Shantytown Heritage Park

Shantytown Heritage Park, Greymouth: Hours, Address, Shantytown Heritage Park Reviews: 4/5

Shantytown Heritage Park
4
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Shantytown is a leading New Zealand culture and heritage attraction. Made up of over 30 historic buildings it is a faithfully recreated 19th century pioneer town, inspired by the West Coast gold rushes of the 1860s. Highlights include riding the heritage train, gold panning, the Beehive store with its range of traditional confectionery and the opportunity to have an old time photo portrait taken as a memento of your visit.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from $24.07
All you need to step foot in the door.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
661 reviews
Excellent
210
Very good
262
Average
128
Poor
36
Terrible
25

Rachel
Boston, MA1 contribution
Jan 2020
My husband and I had our wedding reception in the Miners' Hall at Shantytown. It went absolutely perfectly. Laugharne was our event coordinator, and despite all of our interactions being via email (until the last week), we were able to get everything planned in a few large messages.

Shantytown took care of the catering (sweet and sour chicken, roast lamb and vegetarian lasagne were all massive hits!) and alcohol. We also had canapes/h'orderves at the beginning in the saloon. Again, I received multiple comments about the delicious food - we had: salmon and cream cheese lollipops, chicken and mushroom tarlets, corn fritters, and pumpkin soup shots with pancetta. Pavlova with fresh fruit and cream for dessert.

Our guests loved the western look of the saloon during the cocktail hour, and the reception area looked fabulous with the white chair covers and tablecloths, and the lights in the rafters.

Coordinating DJ, florists and decoration setup was a simple email letting them know you were coming.

The staff during the entire event were incredibly professional, and basically running to make sure things ran on time, and smoothly. They were polite, and efficient. The next day when we went to pick up the gear, our decorations were all laid out in a neat pile. Our "cleanup" took less than 10 minutes.

Planning a wedding from a different country is not fun. However Laugharne, Lauren, Andrea and the team made it incredibly easy and I would highly recommend anyone to have their wedding/reception done at Shantytown.

Thank you so much!
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Camda
Wellington, New Zealand629 contributions
Feb 2022 • Family
Revisiting my youth as I went here as a child in 1978. This time my husband and adult son joined me. Lovely collection of historic buildings, some original and some recreations. Classic old steam train which you can have a short ride on (included in admission). We paid an extra $7 for one person to pan for some gold. Spent a few hours here and enjoyed a picnic lunch. It’s expensive to get in at over $30 but we all agreed it’s important to keep this slice of Kiwiana history surviving especially since Covid when they must be struggling so much.
Written February 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andrea
San Francisco, CA49 contributions
Dec 2019
My expectations were somewhat low, but this turned out to be a fun way to spend the morning for me and my 11 year old twins. I enjoyed reading about the history of gold mining on the West Coast and some of the buildings felt quite authentic. There were too many things for sale, however, and that felt a bit cheesy. Also the locomotive was broken and I got the sense that it happens a lot. You won't need more than 2 hours to amuse yourself here! It was not crowded and we visited during the height of the holiday season.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gidday flatwhite10, Happy to hear you all had a fun time visiting us. We certainly have to prop up the income of our park with additional products being available for sale. That's just one of the facts about keeping things running. We don't receive any external regular funding to supplement our operations. As you have picked up on, an ancient steam train takes a lot of care and maintenance which is also where a lot of our investment goes. They can be dang finicky things to keep on the tracks at times. Thank you kindly for reviewing us. Regards, The Shantytown Team
Written March 23, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

adwadw
NZ65 contributions
May 2021
I am usually pleasantly surprised by our experiences when travelling in NZ but not this time unfortunately.

I'd been to Shantytown before when I was a child and was looking forward to the experience but found it expensive (I think we paid $35 a ticket) and rather sad.

There was a tour group going through (ironically connected to NZ Tourism) which meant we couldn't do the gold panning, it was exclusive to them, nor could we use the cafe (they said they were closing but were open if you were with the group - it was 40 minutes to the advertised closing time.)

