This morning I made a coffee, some breakfast, and just sat on the dock enjoying this view. No one interrupted me, I was in no hurry - it was just pure relaxation. I even put the camera and phone away after getting a couple of shots, just to experience my surroundings distraction free. It'll be a morning I'll remember for a very long time.
Eventually though, I did need to press on. I packed up my camp, and set off without a destination. I knew I wanted to go South West in the general direction of Greymouth, so that's what I did.
After a few hours I stopped in a little town called Reefton for another coffee, and to make a plan for the evening. Another small town called "Moana" next to Lake Brunner caught my eye, and even better - it's on the way to Arthurs Pass, which was where I was thinking I would head next. I found a campsite (Lake Brunner Motor Camp), and set off. I wasn't really sure what to expect from Moana, but when I arrived - I was completely blown away. It's beautiful. It's also completely silent (my camera shutter was the loudest thing in the immediate area).
I'm now perfectly positioned for a part of the trip I've been really looking forward to - Arthurs Pass and Castle Hill. Both are supposed to be spectacular drives, and I'm going to be doing them both tomorrow - much sooner than I thought. That makes me think I may be travelling too fast though, so once I get a bit closer to Mount Cook/Queenstown/Fiordland, I may start staying two or three nights at some places. That's the region I want to spend the most time in anyway, so I think I'll be alright. As a bit of a recap of the route I've taken so far - I quickly put together a map.
Starting tomorrow, I have exactly three weeks to explore the entire bottom 3/4 of the South Island before dropping the van off at Christchurch. Excited doesn't even begin to cover how I feel about that.