Twizel is a handy base for explorations of Mount Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin. From mountain climbing to heli-biking, it’s all here.

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The town of Twizel was purpose-built in the 1960s to provide a home for workers involved with the Upper Waitaki Power Scheme. Today it is a well-positioned base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking. The peaks and trails of Mount Cook National Park are just up the road. You can fish for salmon and trout in the local rivers, canals and lakes. If you don’t have any luck, call into the salmon farm and buy a fish - fresh or smoked. In summer Twizel’s population more than trebles, as holiday houses and camp grounds fill to capacity.

Functional facts: Approx. population 1020, i-SITE Visitor Centre, good range of shops and accommodation.