Twizel, closest town to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown or Wanaka

Twizel, Gateway to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Twizel (pop. 1100) is the closest town to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.  Twizel is located halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown or Wanaka,  in the middle of New Zealand’s South Island.  It lies in the Mackenzie Basin, a landscape of imposing mountains and golden tussock grasslands.  Click here for an interactive map of Twizel's location.


Twizel offers a range of accommodation and tours and is a recreational haven.  Its varied waterways provide a boating and fishing paradise, and nearby World Heritage listed Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, together with several Conservation areas, provide countless hiking trails amidst stunning scenery.

Sightseeing flights around Mt Cook and over the Tasman Glacier provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the Southern Alps’ spectacular scenery.  The ski fields of Ohau and Round Hill at Lake Tekapo, and the alpine wonder of Mt Cook provide plenty of winter fun.  See the many tours available on our Tours page.

The town is the centre of New Zealand’s biggest civil engineering project, the Waitaki Hydro Scheme, which provides the dramatic combination of lakes, canals and power stations that give the Twizel landscape its unique character. Click here for more on Twizel's history.

With its full range of services, varied accommodation, fine weather, laid-back pace and superb location Twizel is a great place to visit.