What to do and see in Twizel, New Zealand: The Best Places and Tips

February 7, 2018 Brandee Mangan

Twizel /ˈtwaɪzəl/ (Māori: Ruataniwha) is the largest town in the Mackenzie District, in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand's South Island. The town was founded in 1968 to house construction workers on the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme. Twizel has a resident population of 1,250 (June 2017); during the summer, holidaymakers nearly triple the town's population.
Restaurants in Twizel

1. Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop

Tekapo Pukaki Hydro Canal, Twizel, New Zealand +64 3-435 0018
Excellent
59%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 184 reviews

Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop

Located on the edge of Mt Cook National Park our shop is stocked with Freshwater King Salmon -raised in the cool glacial water of New Zealand's Southern Alps. We have a great selection of sashimi, fillets, hot smoked and whole salmon for you to enjoy, as well as a picnic area with the world famous view of Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook. Visit our shop for: - Sashimi - Fillets and whole Salmon - Hot Smoked Salmon - Picnic Area with view of Mt Cook Open 7 days a week

Reviewed By Wayne N - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Salmon shop is in the car park and looks like it took over from an old lake pukaki visitors centre. Their are toilets and beautiful views of the lake and Mountains. So the area gets a lot of passing traffic. We tried the salmon...MoreThanks for the review! Very glad you enjoyed our Freshwater King Salmon.

2. Lake Ohau

Twizel Queenstown Highway, Twizel, New Zealand
Excellent
74%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 50 reviews

Lake Ohau

Reviewed By alex311327 - Timaru, New Zealand

Great picturesque lake and alpine scenery. Good accommodation either in the Ohau lodge or in the village or multiple huts on the lakeside. Great skiing a Ohau Ski field, tramping around the lake or in the Valleys. Boating and fishing. Lake Ohau is part of the Alps to Ocean bike trail.

3. Lake Ruataniwha

Twizel-Omarama Rd, Twizel, New Zealand
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Lake Ruataniwha

Reviewed By Mewett_Family - Newcastle, Australia

We cycled around thislake from Twizel. Lots of great walking and bike trails around the lake edge. The lake is a stunning shade of blue when the sun shines on it. Unfortunately the mountain views were obscured by low level cloud for both days we were in Twizel. It would have been more spectacular if we could have seen the Mountains.

4. SkyScape

47 Ben Ohau Road, Twizel 7999, New Zealand +64 21 213 9684
Excellent
93%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 14 reviews

SkyScape

This distinctive accommodation is designed to maximise the extraordinary views of the Mackenzie Country both day and night, with a bedroom built predominantly of glass. This unique building comprises a glass-roofed bedroom, as well as a grass roofed kitchenette and bathroom and is located on a farm, within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.

Reviewed By annahighgate - London, England, United Kingdom

My partner and I spent one night at SkyScape in August. It was really incredible, such a cleverly designed and interesting space. The outdoor bathtub was an amazing addition. I would highly highly recommend this place, such a special little house and surrounding countryside.Thanks Anna. We are thrilled you enjoyed your stay at SkyScape.

5. Mueller Ridge

Mount Cook National Park, Twizel, New Zealand
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 12 reviews

Mueller Ridge

Reviewed By Littlecosmos - München

We did this tour in December enjoying all the views toMount Cook.
The tour is rather strenous as the walking distance is rather short and you go 1000 meters uphill.
The first section until Sealy Tarns has steps so it is easy going. From Sealy Tarns to Mueller Hut the track is full of stones and you have to be careful.
Mueller ridge is a nice hut where you can spend some time to watch the surrounding.
Overall a rather challenging track but an unforgettable experience.

6. New Zealand Alpine Lavender

657 Mt Cook Road, Twizel 7999, New Zealand +64 27 268 1546
Excellent
72%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

New Zealand Alpine Lavender

NZ Alpine Lavender is the largest organic lavender farm in the southern hemisphere. The farm and its surroundings are beautiful and you can visit our shop where we sell our award winning oils and other lavender based products. A great place to find unique and fine quality New Zealand made gifts.

Reviewed By patbain - Dunedin, New Zealand

What a wonderful idea. They have sown the fields with lavender making it very pleasing to the eye, not to mention the beautiful smells.
Well worth a stop and a walk amongst the fields. Entry is free
There is a shop there to bug goods, no pressure to buy

7. Twizel Walkway

Glen Lyon Road, Twizel, New Zealand
Excellent
16%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
16%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 6 reviews

Twizel Walkway

Reviewed By Penh1 - Singapore, Singapore

We stop in this village on the way to Mt Cook. It is a nice and quiet place. Love it. We basically followed the path which was quite well indicated except for one bit that they were improving. Saw some animals. We stared at them and they stared at us. I guess its fair.

8. Kaki Visitor Hide

Twizel Area Office, Twizel 7944, New Zealand +64 3-435 0802
Excellent
16%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
33%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 6 reviews

The kaki/black stilt visitor hide is closed until further notice due to significant damage caused by heavy snow in 2015. Guided tour to see the world’s most endangered wading bird.Learn about the recovery programme. Late Oct-Apr: daily 9.30am & 4.30pm. Cost: adults $20, children $10. Families pay for first child only. Own transport required. Bookings essential at the local info centre or the MacKenzie Country Hotel. Find us on facebook.

Reviewed By redanteater - Los Angeles, California

We took a tour of the kaki/black stilt viewing hide in Twizel. The kaki is an endangered wading bird, so the tour is an overview of the bird and an opportunity to see the work that the Department of Conservation is doing for bird protection. After an introduction, we were brought into a secure area where we were able to see a couple of injured birds up close. After a video presentation and explanations from the docent, then we were brought into an area where we could see a number aviaries in the distance (with binoculars provided) to see the bird. To me, it's not a must see, even if you're in the area, but of interest, especially if you're interested in wildlife.

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