Traversing the South Island

From the Eastern coast to the main divide: An opportunity to learn about the marked changes in landscapes and flora. Remnants of the Iceage Karst (limestone) landscapes.

Cordyline australis, which is the Ti-kauka or Cabbage tree, is common in many situations, from swamps to barren hillsides. It is the best known of all New Zealand plants and was very important to the Maori. The central bud and the young leaves were eaten, and the leaf fiber was used extensively for weaving into sandals, baskets and sieves.

Phormium cookianum, Mountain flax, is a large herbaceous plant with long strap-like leaves commonly growing in the scrublands from sea level to 3500 feet. Fiber that was scraped from the leaves was used to make thread for weaving.

Olearia illicifolia, Hard-leaved tree daisy, forms a rounded shrub to about 5 feet tall with white daisy-like flowers in summer. It grows in both mountain and subalpine areas.

Chionochloa conspicua, Plume tussock grass, is an important component of alpine and subalpine habitats in New Zealand.