Twizel offers a range of attractions and is a recreational haven. Its varied waterways provide a boating and fishing paradise, and nearby World Heritage listed Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, together with several Conservation areas, provide countless hiking trails amidst stunning scenery. If fishing is your love and catching salmon, brown or 17kg (37.4lb) rainbow trout is what you dream of then don’t go past any of Twizel’s rivers, lakes or canals.
Twizel’s terrain is ideal for skydiving, rock and mountain climbing. Sightseeing flights around Mt Cook and over the Tasman Glacier provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the Southern Alps’ spectacular scenery. The ski fields of Ohau and Round Hill at Lake Tekapo, and the alpine wonder of Mt Cook provide plenty of winter fun. If cycling is your thing, Twizel is central to the the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail – truly one of New Zealand’s great rides!
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
In June 2012, over 4,300 square kilometres of New Zealand’s South Island was recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve – the largest such reserve in the world. The IDS Association’s Executive Director, Bob Parks, commented that, “the new reserve is coming in at a ‘gold’ level status. This means the skies are almost totally free from light pollution.” Half of the world’s population cannot see stars because of night light pollution but the Mackenzie district still has a pristine dark sky. The Mt John Observatory is an easy half hour drive from Twizel – view planets, stars and distant solar systems with an Earth and Sky daytime or nightime tour. Or by day visit the mountain top Astro Café and sip on a latte while enjoying the spectacular 360° alpine panorama.
“To put it simply it is one of the best stargazing sites on earth.” Bob Parks, Executive Director, International Dark-Sky Association