BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Canterbury > Twizel


Twizel’s location in the Mackenzie Basin near the Aoraki/Mount Cook turnoff makes it a cheaper, albeit less scenic, alternative to staying at Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo.
It is a dreary planned town that was constructed as a base for the Upper Waitaki Power Development. It has all the charm of an anonymous suburb, but without the infrastructure to make it bearable.

Apart from being a base for visiting Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, Twizel is also a popular destination for bird watchers as the endangered kaki can be found in the area around Twizel. The Department of Conservation run the Kaki Recovery Programme south of town, maintaining a hide where you can observe these birds.

Practical information

Twizel Information Centre

Market Place, Twizel
Tel (03) 435 3124
Website www.twizel.com
Open Jan-Apr 9am-7pm daily; May-Sep Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Oct-Dec 9am-7pm daily

Lake Pukaki Visitor Centre

State Highway 8, Lake Pukaki
Tel (03) 435 3280
Website www.mtcook.org.nz
Open summer 9.30am-5.30pm daily; winter 10am-4pm daily

Coming & going

Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 349 0697), InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113), Nakedbus.com and Southern Link K Bus (tel (03) 358 8355 or 0508 458 835) services stop in Twizel en route between Christchurch and Queenstown. Buses stop at Market Place near the visitor information centre.

Timaru’s local Metro bus service (tel (03) 688 5544) has a regional route that runs from Timaru to Twizel via Tekapo.

The Cook Connection (tel 025 583 211) shuttle goes to Tekapo and Aoraki/Mount Cook. It departs from the information centre.

Hostel accommodation

Buscot Station Backpackers

732 Twizel-Omarama Road, Omarama
Tel (03) 438 9646

High Country Lodge

23 Mackenzie Drive, Twizel
Tel (03) 435 0671

No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Merino Backpackers

Broken Hut Road, Omarama
Tel (03) 438 9820

Mountain Chalets

Wairepo Road, Twizel
Tel (03) 435 0785 or 0800 629 999

Omahau Downs Backpackers

State Highway 8, Twizel
Tel (03) 435 0199

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