Lake Christabel

 12-13 October 2013

 Four set off for Lake Christabel from the Palmer road, knowing full well that the forecast was for rain. But it was good to be out of town, heading for the hills! No need for raincoats for the first couple of hours. The track followed the Grey river with its deep blue pools and bushy islands. The birdlife was plentiful –we heard bellbirds frequently and even saw a pair of kaka squawking and chasing each other through the treetops. Around lunchtime a light rain started so we ate quickly and moved on.

Eventually we came over the hill to the lake. It was hard to get a view of it as it totally surrounded by bush, but there are some tiny beaches where the track meets the shore. The scene looked rather mystical with low misty cloud and a little island out in the middle. We found a row-boat with a pile of supplies in the bushes in one cove. The  track round the lake was quite challenging - roots, rock, bluffs, huge logs and lots of mud, all made more slippery by the rain. The ‘shorties’ in the party had to be helped over some obstacles (thanks Bill!). As the afternoon wore on the rain got heavier and we were all relieved to reach the Christabel Hut at the other end of the lake and about 1km up Rough Creek. We soon had the fire going and some food heating. There was a good supply of dry wood and excellent sock-drying metal plates lining the fireplace cavity. An early night with the luxury of space: 10 bunks for 4 of us. Next morning it was still raining very lightly but seemed warmer. Or perhaps it was just that all our clothes were nice and dry again! We were on the track by 8 am and during the morning enjoyed the company of numerous fantails, robins and riflemen in the bush. Travelling a little faster and in better weather, we had time to take photos at the lake and have a pleasant lunch stop at the river. Back to the car by 4pm. On the drive home we stopped for coffee and soup in Springs Junction. A most enjoyable trip –thanks to Wendy, Bill and Vesna for your company.