If you're going to limit activities due to another group, then let people know and discount your ticket price.
Written January 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KarenM1_10
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan759 contributions
Feb 2020
We had some available time before our train left for Christchurch and decided to stop for a visit. We were not really sure what to expect, but it turned out to be an enjoyable couple hours. The site is nicely done. We started by boarding the train for a short trip. When we stopped, the conductor answered our questions about the steam train. We were returning by foot and stopped along the way to view the placards on the history of logging and gold mining. You have the option of panning for gold (fee involved) as well. When you return you can walk through the recreated town that contains some shops that have exhibits. The other buildings were mainly just storefronts. There is a lookout that you can walk to which takes about 5 minutes one-way. At the top you can view the entire town below. They have a large café on site but the gift shop only has some postcards and shirts.
Written April 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert H
Brighton, UK71 contributions
Feb 2020
This is quite like travelling to an American wild west cowboy town. I hadn't realised how similar the gold rush of both countries were. You get a taste of gold rush life in the late 19thC. It's well presented and, a bonus is, you get a 25 minute steam train ride. A good cafe with great snacks.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hello there Robert, The comparisons you make are very apt. That whole slapdash, rough sawn approach to getting a town sprung up as quickly as possible in order to serve an itinerant population, it certainly has parallels with aspects of the American Wild West. It would be interesting to hear what the immigrating American forty-niners thought when they arrived in these parts chasing gold too! Might have felt just like home... except with a bit more rain and rainforest. Regards, The Shantytown Team
Written March 23, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

seaair1
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand45 contributions
Feb 2021 • Couples
I visited here 40 years ago and loved it so I was curious to revisit. It’s a great idea. I’d like to see a good dollop of funding to be spent on maintaining the buildings. I’d also like to see a museum curator oversee the collections which are really interesting.
Well done keeping it going. Nice staff and a relaxed atmosphere.
Written February 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Olivia
1 contribution
Dec 2020
It's really disappointing to see what Shantytown has become, & to have to write a negative review when we are supposed to be supporting NZ Tourism - but something has to change here. It was $99 for two adults & a child to get in to the park with gold panning, which just seems exorbitant when you see what is actually there. It is really run down, damp, & lacking any form of maintenance. You can't even access a lot of the exhibits closely enough to see anything, & everything just smells musty & like it hasn't been looked after.

The service at the cafe was so bad, the wait for just a bowl of fries was extensive & when they arrived they were undercooked & the tomato sauce tasted expired. All the tables were covered in dishes & filthy.

The only highlight was how nice the man at the gold panning was after my son accidentally tipped his stones out. It is such a shame to see, & was one of the worst parts of our holiday. I am still shocked at the price & would not recommend coming here
Written January 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rose Y
Auckland, New Zealand85 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
Shantytown should be on the “to do” list of every visitor to the Greymouth area. There is so much to see and do and enjoy for all ages, from a steam train ride, to gold panning, to a history of the old sawmill, to many old type buildings filled with implements and utensils from decades gone by.
A map is given to visitors and it’s possible to download an audio tour on your phone.
Snacks, light meals and drinks are available, with inside and outside seating.
At an extra cost, visitors can dress in period costume and have photos taken and printed...this was so much fun.
If possible, allow at least 3 hours, and up to 5 hours, to be able to fully enjoy this wonderful venue.
Very highly recommended for all ages and interests.
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Clara C
Wellington, New Zealand30 contributions
Feb 2021
We went to this heritage park thinking we would just get to see how a town looked like during the Gold Rush in NZ, but we got soooo much more out of it. There were several original buildings; there was a steam train ride available and a steam train museum; there was gold panning available; and there were boards all over explaining the history of the region and how things worked back then. Staff was also warm and extremely knowledgeable about the history of the region. We really enjoyed ourselves (even though we are adults almost in our 40s :) ).
Written February 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Shantytown Heritage Park

Shantytown Heritage Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

Shantytown Heritage Park admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $23.69, while a popular guided tour starts around $56.70 per person. See all 4 Shantytown Heritage Park tickets and tours on Tripadvisor

Shantytown Heritage Park can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 4 Shantytown Heritage Park tickets and tours on Tripadvisor