Shantytown Events

The West Coast often sits a little off the radar, in comparison to those other big South Island event venues such as Christchurch and Queenstown. Which in many ways makes it that bit more unique and undiscovered for business gatherings.

Simply putting a pin on the map and locking in the West Coast as an event, meeting or conference destination is the easy part.  Getting here is equally about the journey as it is the destination.  Not an arduous journey, unless you decide to make all of your attendees cross the Alps on foot, but a journey of landscapes and discovery.  Whether the method of travel be by train, plane, bus or automobile, there is going to be time just spent soaking up vistas.  The brief patches of empty cellphone coverage providing an excuse to enjoy the transit time a little more.  Alpine passes, vast river valleys, beech forests blending into rainforests, wildlife, history, the list goes on.  I’ll stop listing things now so that I have more space to mention other things.


Transport is only one piece of the puzzle.  Accommodation being another of course.  Many bed providers are situated up and down this narrow strip of coastline.  The Ashley, Kingsgate and Beachfront to name but a few around Greymouth and Hokitika.  For much larger events, you may find that guests need to spread out across a few premises to all be comfortably accommodated.  That’s just a minor concern in the grand scheme of things.  West Coast hospitality will shine wherever you end up and travel from accommodation providers to event venues is generally just a hop skip and a jump, with minimal traffic to delay you.


Now I write with a bias for one event venue in particular.  Partly because I hold the role of Events Manager there.  Partly because it’s a place with a significant West Coast difference.  The West Coast Events Centre is tucked away on the same site as the world-famous Shantytown Heritage Park.  A recreated 19th century gold town which sits just out of Greymouth amongst rainforest and history.  Hidden within Shantytown, behind the recently renovated Golden Nugget Saloon, are two venues each capable of hosting 350 attendees in theatre style.  I won’t go waxing overly lyrical here.  The internet is built for further research.  What I will say is that despite our event venues being set within Shantytown, they’re not influenced by the surrounding historic theme.  The facilities, except for the Saloon, are a blank canvas for tweaking to your own needs.  Our onsite commercial kitchen team are also dab hands at creating the food you need to perfectly tie everything together.


All attendees to a West Coast Events Centre gig are also granted entry to Shantytown Heritage Park as part and parcel of their experience.  So the opportunity exists to ride our heritage trains, explore the open-air museum and take away flakes of self-panned West Coast gold if it will fit into itineraries.  Pretty much anything that you feel will bring the West Coast experience to life, we can do.


To finish on a slightly sour note, I will make mention of the current newsworthy bug going around.  That Covid thing has taken its toll across the country.  Even the eternal self-isolating West Coast is not immune to the effects.  While Covid-19 continues to pose a threat, The West Coast Events Centre will remain open, however, Government guidelines and our guests’ safety comes first and foremost before profit.  Larger group bookings right now, simply aren’t possible (at time of writing) for us to achieve. None the less, when life and restrictions start to settle down, we hope you will have already given us a bell.  Today is a great day to get some tentative bookings in while our calendar is looking a little quieter.


Once restrictions are lifted, it’s surprising just how quickly our venue will book out.  We will do our darnedest to fit you in and when we do, you had better be ready for an exceptional experience way out here on the wild West Coast. To make an enquiry contact: