Visit Twizel

  • Click here to create a NZ itinerary
  • Twizel is a gateway to the mountains and lakes of the Mackenzie Country, Mount Cook and Tasman Glacier. It is located in the central Mackenzie District, at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, only 40 minutes’ drive from Mount Cook Village.

    Canterbury Ski Area - Ski Season for 2014

    ·       Mt Hutt - from 15 June 2014

    ·       Mt Dobson from July 2014

    ·       Tekapo (Round Hill) from July 2014

    ·       Fox Peak – from June/July, as snowfall permits

    ·       Click here for information on skiing in the South Island

    The modern town of Twizel was established to house workers who built dams, canals and power stations for hydro-electricity generation from 1968 to 1986. Man-made and natural lakes provide many opportunities for water sports such as boating, water-skiing and fishing.

    Twizel is located near to the alpine areas of Mount Cook National Park and the Tasman Glacier. Scenic flights and helicopter-based adventures such as skiing, mountain biking and hunting are popular activities available from Twizel.

    Accommodation in Twizel (NZ)

    Twizel has a good range of accommodation for visitors. There are high-quality hotels and motels within the town. For more a personal touch, there are bed & breakfast and homestay establishments.

    For motorhome travellers and backpackers, there are holiday parks and lodges locally.

    The Twizel area also has self-contained cottages and holiday homes for rent.

    Transport around Twizel

    Twizel’s location in the middle of the South Island requires a long, but very scenic road journey to reach. Alternatively, visitors can fly to Mount Cook using scheduled services or charter aircraft, then complete the 45-minute road journey to Twizel by bus.

    Twizel is about 2 hours’ drive from Timaru, on the east coast, or 1 ¾ hours from Wanaka. The journey from Christchurch takes about 3 ¾ hours.

    Rental vehicle or shuttle services, including those provided by tour operators, are the best ways to get around the wide Mackenzie District. Mountain bikes are also available for hire at Twizel.

    Tourist Activities around Twizel

    Mountain climbing and guided walks are popular activities around Twizel. The mountain ranges surrounding Lakes Ohau and Pukaki are, including Mount Cook National Park, are especially popular. There are six forested areas surrounding Lake Ohau (Temple, Dobson, Huxley, Hopkins, Ohau and Ahuriri), which also offer good hunting for red deer, thar and chamois.

    Lakes of the region are popular for water sports such as boating, rowing, water-skiing etc, and most are good for fishing, especially in adjoining streams. Lakes Ohau, Ruataniwha, Benmore and Aviemore are the most popular for water-based recreation. Lake Pukaki is less so because of its extremely cold temperature and the glacial silt that makes its waters cloudy.

    Scenic flights are a great way to take in vastness of the Mackenzie District and to see the high mountains of the Southern Alps up close. Helicopter transport can take skiers, climbers, hunters and mountain bikers to high altitude locations. Helicopter and ski-plane flights also take visitors Tasman Glacier for ice-walking and incredible views.

    A six-day “alps to ocean” cycling trail from Mount Cook to Timaru passes through Twizel on Day 2.

    Twizel has many indoor recreations to enjoy during periods of bad weather, including a swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis and squash courts, a climbing wall, skate park and 9-hole golf course and driving range. There are many good places to eat and socialise.

    • Scroll down for Twizel accommodation & activity listings