Twizel New Zealand
Travel and Tourism Information Twizel NZ
Twizel New Zealand
Aoraki Mount Cook New Zealand
Twizel NZ is an alpine village situated in the Mackenzie District in the South Island of New Zealand. Twizel is the closest town to Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier and setting for many scenes from Lord of the Rings and many other movies. Twizel is a fly fishing paradise with its many lakes and rivers brimming with world record trout and salmon.

Naming and European discovery
Aoraki means "Cloud Piercer" in the Nga-i Tahu dialect of the Maori language. Historically, the Maori name has been spelt Aorangi in the "canonical" Maori form. The first European known to see Aoraki/ Mount Cook was Abel Tasman on December 13, 1642 during his first Pacific voyage. The English name of Mount Cook was given by Captain John Lort Stokes to honour Captain James Cook who first surveyed and circumnavigated the islands of New Zealand in 1770. Captain Cook did not sight the mountain during his exploration.

Following the settlement between Nga-i Tahu and the Crown in 1998, the name of the mountain was officially changed from Mount Cook to Aoraki/Mount Cook to incorporate its historic Maori name, Aoraki. As part of the settlement, a number of South Island placenames were amended to incorporate their original Maori name. Signifying the importance of Aoraki/Mount Cook, it is the only one of these names where the Maori name precedes the English. Under the settlement the Crown agreed to return title to Aoraki/Mount Cook to Nga-i Tahu, who then formally gifted it back to the nation.
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
MOUNT COOK ACTIVITIES - (45 minutes drive from Twizel)

Glacier Explorers boat trip Cruise to the icebergs on Tasman Gla-cier Terminal Lake. Tour approximately 3 hours. Departs daily (weather de- pendent). Book at The Hermitage Hotel,
Mt Cook Village or with the Hermitage representative at the rowing Course.

4WD & Argo tours - Tasman Valley - Tour approximately 2.5 hours. Departs 10am & 2pm or on demand for groups.
Bookings essential. Book at The Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook Village, or with the Hermitage representative at the Rowing Course

Glacier Sea Kayaking - Walk to the Hooker Lake and enjoy paddling around icebergs. Book at The Old Mountaineers Cafe, Mt Cook Village.

Scenic Flights - Scenic ski plane and helicopter flights are available from Mt Cook Village and nearby Glentanner Park. Some offer glacier and snow landings.

Walking - There are many excellent walks in and around Mt Cook Village. For more information, track details and conditions visit the DOC Visitor Centre in Mt Cook Village.

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - Located at The Hermitage Hotel. Includes the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum; a 3D movie ‘Mount Cook Magic’, Planetarium with 3 space/astronomy shows playing at various times daily.

DOC Visitor Centre - Learn more about Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, climbing and tramping opportunities, history & local conservation issues.

The Cook Connection - Daily transport to Mt Cook Village from Twizel at 8.45am and 12.45pm. Departs The Hermitage, Mt Cook Village at 10am and 4pm. Bookings phone 0800 26 56 26.

Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Ngai Tahu believe that it is not appropriate to climb onto what is effectively the head of an ancestor. Yet European immigrants and visitors alike have come to the area from the earliest times of settlement with the intention of climbing the unclimbed and their stories are the stuff of legends - given the primitive equipment available to these early climbers.

Aoraki/Mt. Cook is the largest and highest peak in NZ and a formidable climb by any route. To reach the summit at 3754m requires a day climb of over 1500m from the Grand Plateau Hut. Using the Linda Glacier route is the least technical and fastest. However the Zurbriggen's Route is a direct and challenging alternative for fit and competent climbers.

A high level of fitness is required and because the peak is 600 metres higher than surrounding ridges, it is exposed to high winds and rapid changing weather conditions.

First attempt
The first recorded European attempt on the summit was made by the Irishman Rev. W. S. Green and the Swiss hotelier Emil Boss and the Swiss mountain guide Ulrich Kaufman on 2 March 1882. but it was subsequently established that they were 50 m short of the true summit.

