Twizel sits at an altitude of 470m (1,542ft) in the lee of the Southern Alps. It has a subalpine climate, with hot, dry summers and cold winters, and the region is crossed by rivers and dotted with lakes, both natural and man-made. Thanks to these unique conditions, it shelters rare animals such as the kakī/black stilt and jewelled gecko, as well as a number of threatened plant species.
Nestled in an inland basin and surrounded by mountain ranges, Twizel is a geologist’s dream come true. The Southern Alps to the west are being thrust ever upwards along the Alpine Fault, while the Ostler Fault has created distinctive features through the local landscape. Meanwhile, glaciers have carved valleys and deposited moraines, and the actions of wind and weather continue to sculpt and define this breathtaking environment.