Climb on vintage bulldozers, scrapers and dump trucks
For vintage equipment buffs and kids who love climbing on really big things, this little park in Twizel is the one for you. Several huge earthmoving vehicles have been assembled at the town entrance to Twizel as a homage to its engineering past. You are free to climb all over them, and even sit yourself up in the cabin, playing with the steering wheel and various movable levers. These vehicles are huge, especially if you are a kid, with the cabin metres off the ground.
For the engineering buffs, the vehicles include a bulldozer, a dump truck and an international scraper. If you have never heard of an international scraper before, it is a vehicle that can scrape, scoop and cart dirt at the same time. These were used to build the Upper Waitaki hydro-electric scheme in the area, which was constructed from the 1960s through to the 1980s. The town itself was built to provide accommodation for workers, so the display of the earthmovers is a fitting tribute to the town's origins. The earthmoving equipment now also forms part of the recently developed Twizel Heritage Trail.
Across the road from the bulldozers, there is a little playground, which has slides, a merry-go-round and various climbing frames. There is also an 18 hole mini-golf course, with tickets and golf equipment available from the Musterer's hut cafe.
If you want to find out more about the earthmovers and their historical use in the area, there is a dedicated Facebook group about the Twizel earthmoving machinery. Twizel is a lovely little town that is suitable to visit any time of the year, with amazing scenery in every direction. It is roughly a two to three hours drive from Christchurch, Queenstown or Dunedin, and is popular with anglers, and as a base or stopover for exploring nearby Tekapo Springs or Mt Cook. Several of the hydroelectric scheme lakes are within only a short distance from the town and provide wonderful photo opportunities of mountain reflections. There are also enough facilities in town to be comfortable, with a reasonable range of restaurants and a decent sized supermarket.