Jase Blair is a NZIPP Accredited Professional Photographer and owner of Katabatic Creative and printshop Printing.com in Greymouth. Who better to divulge the West Coast's best bits than someone who frequently snaps it?
What I mainly love about Greymouth is its location. One hour to the alpine playground of Arthur's Pass, the magical Coast Road and Paparoa National Park on the doorstep, and South Westland is just down the road.
I moved to the West Coast for the outdoors and Greymouth is perfectly located in close proximity to a range of activities – mountain biking, rock and alpine climbing, backcountry skiing, tramping and surfing. Adventures of all kinds are here. Plus, the rich local heritage means I can go for an after-work walk through beautiful native bush and stumble across rusty mining relics slowly being consumed by the land.
If you plan to visit Greymouth, the Paparoa Track is not exactly a secret, but if you haven't done our newest Great Walk yet, don't wait any longer. Stunning views are guaranteed if you're lucky enough to get good weather, but it's actually beautiful in all conditions. There are also numerous short walks and tracks maintained by locals which you won't find on any map. Make friends with a local and they might take you down a bush track to a secret beach, or a mountain viewpoint.
Visitors and locals alike rave about the almond croissants from Gatherer Cafe in Hokitika. For beer fans, Hopaholics Taproom brews local craft beer and boasts an excellent vibe. They're only open Thursday to Saturday but it's worth making time for. A little piece of the coast that everyone loves will soon be setting up shop in Christchurch, too. Keep an eye out for The Hokitika Sandwich Company, or pop by its original Hokitika outpost.
When visiting Greymouth, rest assured the weather is – almost – always better than the forecast. Even if it's wet (we do live in a rainforest, after all) there's plenty to do if you come prepared. The Brunner Mine Site is a must-do come rain or shine. Recently designated a Tohu Whenua site, it has really good interpretation and well-preserved mining history. It's a great spot for a swim in summer as well. Of course, the coast is also famous for pounamu, so visit a local carver and find a taonga of your own.
To check out Jason's award-winning photography, visit Katabatic Creative online at katabatic.co.nz and next time you're in Greymouth, pop into his print studio, Printing.com.
Check alert level restrictions and Ministry of Health advice before travel. covid19.govt.nz