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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

Hops 'n' Hooves Songs for Nobodies - Twizel Astro Masterclass Photography Workshop Cadbury Dairy Milk - Share the Taste Road Trip
Hops 'n' Hooves
Twizel Events Centre, Twizel
Saturday 2 June 2018
Songs for Nobodies - Twizel
Twizel Events Centre, Twizel
Tuesday 22 May 2018
Astro Masterclass Photography Workshop
Twizel Town Centre, Twizel
From Friday 10 August 2018 to Monday 13 August 2018
Cadbury Dairy Milk - Share the Taste Road Trip
Wednesday 27 June 2018

Twizel - Google News

Twizel News

 20 May 2018 

New Zealand Herald
Tasman storm dishing out high winds, heavy rain, low snow
New Zealand Herald
The Transport Agency advised people using State Highway 8 from Twizel to Tekapo to take extra care because of strong winds. State Highway 94 to Milford was to be closed from the Hollyford Rd junction at 4.30pm because of the forecast snowfall. The cold ...
The South Island could be in for a wild night according to the MetServiceNZCity

all 19 news articles »
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