|Treasure an enchanting walk amongst nature’s wildflower canvas
Delight in a ramble amongst the natural beauty of Central Otago’s wildflowers.
Central Otago’s hot, dry semi-continental climate provides an environment where wild flowers flourish along roadsides, river edges, and in valleys, hills and mountains. Countless varieties adorn landscapes in spring, summer and autumn – many of them rare and some endemic to their location.
When spring arrives, flowers peek through snow, thyme creeps up slopes, and incredible biodiversity prospers in desert drylands like Flat Top Hill - a Department of Conservation Reserve close to Alexandra, which offers an excellent example of Central Otago dryland ecology. Alternatively wander through the Pisa Flat Scientific Reserve just out of Cromwell – the last of the Upper Clutha Valley cushion fields situated on the terraces beside Lake Dunstan.
Come summer, mountain ranges blossom with alpine flowers, and the region is alive with cushionfields, herbs, daisies, shrubs, succulents and grasses. From mid-December through to the end of January most alpine flora is in flower. Walks through some of Central Otago’s historical goldfield sites reveal stunning arrays of colour and variety - these sites include the Mt Buster Diggings (Ida Range), Serpentine Diggings (South Rough Ridge), Potters and the Fraser Basin (Old Man Range) and the Young Australian Reserve (Carrick Range).
In autumn wildflower flora is in seed or berry; exotic trees bathe the landscape in magical shades of red and gold.
Whatever the season, a walk through Central Otago’s wonderful wildflowers is enchanting.