The long walk...going to Lake Christabel Hut
|Lake Christabel, Victoria Forest Park from the West end of the lake|
Day One: From Palmer Farm to Lake Christabel Hut
|Lake Christabel car park near Palmer Flat Farm|
|Palmer Flat to Lake Christabel Hut|
|Start of Lake Christabel Track|
|Lake Christabel Track: Palmer Flat Farm|
|Lake Christabel Track: Bush edge travel|
|Lake Christabel Track: Heading towards the Blue-Grey River|
|Blue Grey River from the Lake Christabel Track|
|Lake Christabel Track: Mature beech trees|
|Typical dense West Coast bush Lake Christabel Track|
|Mid reaches of the Blue Grey River|
|Flood debris in the Blue Grey River|
|Upper reaches of the Blue Grey, 2.5 hours up track|
|New Zealand Robin|
|Lake Christabel Track: Start of climb to the Lake|
|Map showing the outlet for Lake Christabel|
|Confluence of the Blue Grey and unnamed stream, track heads uphill from here|
I could see problems here if it started to rain as you would not be able to ford the side creek coming in from the left. This would be one of only two points where you might have to turn around if the weather gods decided to play some tricks.
|Climbing to Lake Christabel|
|Lake Christabel Track: track in an old stream bed|
|Apex of the debris slide on the Lake Christabel Track|
|Descending to Lake Christabel|
|Lake Christabel from near the outlet|
|Mt Boscawen from Lake Christabel|
|Lake Christabel: View to south of enclosing ridge|
|A cove on Lake Christabel shoreline|
|View west from half way around Lake Christabel|
|Lake Christabel: looking back towards the outlet|
|Lake Christabel Track: not a lot of space|
|Finally at the head of Lake Christabel|
|Crossing the flats at the head of Lake Christabel|
Surprisingly this river has no official name, I suppose you would call it the Blue Grey East branch? It's a surprise because it is actually quite a wide, deep river.
|Lake Christabel Hut (1970?)|
|Jon inside Lake Christabel Hut|
The hut is well maintained, it gets a lot of use, there were 15 entries in the hut book from people who visited the hut over the previous month. As you can see the interior is in a good condition.
|Lake Christabel Hut interior: bunks and cooking bench|
|Lake Christabel Hut: second smaller cooking bench|
|Lake Christabel Hut, Victoria Forest Park|
|Swing-bridge over stream next to Lake Christabel Hut|
Day Two: Lake Christabel Hut to Palmer Flat
I was up and getting ready at 6 am so I could start the marathon walk back to the car.
|Morning Day two, leaving Lake Christabel Hut|
|View up the no-name stream near Lake Christabel Hut|
If you follow the track to the rear of the hut you will eventually reach Robinson Saddle and the huts in the Robinson Valley. Judging from the hut book, it is a popular trip, I have spoken to a couple in Nina Hut who said the track is quite overgrown and really rugged.
This might possibly be a trip for the future.
|Lake Christabel Hut from right bank of stream|
|Lake Christabel Track: Crossing the now dry stream mouth|
|Lake Christabel looking towards mouth of lake|
|Hey Buddy...a native Fantail|
|Back near the Blue Grey River: Brewing up!|
No sand flies, they must have died off due to the unusually cold weather. For those of you who are not from New Zealand sand flies are small biting flies. They attack you in swarms looking for a blood meal: you are the main course! They are the bane of tramping in New Zealand as you find them from sea level right up to 2000 metres.
|Lot's of flood debris over there...!|
|The Lake Christabel Track...is there somewhere...???|
|Lake Christabel Track: camp-site 1.5 hours up valley|
|Back at Palmer Flat|
L' Fin, once again. I was VERY pleased to finally reach the car.
This was a long and hard trip, but the valley is remote feeling and beautiful. I would suggest that anyone who wanted to visit the hut plan to stay for at least 2 nights to allow you to enjoy exploring the upper valley. Take a day walk up to Robinson Saddle...
|Route to Lake Christabel Track from Springs Junction|
The hut and lake can also be accessed via the Rough Creek route (from SH7 i.e. the Lewis Pass Highway) then over the top of the surrounding mountains. There is also the Robinson Valley/Robinson Saddle route. I would like to come back here and go by one of those other routes, then out to Palmer Farm.
Miscellaneous: Long, rough track to hut, two stream crossings these will flood in heavy rain