Twizel (pop. 1100) is the closest town to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Twizel is located halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown or Wanaka, in the middle of New Zealand’s South Island. It lies in the Mackenzie Basin, a landscape of imposing mountains and golden tussock grasslands. Central to all the attractions of the Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie region, with the Southern Alps as a backdrop, the alpine retreat of Twizel is close to five picturesque lakes, including a world-standard rowing course and Formula One class boating area at Lake Ruataniwha.
The town is the centre of New Zealand’s biggest civil engineering project, the Waitaki Hydro Scheme, which provides the dramatic combination of lakes, canals and power stations that give the Twizel landscape its unique character. The “hydro age” has seen the biggest change; millions of trees planted in the riverbeds and areas restored after hydro construction. Twizel is the focus of that work – with more than 250,000 trees in the Greenbelt and species, chosen to tone down the greys and browns of the Basin, planted within the town.
Twizel is now a centre for tourism in the Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie region with a rich cultural community. With investment in the new Twizel Events Centre, group, sports and team building activities are superbly catered for with a 200 seat theatre, sports hall, an amazing climbing wall, gym, squash facilities and functions lounge.
With its full range of services, varied accommodation, fine weather, laid-back pace and superb location Twizel is a great place to visit.