TWIZEL (rhymes with bridle), 70km south of Aoraki/Mount Cook and 9km south of the junction of SH8 and SH80, began life in 1966 as a construction village for people working on the Waitaki hydro scheme. The town was due to be bulldozed flat after the project finished in 1985. Some think this would have been a kinder fate, but enough residents wanted to stay that their wishes were granted, and it’s now a low-key summertime base for forays to Aoraki/Mount Cook (a 45min drive away), scenic Lake Ohau and gliding at Omarama.

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