Woke up at 7am, looked out the window to see a cloudy sky, so decided to stay in bed for a bit longer. As it got nearer to sunrise a few breaks started to appear in the clouds, so we jumped out of bed and walked down to the empty beach ("All Day Bay") to shoot the sun rising. Spent an hour or so down there then back up to the camper for some breakfast.
We left camp at about 10am and drove back into Oamaru to get some internet connection then headed south on SH1. We didn't stop at the Moeraki Boulders as the tides were not good for photographing them, so we pushed on to Palmerston, where we turned onto SH85 towards Central Otago.
Had a stop for lunch and a wander along the main street in Ranfurly. The weather was starting to clear and it looked like it was going to be a fine afternoon. Drove on through to Wedderburn Railway Station (now part of the Central Otago Rail Trail bicycle route) for a few photos then carried on to Ida Burn and turned south into the stunning Ida Valley. Stopped a few times as we drove through Ida Valley for some photos and then up and over the Raggedy Range and back to SH85 at Omakau.
Quick stop for diesel then north on SH85 back up the valley and turned off to St Bathans, after a short drive we found our campsite for the night (in the St Bathans Domain) and parked up. The camp is a basic (free) camp run by DOC, and consists of a single long drop toilet, in a massive area of flat paddocks / playing fields. We had the place to ourselves too!
We set the van up then walked up to the town of St Bathans (about 15min walk) and had a look along the main (and only) street, with it's collection of historic Gold Rush era buildings. It is good to see there are still some of the historic buildings being used / lived in. The Vulcan Hotel was still open for business, and there were a couple of locals sitting outside. And it is also good to see a couple of new houses (albeit in an appropriate style) along the street as well.
Back to the van then grabbed our gear and back up to Blue Lake to shoot the sunset. Blue Lake is the remains of the main open pit gold mine of St Bathans, which has now filled with water to form a slightly surreal lake in amongst the left over mining debris. Sunset didn't produce a lot of colour (not enough cloud this time) so we wandered back to camp for dinner. Some tents had arrived at the camp site, but they managed to find a spot about 500m away from us.