Beautiful Flora of the Arthur’s Pass
One of the South Island’s most scenic areas is Arthur’s Pass National Park. My images are mainly of flora in the late Autumn as one travels the Arthur’s Pass road. There are many short trail walks to enjoy the dramatic mountain terrain.
Flora and Fauna
Arthur’s Pass diverse environment is the habitat of many native plant communities, from mountain rain forests, sub alpine valleys, rivers and meadows. An ideal habitat of many birds and small creatures such as the colourful Kea and the Giant Weta.
The high rain falls support very dense plant life, including the Mountain flax, Hebe, Coprosmas, and Alpine herbs such as Broadleaf, Giant Spaniard, and Arthur’s Pass forget-me-nots. My images feature Wharariki, the mountain flax.
Maori are continually in research, (matauranga), of the flax species. Flax is also called Harakeke, a beautiful sounding name and amplifies the cultural significance of Harakeke, as the use of the plants for traditional weaving of clothes, baskets, nets and ropes. The Wharariki leaf has a natural surface wax which repels water. Microscopy research illustrates on the stomata, (leaf surface), that wax crystals are formed,which have amazing creative shaped formations.
Near the Arthur’s Pass Alpine Village are wonderful short walks such as Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall, Bridal Veil Walk, Bealey Valley, Old Coach Road, and the Dobson Nature Walk. There are many other adventurous and dramatic trails of Alpine landscapes. The Beech Forest walks features ground covered moss rich in shades of green, illuminating in sunlight.
The Otira Viaduct allows spectacular road views as you journey to the summit road. Many visitors pull over to the lookout area enjoy the panoramic view, always greeted by the inquisitive Kea. My last road journey, the Kea decided to chew on the car aerial as they are attracted to shining objects. Hikers and Campers are careful not to leave small items on the ground. Kea are quick to collect the new found treasures. Enjoy my gallery.