Twizel New Zealand information. Twizel accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Twizel NZ.
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

Astro Masterclass Photography Workshop Astro Masterclass Photography Workshop
Astro Masterclass Photography Workshop
Twizel Town Centre, Twizel
From Saturday 27 July 2019 to Tuesday 30 July 2019
Astro Masterclass Photography Workshop
Twizel Town Centre, Twizel
From Thursday 1 August 2019 to Sunday 4 August 2019

Twizel News

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 23 Mar 2019 
US tourist driver in tears as fatal crash near Twizel recounted  New Zealand Herald

A tourist who caused a head-on crash which left another traveller dead wept as the court heard details of the case. Charles David Ellis (50), of the United States, ...

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