In this area - the MacKenzie country, the land is very brown and barren. There are no trees on these hills, and 5 days after we left the snow fell on them.
Some of our mountains have trees or scrub bushes to some levels, but we don't have trees growing like we see in Europe or Canada, America, etc.
Quoting: The Mackenzie Country's Flora is characterized by open grasslands consisting mainly of golden tussocks dotted with scattered exotic trees. The surrounding mountain slopes are characterized by some native beech forests and tussock country containing occasional alpine plants.
The nature of the climate is harsh, ranging from hot dry summers, to cold frosty winters. Across it all, blow the hot, dry nor-westers that dictate as much as the stormy cold Southerlies and heavy winter frosts, that the vegetation of the Mackenzie be hardy and drought resistant. Despite the climate extremes it should be noted that the area has some of the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand, and one of the lowest yearly average windspeeds.
I hope that is of some interest for you.
Sun setting on Lake Tekapo (26) *