First ascent

On 25 December 1894 New Zealanders Tom Fyfe, James (Jack) Clarke and George Graham, successfully reached the summit via the Hooker Valley and the north ridge. Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen climbed the mountain solo very shortly afterwards from the Tasman Glacier side, via the ridge that now bears his name. Local guide George Bannister, a descendant of Te Koeti Turanga of Nga-i Tahu was the first Maori to successfully scale the peak in 1912. It remains a challenging ascent, with frequent storms and very steep snow and ice climbing to reach the peak. Strictly speaking, it is a triple peak, with the north peak being the highest. A traverse of the three peaks was first accomplished in 1913 by Freda du Faur and guides Peter and Alex Graham. Three years earlier du Faur was the first woman to ascend Aoraki/Mount Cook.
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Plan & prepare
Useful phone numbers:
Visitor Centre:(03) 435 1186
Weather: (03) 435 1171
Hermitage: (03) 435 1809
Alpine Guides: (03) 435 1834
Hostelling International Mount Cook: (03) 435 1820

Getting there
From Twizel a sealed road leads right into the park. Aoraki/Mount Cook Village lies at the end of the road just below the terminals of the Hooker and Mueller Glaciers.
*Aoraki/Mount Cook village has an airport, but no serviced flights.
* A regular bus service operates to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village.

The Department of Conservation Visitor Centre has displays and information on the Aoraki/Mount Cook region. Weather forecasts, up-to-date track information and conservation merchandise, including publications and maps, are also available. There are no banks at Aoraki/Mount Cook Village but EFTPOS facilities are available.

What to take
The alpine tramping routes in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park are not for the inexperienced. The weather conditions can be severe and groups attempting the trips must be properly equipped and well prepared.

Your group should have a capable leader and everyone must carry a sleeping bag, sufficient high energy food (with some extra for emergencies), a waterproof raincoat and over trousers, gloves, a hat, and several layers of warm (wool or fleece) clothing.

Take sun cream and sunglasses, summer or winter. Your group will also need a first aid kit, portable stove, fuel, cooking utensils and a map and compass (along with someone who knows how to use them). Boots and specialised equipment are necessary (ice axe and crampons are a minimum).

During and after heavy snow falls avalanches are possible. Please check at the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre for up-to-date information on weather and track conditions. Fill in an intention form and remember to let them know when you have completed your trip.

Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Aoraki/ Mt Cook at Dusk viewed from the Tekapo Canal
* 1642 - Aoraki sighted by Abel Tasman - Ma-ori knew it for centuries before this.

* 1770 - Captain Cook named the Southern Alps
* 1851 - Captain Stokes of the survey ship HMS Acheron gave the name Mt Cook to Aoraki[1].
* 1884 - First Hermitage built under the direction of Frank Huddleson
* 1894 - First ascent of /Mount Cook, on Christmas Day, by Jack Clarke, Tom Fyfe and George Graham
* 1910 - Freda du Faur became the first woman to climb Aoraki/Mount Cook
* 1911 - The vital swing bridge is built in the Hooker Valley
* 1913 - First ascents of the footstool and Mt Sefton made by Freda du Faur's climbing party
* 1913 - Hermitage first ravaged by floods in January, then destroyed by floods two months later
* 1914 - First fatal accident, when three men caught in avalanche on Linda Glacier
* 1914 - Second Hermitage opened, on different site
* 1957 - Second Hermitage razed to the ground
* 1959 - First school opens, Aoraki Mt Cook School
* 1981 - Passenger flights begin by Mount Cook Airline, now part of Air New Zealand Link
* 1982 - Mark Inglis trapped in Schrund
* 1991 - Avalanche of 10 million cubic metres of snow and rock causes 10 metres to be lost off the top.
* 1998 - Nga-i Tahu Claims Settlement Act recognises original name, renaming mountain Aoraki/ Mt Cook.

Twizel New Zealand is approximately 500 meters above sea level. Twizel is surrounded by mountain ranges and has a very distinct climate. Twizel NZ is accessible from Christchurch through Burke's Pass, from Queenstown through the Lindis Pass and from the East Coast through the Waitaki Valley.