Spotlight on Twizel: The Little Town That Could

19 Sep 2014

We’re pleased to announce the addition of four new parks to our group: Wanaka, Ashley Gorge, Dargaville and Twizel. This month we’ve got the spotlight on Twizel. A town full of history and with a growing tourist population, Twizel is a great place to go for both relaxation and adventure.

Twizel was built in 1968 as a service town to accommodate workers on the Waitaki Hydroelectricity Scheme. Designed to hold a population of around 5,800, the population peaked at 6,000 at the height of the project in the 1970s. The original intention was for the town to be turned back into farmland after the completion of the hydro project, so many of the town’s facilities were built to be temporary, including houses, footpaths and telephone loop, which is strung above ground.

In 1983 when the project was winding down, Twizel’s residents successfully fought to save the town. With a current residential population of 1,110, the town is now a service and tourist town, with the population tripling during the summer months.

Tekapo Church

Visit Twizel Holiday Park

Your hosts, Peter and Jane, run a 4-star Qualmark rated park. It’s a great base camp for those exploring Aoraki/Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo. Stay in caravan or campsite areas, cabins, cottages or motel units, complete with BBQ facilities, a communal kitchen and lounge, laundry and internet, children’s playground and bike hire.

It’s just a 500m walk to the park and Twizel’s shops, restaurants, skate park, swimming pool and playground.

Road to Mt Cook

Things to do in Twizel

Fly fishing enthusiasts rejoice – the Mackenzie Basin is a world class facility. There are number of rivers, lakes and streams to choose from, the most popular being Tekapo River. Wild rainbow/ wild brown trout and salmon can be found in all waters here. For those not too interested in catching fish, there is a salmon farm and nursery where you can learn about the life processes of salmon, then get to hand feed a few youngsters.

Encounter beautiful scenery on the drive from Twizel to Mt Cook for a biking, climbing, skiing or snowboarding trip. Ohau skifield is only a 25 minute drive from Twizel Holiday Park. Alternatively, there are scenic flights that can be taken for breath-taking bird’s-eye views over Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and local glaciers.

Mountain biking Mackenzie Basin

Twizel and the surrounding area boast one of the world’s cleanest, driest and darkest skies, perfect for star-gazers and astronomers alike. Visit the observatories in Twizel or Mt Cook Village for a close-up view of our solar system, nearby stars and other galaxies.

The best place to relax and unwind in front of stunning scenery is in a hot tub at Hot Tubs Omarama. Choose a cool tub in the summer or a hot tub in the winter, all while staring out onto the edge of the Mackenzie Basin. Add in a massage or some time in the sauna for a truly rejuvenating experience. All tubs are clean and re-filled with fresh mountain water, and have massaging jets that are perfect for those aches and pains.

Need we say more about Twizel? It truly goes to show, good things come in small packages! Have you visited Twizel? Tell us about your experience in the comments area below.

Picture credits:
Church of the Good Shepard, Tekapo by gsvnofixedabode, CC-BY-2.0
Grand Greta helibike by Mountain Bike Mt Cook, CC-BY-2.0
Road to Aoraki by Russell Street, CC-BY-SA-2.0

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