While the eastern rail approach to the Southern Alps is more rugged and dramatic, the West Coast (which has unfairly garnered a reputation as having a permanent pall of miserable weather) has a character and lush beauty all of its own. A hundred and fifty years ago, bushland punctuated by native forests covered 'the coast' before being harvested for logs and cleared for farmland. Empty coal train 849 skirts the edge of Lake Brunner as it approaches Moana through the classic west coast flora on the right side of the picture. On the left are yellow flowers of gorse, an ornamental plant kindly introduced to the country by European settlers in the mid 1800s along with rats, stoats and other wildly successful imports. Gorse spread like crazy, but in many areas, including here, its slowly being naturally crowded out by the regrowth of natives.