Discover South Canterbury
Founded in 1968 as a services base of the Waitaki hydroelectric power scheme, Twizel is the western gateway to the Mackenzie District, and proudly the largest town in the district with a population of around 1,200 people. This alpine retreat is a recreational haven set amongst five lakes and rivers below towering mountains, offering a huge range of sporting, leisure and adventure activities, renowned as a fisherman’s paradise with abundant salmon, brown and rainbow trout.
Twizel has a rich cultural community, welcoming visitors that can easily treble the population over summer or special events. Nearby Lake Ruataniwha has a world-class rowing course attracting national and international tournaments, and perfect for swimming and water skiing.
The Twizel Event Centre is the core of this community, with squash courts and gym and is the chosen venue of many sports, theatre, functions and business events throughout the region and nationally.
You’ll want to stay longer here. Accommodation to suit every traveler from backpackers and camping, motel and hotels to farm-stays and luxurious retreats under a clear star-filled night sky.
Think great-outdoors and great food, that’s Twizel. Fish the rivers and canals, sample local salmon and craft beer, stargazing, cycle the bike trails, Lord of the Rings movie sites and the location of Gondor, dine in one of the many cafes and restaurants showcasing local produce and representing the many nationalities who have made Twizel home.
Formed as part of the Waitaki hydro project on 50 acres, 4km south of Twizel town centre. Perfect family leisure and swimming, fly fishing, holiday park and motels, Meridian Rowing Centre international rowing course.
Kaki Black Stilt
One of New Zealand’s rarest birds, restricted to the braided rivers of the Mackenize Basin. Visit the Kaki Visitor Hide. Learn about the protection programme. Book tours and information at Twizel Information centre.
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle trail
Many operators partner with Alps 2 Ocean, the Twizel to Mt Cook, Pukaki and Tekapo are some of the most picturesque with tracks catering for novice to highly advanced riders, families, short ride to several days excursions.
Meridian Energy/Ohau hydro stations
The Waitaki hydro scheme is a series of interconnected lakes and canals used to generate electricity, including the Ohau area near Twizel. Many other benefits including salmon farms/fishing, stunning scenery, bike and walk trails resulted.
Agricultural, hydroelectricity, manufacturing, rural and support services alongside tourism and hospitality businesses all thrive here, contributing to the rapid growth of this district.
So much to see and do here. Find out What’s On or add your own South Canterbury event.