About Twizel

Twizel Holiday Homes


Twizel is a great base from which to explore Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, the Mackenzie Basin and upper Waitaki Valley. Retreating glaciers have gifted us spectacular mountains, 5 lakes and a landscape that’s a feast for the eyes at any time of the year.

This natural landscape, augmented by the hydro electricity scheme, supports wonderful outdoor relaxation and recreation. Whether it’s activity you enjoy or a quiet ramble drinking in the scenery it’s all here. Our guests can bike on the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail or push themselves on the mountain bike trails that abound in the area; conquer a mountain walk or test their skills against the trout and salmon that call the canals and streams home; charge up a lake on water skis or nose the boat into a quiet bay for a picnic with only the birds and fish for company.

Twizel was built in 1968 to service the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectricity Scheme and was intended to be removed once the project had been completed. However, the residents fell in love with the area and in 1983 successfully fought to save the town. At the height of the project in the 1970s, the population peaked at around 6,000. Twizel is a now a service town for aquaculture, agriculture, the hydro scheme and a tourist town for visitors.


Nearby Lake Ruataniwha supports sailing, water skiing and prominent rowing events, such as the Maadi Cup, while the Ohau Skifield and the Round Hill Ski Area attract winter tourists.
The Alps to Ocean cycleway is the latest and hugely popular drawcard to the Mackenzie. Twizel is located between the Mt Cook and Ohau sections of the trail and is the perfect spot to pause and enjoy the scenery!


Twizel's surrounding waterways have become popular with fishing enthusiasts from around the world. Trout verging on world record size have been caught here in recent years.
The area boasts one of the world's cleanest, driest and dark skies in the world and has long drawn astronomers and those not used to seeing the stars to Twizel and the surrounding area.


Like any maturing region in New Zealand the finer things in life are being produced locally. Wine, beer, cheese and the best fresh water farmed salmon in the world are produced here. Twizel is now home to a number of quality restaurants, bars and shops as well as providing the basic amenities of accommodation, healthcare, supermarket and postal services.


A tip from Locals. Keep your camera handy! The magic moments formed on the landscape by the combination of foliage, the angle of the sun, water and clouds only lasts minutes. Capture them when you can.

Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail

Cycle Journeys

Fish the lakes, streams and canals.

Local insight

High Country Salmon

A working freshwater salmon farm.