more exotic, try the Indian cuisine at Priya or Chinese at Sampan Restaurant. There are also plenty of cafes where you can get in a casual lunch or breakfast, should you fancy a change from the motorhome stove.
Head to Frank’s Late Night Lounge for a bit of a dance or just a drink. It’s family friendly and often has live music - the perfect way to spend an evening! Jones’s Cafe and Bar is another great spot with blues and jazz. Many of the town’s hotels have bar restaurants.
Motorhome accommodation and camping
Greymouth has two holiday parks where you can stop for the night. Both the Greymouth Seaside Top 10 Holiday Park and Greymouth Kiwi Holiday Park and Motels belong to trusted nationwide chains and have clean and comfortable shared facilities. Alternatively, the Department of Conservation maintains simple campsites all around the country. The closest to Greymouth is the Slab Hut Creek campsite, a standard site with toilets, water and barbecues which costs around $6 per night. Freedom camping is allowed on many public conservation areas, but the rules can be confusing - best to research beforehand and ask at an information centre. Only certified self-contained vehicles can freedom camp.
Hit the road: Campervan hire holidays from Greymouth
From the town, there are three main roads heading in different directions. The two heading north will both get you to the same place via different routes - State Highway 6 is coastal and passes the famous Pancake Rocks formation in Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki, before turning inland towards beautiful Nelson and Golden Bay, known for fantastic weather. For a different type of scenery, take State Highway 7 beside the Grey River and then turn onto the 69 at Reefton.
Those heading down the coast will take their campervan on State Highway 6 going south. The glaciers in Westland National Park are a highlight, a two-hour drive from Greymouth. Beyond that, the road takes in the amazing untouched coastline, then heads over the mountains at Haast Pass towards Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, a trio of gorgeous lakeside towns backed by the spectacular mountains of the far south. This area is a very popular destination for campervan hire in New Zealand - and for good reason! If scenery isn't enough, the adventure activities on offer are endless. The key message is to book your motorhome in advance so you don’t miss out.
Drive Safe in New Zealand – motorhome tips
Driving in New Zealand is relatively straightforward, thanks to well-maintained roads and friendly locals, the majority of whom are happy to help out with directions and advice. There are just a few things to keep in mind before you make tracks in your motorhome hire from Greymouth.
Driving is on the left and the driver sits on the right-hand side. This may take some getting used to for those visiting from right-side countries, so be watchful . Most main highways are simple two-lane roads and not dual carriageways. Speed limits are strongly enforced, so keep an eye out for posted signs. The speeds are in kilometres per hour, and that is what your speedometer will measure. Drinking and driving laws are also very strict, and those breaking them face fines or imprisonment. The blood-alcohol limit is zero for those under 20 and 400mg/litre for those 20 or over 20. We advise you to err on the side of caution and completely avoid drinking before driving.
The abundance of mountains in the South Island can make for some tricky routes. Take care on windy sections, especially when the roads are wet. Most motorhome rental companies forbid taking their vehicles on the most treacherous roads, such as Skipper’s Canyon Road near Queenstown.