We spent the past three days on the West Coast. On the way over the mountains, we stopped for a hike up the Otira Valley.
The track goes through stunning, diverse alpine vegetation, much of which was in seed at this time of year—lots of weird and wonderful berries to be seen! Though we were lucky to avoid being rained on ourselves, there had been recent rain, so the track was wet, and every little rivulet was running. The Otira River roared below us.
The day was moody, and low clouds shrouded the mountain tops around us.
I love the alpine environment. One of the most wonderful things about it is that its beauty lies both in the minute plant life clinging to the rocks, and in the grand vistas—one must view the landscape at both scales to fully appreciate it. We spent our time divided between marvelling over some tiny plant, and admiring the peaks and waterfalls around us.