Savour Twizel: a gateway to New Zealand’s culinary treasures


A charming town in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, Twizel is the perfect snapshot of Kiwi-style small-town living. Its location by the McKenzie River and surrounding natural landmarks such as Mount Cook (the tallest peak in New Zealand), Lake Pukaki and Lindis Pass also add to its remarkable beauty.

But what truly makes Twizel unique is its collection of boutique salmon farms and vineyards which have turned this otherwise sleepy town into a culinary destination for domestic and international visitors alike. To celebrate the region’s natural bounty, the 17th edition of the Twizel Salmon & Wine Festival will take place on 25 February 2023. The festival will see the banks of Lake Ruataniwha lined with colourful tents and you’ll also have plenty of space to picnic. Here’s what you can expect at this exciting festival for gourmands.

Twizel salmon festival
The sprawling festival grounds have ample space for picnickers. Photo credit: Twizel Salmon & Wine Festival

Glacial salmon from Mackenzie District’s finest producers

Grown in the pristine glacial lakes of the region, salmon farmed in Mackenzie District are known for their clean flavour, low oiliness and fresh mineral notes. All of these attributes make Twizel salmon especially sought after by New Zealand chefs. The region’s high-quality salmon farms boast state-of-the-art facilities and innovative sustainable techniques to minimise their impact on the local ecosystem. 

At the Salmon Hub, visitors will get to sample salmon from some of the region’s best farms, including Mount Cook Alpine Salmon and High Country Salmon – some of the region’s most famed producers. The festival will also see the return of the salmon cook-off, where amateur chefs will cook a variety of dishes that puts Twizel salmon at the forefront.

Twizel salmon festival
Show off your culinary chops at the salmon cook-off. Photo credit: Twizel Salmon & Wine Festival

The festival’s Food Quarter will also play host to a variety of local food stalls. At Sculptureum Food Truck, you can sample Rothko Restaurant’s contemporary New Zealand cuisine made with seasonal ingredients and locally sourced produce. Flips Pancakes offers fluffy stacks piled high with sweet and savoury toppings while Casa Paella brings rich and savoury Spanish cooking to the festival.

Twizel salmon festival
Pop-up stalls and restaurants will serve dishes made with locally sourced salmon. Photo credit: Twizel Salmon & Wine Festival

Quality wines from an array of New Zealand vineyards

If you fancy yourself an oenophile, you’ll want to head down to the Wine Corner where you can taste award-winning wines from Wooing Tree, Straight 8 Estate, Tatty Bogler and Dunston Road Wines. If you prefer beers and cocktails, the Beverage Garden will host local producers like Cardrona Distillery, Wanaka Beerworks and The Alchemist Mixology.

Live music from local bands

It’s not really a festival without music, is it? Taking to the stage at The Lawn will be singer-songwriters like Brad Staley, Matt Joe Gow and Casey Dixon. Cover band The Local will also put on a varied performance featuring popular hits from a range of genres and decades.

Singapore Airlines’ VR experience and win Premium Economy tickets

As a proud sponsor of the Twizel Salmon & Wine Festival, Singapore Airlines will be on site with an exclusive VR activation that gives festival goers a chance to experience the cabins aboard the airlines’ state-of-the-art A350 aircraft which flies between Singapore and Christchurch. Participating attendees will also have a chance to win two Premium Economy tickets to anywhere on the Singapore Airlines network (excluding Australia and Americas).

How to get there

Twizel lies a 3.5-hour from Christchurch International Airport. Car rental arrangements can also be made at the airport.

Tickets to the Twizel Salmon & Wine Festival 2023 are available here from NZ$33.31 and include a commemorative festival glass. Please note the event is for guests aged 18+ only.

For more information on Singapore Airlines flights to New Zealand, visit their website.


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