NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group
was built by the Ministry of Works in the late 1960s solely to support the construction workforce for the dams and power stations on the Waitaki River. It boomed nicely in the 1970s when the settlement's population nudged 6000 and its primary school was the largest in Australasia. But once the hydro-doings were completed, the town was supposed to just pack up and finish. It didn't want to. Twizel's indomitable spirit has seen it retain its hold as a service town for aquaculture, hydroculture and agriculture. It also swells with tourists and those who know its watery secrets: it has five lakes (including that rowing haven, Lake Ruataniwha) rivers and canals bulging with trout and salmon. It now hosts part of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, and its yawning expanses made it to the big screen as the Pelennor Fields in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It also shares some of that classy Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.