Over the rainbow

This beautiful day began with a beautiful sunrise in Hanmer.
After breakfast we set out with Richard in the Jeep to explore the wild country towards the north.
Most of the day we drove the Rainbow Road and covered a lot of terrain.
We saw vast tussock grass highlands with many plant species completely new to us,
like these two spikey Spaniards (Aciphylla colensoi) either side of a Danish Dame.
Small rivers had to be forded with decisive driving.
The avian fauna along the roads was limited but this bellbird (Anthornis melanura) presented itself nicely while feeding on the sweet nectar-rich flowers of the New Zealand flax (Phormium cookianum).
The mountain slopes and hills were partly covered with thick forest of Southern Beech (Nothofagus), a most elegant and picturesque tree.
The small manuka trees are flowering right now and the bees are busy collecting the highly palatable nectar, so they can produce the famous manuka honey.  We bought some and will taste it for breakfast.
We are staying overnight in Top House, a 130-years-old inn near the small village of Saint Arnaud.