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.