South Island Day 13 : 5 April 2018

Fine, hazy, windy, 23°C

Got up at 5:30am and left at 6am to head to the Boulders, this time we parked at the main visitor centre carpark and walked down the steps to the boulders.  We were first on the beach this morning, probably because the tide was high which is not as good for photos, but it was lower than last night which was good.

We spent about 1 1/2 hours taking photos as the sun came up, chatted to some other photographers, and tried to avoid the waves.  We headed back to the van and then back to camp to grab some breakfast, empty the waste tanks etc.  We left again at 9am and headed north on SH1.

Just a note for anyone heading to Moeraki in a camper van; the road into the camp at Moeraki is terrible, it was washed away a few years ago and has never really been fixed.  It is passable but really rough.

Anyway back on the seal and north again, we stopped briefly at a church in the little seaside town of St Andrew's ( yes, it has a golf course as well! ) for some photos, then onward again.  We turned off at Winchester and headed inland to Geraldine for a quick bite of lunch at 12pm, and a wander around the shops.  Today my cheese roll intake was added to, although they used the fancy name of Scroll's instead.

Onwards again across the South Canterbury plains and into Mt Somers, then in to the Ashburton Lakes area.  We visited this area a couple of years ago and loved the scenery, and the peace and quiet of the place, so we were heading in again.  This is where I took one of my favourite photos:

This time we were heading to Lake Heron so we turned off the seal at Hakatere and onto the dusty gravel road into Lake Heron.  Again the scenery on the drive didn't disappoint with rugged hills rising out of the valley, snow on the distant mountains and a few small blue lakes on the side of the road.

After about 20 minutes on the gravel road we arrived at our campsite ( part of the Arrowsmith Station ) in a little valley next to the lake.  We paid the $20 fee into the honesty box, ignored the sign that said the camp was closed between April and October ( the toilets on site were still unlocked and there was one other camper in residence, so it looked open to us ).  The large site had about 30 caravans parked up ( all empty except 1 ) so it would be a busy place in summer.  The camp has no mobile coverage at all, so we were completely off grid for the night.

We found a spot, then went for a walk along the road past the farm house, talked to a family of Tahr in a paddock until the male got grumpy and started to attack the fence, then around the lake a bit further, then back to camp.  Time for a rest and some coffee!

I headed out again about 4pm to walk in the other direction to the southern shore of the lake ( the lake edges vary quite a lot, from swamps to tree lined beaches to open grass plains with stony beaches ) to have a look and take some photos.  Back to camp at 4:45pm.

Back out again at 6pm to the south shore for sunset among the rocks then back to the van in the dark at 7:15pm

Time for tea and rest.