After 3 hours of driving (which equates to 5 hours with children) we were ready for a stop in Greymouth and decided to head over to Shantytown.
It was relatively expensive at close to $100 for the 5 of us (with gold panning for the kids) but we decided to go anyway for two reasons – firstly, we were there and secondly, it is good to support local communities like Greymouth and tourism is a big part of this.
The last time I went to Shantytown was almost 15 years ago and from my sketchy memory it didn’t seem like a lot had changed – although now of course I was seeing it through my children eyes.
The kids rated it a 10 out of 10 each but at the time seemed pretty quick to move through everything and get to the ice cream shop at the end!
The highlight for all of them was the gold panning and at $7 per child each child is guaranteed to strike gold and get a little bottle to bring it home in (and amazingly they all actually made it home).
We went and saw the hologram movie which they found a little creepy but oddly really seemed quite captivated by the notion that apparently there are still many undiscovered bodies of murdered miners in the West Coast woods (a cheery thought as we explored the woods later that day).
Despite an array of trains on offer James wasn’t overly impressed and thought it was a lot like MOTAT so from his POV didn’t offer a lot that he couldn’t get closer to home and he would have preferred to explore the beaches.
Shantytown in Greymouth is an easy 2 hour excursion and we felt a little rushed in our trip to get back on the road.
My advice – if you are passing through Greymouth and have a spare 3 hours and circa $100 to spend then it is worth a look. However – just further down the coast there are so many free natural wonders that you may like us wish that you had left more time for them…
I was forced to do it – we all were. But we all seemed to enjoy ourselves and even got some lollies, ice-cream and gold out of it.
You can find more details here – and you can also save money booking online!
How we rated it….
Sophia (6 years old) rates it 10/10
Krystal (8 years old) rates it 10/10
Bella (9 years old) rates it 10/10
James rates it 7/10
Cat rates it 6/10