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Rutherglen Rd, Paroa, Greymouth


03 762 6634

Opening Hours:

  • Weekdays: 8:30am–5pm
  • Weekends: 8:30am–5pm
  • Closed on Public Holidays

Shantytown, surrounded by regenerating bush, is located on a site originally worked by gold miners and where a sawmill operated in the 1930s. It is positioned authentically to tell those early stories of triumph and tragedy as the Coast was settled.

This replica of a 1880s West Coast goldmining town has more than 30 buildings and original artefacts on display.

Attractions include a steam train, gold panning, gold claim, horse cart rides, Chinatown, general store, hotel, hospital, gem and mineral hall and a post office.

A large musical and entertainment hall is also available for conferences and group dinners and offers special music hall entertainment.

Shantytown's latest attraction the Shantytown Sawmill Experience.

The Shantytown Sawmill Experience begins with the steam train journey. At the southern end the story takes shape with, what is now, the ‘falling and hauling’ area at the train stop at the end of the line. Here the story of the forest harvest is presented - the cutting of the trees, their removal and the story of regeneration on a site where this all took place.

Visitors experience the sounds of the bush… and is that the sound of a logging gang working not too far away? The train journey then moves back up the track to the sawmill. Here visitors can see, hear and feel what it was like to work in a sawmill.

The 250 year old beech logs are ready to be milled, the saw blades are screaming as the logs go through, and the milling operation is portrayed on a seven metre screen. Moving though the mill the human story behind this industry emerges – the lives of the mill owner, the wife, the workers, the whistle boy and the unpopular ranger are all told with real life stories.

If you are on the West Coast drop in and enjoy this new experience of the past.

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