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South Island map showing Twizel


Once land reserved for farming sheep, Twizel was established as the base for the Upper Waitaki Power Development. The scheme was the largest hydro project ever undertaken in New Zealand, started in 1968 and completed 18 years later.

Today Twizel is a service and tourist town with a residential population of approximately 1200 people. Popular as a holiday town, in summer the population more than trebles. It’s the closest town to Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier, and is an excellent cost effective alternative to staying in the Mount Cook Village. Many of the houses that once serviced the hydroelectric development are now holiday homes. A 15 minute drive will take you down to Lake Ruataniwha, an artificial lake formed as part of the Upper Waitaki Scheme.

Penstock and Heavy Machinery for Dam Construction 1968 Prefabricated House

Twizel's layout is based on a Scandinavian concept where the shopping and sporting facilities are centrally located with green areas linking streets, providing safe and quick pedestrian walkways to the town centre. Most of the houses were prefabricated and the whole town was erected very quickly. A unique quirk to the town’s residences is the prominence of the meter box, seen at the very centre of houses’ street facing wall, displaying very clearly the township’s electrical establishment.

At the entrance to the town there is a monument to the town’s hydroelectric heritage with a section of Penstock (a piece of pipe that delivers water to dam turbines) and a few examples of the heavy machinery used in the construction of the dams and channels in the basin.

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Featured Twizel Events

Aperture - The life and work of Ans Westra Too Much Punch for Judy Dr Ian Chapman & the Cosmic Jive Trio Mt Cook Astro Masterclass Workshop - 4 Days
Aperture - The life and work of Ans Westra
Twizel Events Centre, Twizel
Wednesday 28 July 2021
Too Much Punch for Judy
Twizel Events Centre, Twizel
Today only at 7:00 p.m.
Dr Ian Chapman & the Cosmic Jive Trio
Twizel Events Centre, Twizel
Saturday 3 July 2021
Mt Cook Astro Masterclass Workshop - 4 Days
Twizel Town Centre, Twizel
From Thursday 12 August 2021 to Sunday 15 August 2021

Twizel News

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65 The Drive65 The Drive - Holiday Home.

65 The Drive is set in Twizel. This property offers access to a patio, free private parking and free WiFi. The holiday...

1 day private tour from Christchurch to Queenstown via Mt.Cook1 day private tour from Christchurch to Queenstown via Mt.Cook - Family Friendly - Fairlie. Starting from $380.00 per person.

" We do it your way " There will be no rushing around on these trips , just time for you to see things that you have...


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