Twizel and its surrounding areas boasting of potentially some of the most spectacular sights you can witness in the whole of New Zealand, which are guaranteed to make your trip worth it. A base for adrenaline junkies and adventure sports enthusiasts, Twizel has everything from mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking to skiing, horse trekking, and hiking to offer to its visitors. It is also popular among fishing enthusiasts for fishing salmon and trout. The town experiences a heavy footfall of visitors in the summer months with the population becoming more than threefold its usual.
Read on to find out about the best things to do in Twizel, NZ:
1. Fly over New Zealand's largest glaciers in a scenic helicopter ride
Get lost in the beauty of New Zealand, viewing the spectacular island from 10,000 ft (3,048 metres) in all its glory. The tours allow you to fly over the Tasman, Franz Josef, and Fox Glaciers, which are the largest glaciers in the whole of New Zealand and Mt Cook, making for one among the most exhilarating experiences of your life. There are a number of operators offering such tours, with different packages.
Helicopter Tour with Glacier Flights
Contact : 0800 733 228
Website for Bookings: Glacier Flights
Helicopter Tour with Glaciers
Contact Number : 0800 800 732
Website for Bookings: Glacier Helicopters
2. Visit the largest organic lavender farm in the Southern Hemisphere
Explore the varieties of lavender grown at the New Zealand Alpine Lavender farm. The 8.3 hectare (20.5 acre) farm houses three primary varieties – Pacific blue, violet intrigue, and the Avice Hill – all beautiful, distinctive, and possessing a unique fragrance. They also have an on-site shop where they sell their award winning oils and other lavender-based products such as chocolate, soap, skin care products, and lavender soft toys like Lucy Lamb and Bennie Bear. They also have ice creams in lavender flavour.
NZ Alpine Lavender Farm
Address: 657 Mount Cook Road, Ben Ohau, Twizel, South Canterbury
Opening times : 10 am to 5 pm
Contact Number: +64 27 268 1546
Website: NZ Alpine Lavender Farm
3. Take the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail and witness some breathtaking views
A popular activity, which has made it to the list of the Worlds Top 16 Places To Go, 2016, the trail extends for upwards of 300 kilometres (190 miles) from Mount Cook to Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean. On the trail, cyclists get the chance to experience some of the most spectacular landscapes that New Zealand has to offer. The trail is a mix of on-road and off-road and is of an easy to intermediate level (Grades 2-3). It is divided into eight sections and the full trail takes roughly about 6 to 8 days, but the multiple access points make it easy to tailor it according to the time available and the intensity preferred by the cyclist.
You can choose between the Relaxed (8 day), Classic (6 Day), and Fast (4 day) rides. They have also partnered with a number of businesses that help hire equipment for the tour and provide accommodation at various access points at various sections of the tour.
Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail
Contact Number : +64 27 702 1213
Website: Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail
4. Go kayaking across Lake Pukaki
Enjoy a kayak safari on the beautiful blue waters of Lake Pukaki and take in the beauty of Mt Cook while you’re at it. Tour operators start from the Alpine Lavender field and take you through the marvellous-looking rolling pastures and the forest areas to their own private beach with a sheltered bay, allowing you some time to unwind and explore the place at leisure.
Kayaking across Lake Pukaki with Pukaki Adventures
Address: 397 Mount Cook Rd, Ben Ohau 7999, New Zealand
Fee : Adult 25 to 70 USD ( 34.41 to 96.34 NZD), Child 15 to 40 USD (20.64 to 55 NZD)
Website: Pukaki Adventures
5. Get up close with the rare Kaki/Black Stilt at the Visitor Hide
Kakī or black stilts are the world’s rarest wading bird and are unique to New Zealand. They are very distinctive and have a completely black plumage with long red legs. The Visitor Hide makes for one of the best spots to witness the bird up close. You can get glimpses of the bird on a guided tour and learn about its habitat, ecology, nature, and about the intensive conservation programmes. The tours last about an hour and can be booked from two sources.
Guided Kaki/ Black Stilt Tour at Visitor Hide
Address: Twizel Area Office, Twizel 7944, New Zealand
Days Open : from end-October to mid-April only
Timings : 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
Fee: USD 20 per adult (27.53 NZD) and USD 10 (13.76 NZD) per first child (with all others free)
Bookings at: Twizel Information Centre, Marketplace ([email protected] or call +64 3 4353 124)
Bookings at : Mackenzie Country Inn, Ostler Road ([email protected] or call 0800 500 869)
A two and a half hour tour, it will take you through parts of the set where the movie was shot and you’ll also learn more about movie making, setting up stunts, visual effects, and the likes. The tour covers all the locations for major scenes filmed in and around Twizel for the movie.
With small groups of only 9 people at a time, it gives you a more informative and personal experience. Included in the tour is a scrumptious picnic breakfast in the beautiful Pelennor fields.The tour operator also offers a hotel pick up and drop if requested and can accommodate any dietary requirements for breakfast if informed beforehand.
You can choose among the regular tours: The “Two Hour Lord of the Rings Tour” is suitable for those who are fans of the movie or those who would like to learn more about film making, while the “One Hour Lord of the Rings Tour” is for those who have only limited time or are just curious about what the Lord Of The Rings is all about. The newly introduced “Twilight Lord of the Rings Tour” could also be explored by those who fall into the second category. For larger groups, special tours are arranged on request
Lord of the Rings Tour
Address: 1 Ostler Rd, Twizel 7901, New Zealand
Website: Lord of the Rings Tour
Done exploring? Treat yourself to a rejuvenating experience!
Once you’re done exploring the beautiful town, head over to the Hot Tubs Omarama, choose between a cold tub and a hot tub, and unwind in the midst of stunning scenery at the Mackenzie Basin. You could also add in a massage and sauna experience.
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