South Canterbury, New Zealand lies in the centre of the South Island bounded by the Rangitata River to the north and Waitaki River to the south and stretching from the east coast to the Southern Alps where Mount Cook dominates the range. The 5,276 square miles or 3,504,640 acres of land changes from plain to downland to foothills and mountains. The Mackenzie Basin has three large lakes; Ohau, Pukaki and Tekapo that are all part of the Waitaki River catchment and contributes to the supply of water which provides electric power for the South Island. Discover the Waitaki Hydro Scheme (June 2). Industries include grain growing and sheep. The port of Timaru is a central multipurpose bulk handling facility. The foothills - Four Peaks, Hunter Hills, the hills behind Fairlie and the Two Thumb Range are often dusted with snow. Refresh page to view the images above - four of the photos are views on the opposite side of Four Peaks, the Fairlie Basin, looking back towards Four Peaks from Middle Rd, Sherwood Downs and a painting of the run "Ribbonwood" on the Two Thumb Range, Sherwood Downs, Fairlie.
Timaru - one of New
Zealand's best kept secrets.
Through the eyes of a
part one - the port.
part two - Caroline Bay
part three - CBD
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1940 Vol. 2
The Open Country [from
I see again the upland wilds, stern, rugged, bleak and bare;
The strong winds sweep o'er the hill sides steep
And the tussocks toss in the icy air,
Silver and gold in the changing light,
Gold and silver far-up on the height
Of the mountain wild and bare."
by David McKee
A tarn has dried up owing to the drought conditions we have had this summer but this really is not unusual. Another hot dry dusty Mackenzie day. Tussock country is dearly loved by New Zealanders. It is found upon the hills throughout the South Island especially on the eastern slopes of the ranges. In the foreground I see snowgrass, the larger tussock, and the common fescue tussock (Festuca novae-zelandiae). Heart of the Mackenzie notes: "Where a runholder sees working country, others see 'iconic' landscape and tourism potential or a fragile ecosystem demanding protection. The Mackenzie is changing fast and consensus on whether it's for good or bad is as hard to spot as merino on a tussocked slope." The cover photograph of “The Heart of the Mackenzie – The Glenmore Station story” is the work of George Empson.
Taken virtually on the highest point of Braemar Road before you drop down to Guide Hill of course Cook on the left and Tasman just visible to the right.
Timaru Herald, 23 March 1908, Page 7 NEW ZEALAND ALPINE FLORA.
The most beautiful thing in the Mount Cook region, in my opinion, is the alpine vegetation mantling the lower few thousand feet of the ranges. Seen from a suitable distance, under favorable, condition's of light and atmosphere, the steep slopes appear to be clad with a soft carpet dyed with rich warm colors, in an indefinitely varied patternless mosaic. There is nothing like it in the low lands, or in the frontal ranges. It is not a wilderness garden, and does not suggest a garden. Its color owes little to flowers. Its beauty is quite different from that of a bush or scrub clad hill. The tallest of its growths are the long spikes of speargrass; the majority of them are stunted bushes. The speargrass spikes are flowers, of course, and the white celmisias and the almost, white plumes of snowgrass lend their aid, but in the main the colors are those of the endless variety of tints in the leafage of shrubs and other plants. There are countless shades of green and grey, in the young and healthy leaves; yellows, red and greys in the buds and growing tips browns, reds, and yellows in dying leaves and grasses; and the black and dark greys of shaded stems and branches that the steepness of the hillside allows one to see. The beauty, of sunlit bush or scrub-clad hills is entirely different. In these one can distinguish the several trees or bushes by their conical or bulbous tops being outlined by individual color or by the light and shade upon them. Not so with those drapings, of the steep walls of the alpine valleys. The vegetation is short and dense, and at a distance its surface seems quite smooth. The secret of its beauty, is that the vegetation is rightly varied, while the conditions of soil and moisture differ every, few yards, and this allows different plants to predominate over small spaces. From this arises alternations of tint, patternless melting into each other where they meet. The rocky slopes are uneven, and provide light and shade in broad masses, small gullies throw, the glorious curtain into folds, and larger ones divide it. Seen from a greater, distance the beautiful mosaic blends into a rich brown with a tinge of green in it; seen more nearly, say from half a mile to a mile away, the details come out, a marvel of Nature's artistry.
Taken near the Cass looking across Tekapo to Richmond."It was iconic high country. The people who appreciated the Mackenzie Country remembered it as sparse, brown with shades of yellow and orange" GH, New Zealand's longest-serving Fish & Game officer, March 2015
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