Central Otago landscapes have been immortalised by artists – distant, tawny-toned hills, their flat tops perhaps iced with snow, startling white against a big, blue sky. It’s all here – but there’s much more to see…
Some landscapes are unchanging. Following the streams that flow through the dry, rocky gorges near Alexandra, or near Daisybank in the Strath Taieri, is like being on a Wild West movie set. Other landscapes are transformed by the seasons – dry hills, covered for much of the year in drab, brownish plants, are suddenly painted mauve as wild thyme blooms in early summer. And tall viper's bugloss wildflowers create a purple haze as you follow the Manuherikia River near Chatto Creek. Then there are the spectacular autumn colours, the craggy rock formations… or the unique landscapes created by man – old stone buildings, viaducts and tunnels. Don’t forget your camera. And don’t forget to go outside and be amazed at that big night sky – no street light pollution here.
For many visitors, however, it is the sense of vast, open spaces that is special – the chance to see the sky in its full glory, uncluttered by trees and city rooftops.