Twizel vacation rentals
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Your guide to Twizel
All About Twizel
In the Mackenzie District of the Canterbury Region of the South Island, Twizel is a small town enveloped by wilderness, making it a convenient base for outdoor adventures. The surrounding wild landscape includes the Mount Cook National Park and Mackenzie Basin, where the dramatic and stark scenery lends itself to mountain climbing, mountain biking, and skiing in the nearby peaks. At ground level, you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and cycling year-round.
The 5.5-mile Twizel Walkway is a popular path that circles the community and takes you along the Twizel River, with various entry and exit points. For a longer trek, a signpost outside the town marks the 15-mile Twizel River Trail offering magnificent views of the Mackenzie Basin, Aoraki Mount Cook, and Lake Benmore, with picnic stops and swimming holes along the way. Thrill-seekers can take a flight over the nearby mountains in a biplane or book a skydive to get an adrenaline hit with a birds-eye view.
Lakes Ōhau, Omarama, and Tekapo are within a 45-minute drive of the town, and all are rich in wildlife and varied terrain. The kakī/black stilt bird is one of the world’s rarest, and the local conservation facility is dedicated to protecting them. Anglers flock to the area to try their luck with the trout and salmon, which inhabit the local lakes and rivers. Those who’d prefer seafood without the wait can pop into a local fish farm and buy a ready smoked salmon or try the local eateries. The town’s cozy pubs and cafes are fitting spots to refuel after a day of exploring.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Twizel
Twizel enjoys hot, dry summers and cold, frosty winters. Those seeking a sunny summer adventure should visit between December and February, while those who’d prefer a snowy wonderland should book their Twizel accommodation for June or July. For an unusual water-based activity, you may want to time your visit for March on an even year, when a regatta brings more than 2,000 rowers to Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel.
Top things to do in Twizel
Alps 2 Ocean
The Alps 2 Ocean (or A2O) cycle trail is one of the most remarkable in the country, starting at the southern alps, heading through Twizel, and finishing at Oamaru by the Pacific Ocean. The entire route is over 190 miles and can take around nine days. You can, of course, ride as much of the trail as you’d like — no matter how long you ride, the trail offers some incredible South Island scenery.
For an incomparable view of the New Zealand Glaciers, consider taking a flight from Twizel Airport. Several operators run private excursions, taking in the nearby Glenmary Glacier, Tasman Glacier, and the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. The classic planes come fully equipped with leather flying jackets, goggles, and warm blankets. And of course, a pilot to show you all the sights.
Twizel and the surrounding Mackenzie region have been declared one of only 16 “dark sky reserves” in the world. Almost completely free from light pollution, the area is considered one of the best stargazing spots on earth. Novice astronomers can join a group or workshop to learn how to identify constellations. There are also photography courses for those who’d like to learn how to capture the skies.