Gold Rush History, West Coast, New Zealand
0800 742 689
+64 3 762 6634
Shantytown Heritage Park
While the South Island's West Coast is well known for its magnificent scenery and glaciers, no visit to the area is complete without experiencing Shantytown - a bustling heritage park showcasing the gold rush history of the West Coast of New Zealand.
The discovery of gold in 1864 led to a population "explosion" – from around 300 to almost 30,000 residents. Isolation, rugged terrain and extreme weather conditions produced stories of fortitude and ingenuity.
Shantytown tells these stories of New Zealand gold mining history through a fascinating mix of experience and displays. Ride the Steam Train along an original tramway through native rainforest, stop for a photo and watch out for the wekas! Our friendly loco drivers are happy to show you the cab.
Experience the sights and sounds of a working sawmill, watch the mighty sluice gun in action. Follow the races and flumes to the Gold Claim where our Gold Miner will tutor you to pan for your own gold – a strike is guaranteed.
Beautiful short bushwalks make the rainforest easy to get into and experience at your leisure. The Village, borne of the gold rush offers delicious refreshments from King Dick's Cafe, while the kids enjoy the flying fox. Explore the 30 shops and buildings that show a slice of life from the early days.
Send a postcard stamped with the Shantytown's own Post Mark. For a memento of your visit to Shantytown nothing is better than to grab a costume and get an old time photo. There is so much to see and do at Shantytown while learning about gold mining in New Zealand.
The Shantytown Heritage Park and West Coast Events Centre are located about 10 kilometres south of Greymouth.
Highlights of our Gold Rush History Heritage Park
First conceived 46 years ago, the local community built and continues to be heavily involved in Shantytown Heritage Park. The Park is run by a Trust and all profits go back into the business. Highlights include:
- Steam Train rides through native rainforest
- Pan for your own gold
- Watch the mighty sluice gun blast gold bearing rock and soil from a cliff face
- Experience the sights and sounds of a working sawmill
- Explore Chinatown
- Short tracks through native rainforest to experience the 'bush' up close
- Fantastic childrens' playground with flying fox
An Event Venue Like No Other
Nestled in the heart of a busy heritage attraction and museum is the West Coast's largest conference and events centre. Shantytown Heritage Park is home to the West Coast Events Centre which has two large facilities that can host small, intimate meetings to large corporate events reaching up to 650 delegates.
On-site catering, fully licenced bar, large carparks and the ability to offer several breakout rooms allows the West Coast Events Centre to host all types of events from weddings, day meetings, multiple-day conferences, gala dinners, tradeshows, balls and productions.
At the West Coast Events Centre, we are fully committed to ensuring that you receive the highest quality cuisine, service and dining experience.
21st Century facilities are available, while the 19th Century village offers a world of difference for your event. Here are just a few of our facilities;
- Large carpark
- In-house catering
- Licensed Bar
- On-site Cafe
- Full Shantytown Heritage Park experience
- Gold Panning
- Steam Train rides
- Old Time Photo services
The West Coast Events Centre is conveniently located between the two major West Coast towns of Greymouth and Hokitika, just 3kms off the main highway (SH6).
By choosing the West Coast Events Centre you are well placed to enjoy the West Coast's many exciting and spectacular sights and activities.
Weddings @ Shantytown Heritage Park
A wedding at Shantytown is like no other; private bush clad location, authentic historic church, full on-site catering and support, while stunning photo opportunities abound.
Say your wedding vows in our faithfully restored 1866 interdenominational church (originally from No Town in the Grey Valley) which can comfortably seat up to 70 guests or choose from one of our many stunning outdoor backdrops including the Cobb & Co lawn over looking the water wheel or take a steam train ride up into 500 acres of native rainforest.
With over 15 years experience, Shantytown's function team have the ability to cater to all your needs with flexibility and creativity.