This club easy tramp was made very special because of both the pretty place we went to, and also because everyone on the trip got on so well together. There was never a harsh word, and all those little camping jobs were done as if by magic.
Lake Chalice is a delightful place. We arrived there after a Friday night camp at Onamalutu, a winding drive up Staircase Road to the carpark and then a 30 minute walk down the hill.
The tent was pitched and firewood gathered without anyone having to be asked and lunch simply just appeared. Then we spent a lazy afternoon in the warm sunshine, with some taking a short walk along the shoreline and others simply admiring the view or photographing the mirror-calm lake and bush-clad surrounding hills.
After the sun dipped below the hills the air chilled and the fire was stoked for warmth. The evening meal was prepared without fuss by willing hands. By the time darkness fell frost was already forming on the grass and the tent had a light coating of ice.
Later we lay in the tent with the door opened to watch a full moon rise slowly above the eastern hills. Then a cosy and comfortable night.
Next morning the sky was overcast but the air was warm and calm. We packed slowly and left for a short walk down the head of the Goulter Valley to where the river begins in a series of remarkable springs. Then around the eastern side of the lake and a leisurely lunch on the grassy flats of the stream delta.
A final walk back up the hill just as the rain began ended a wonderful weekend in an area not often visited by Wellington trampers.