People don't go to Warrington for a holiday because of what's
The biggest drawcard is what is not there.
There are no shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, petrol stations
and certainly no night clubs ... are you getting the picture?
Warrington (Okahau) is only about 20 minutes north of
Dunedin. It's the back doorstep (or front, whatever you
prefer) of civilisation, and despite being so close, it's a
world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
That's precisely why Dunedin family Steve and Sara Carr, and
their 20-month-old daughter Sophia, love it there.
The family bought a crib in the township about five years
ago, after spending many of their summer holidays camping on
friends' lawns in Warrington.
''I used to mock people who have cribs out here, because it's
only 20 minutes out of town,'' Mrs Carr said.
''It just seems ridiculous.''
''But the lure is what is not here. As soon as we come to
Blueskin Bay, it's a whole different world.
''All the worries of work are forgotten.
''There's no phone line. We still have the internet, though,
because that's a necessity.
''I can't stand life without Facebook - sad but true.''
Mr Carr says most of Warrington's charm comes from the fact
it is away from civilisation. But the great thing is, if you
really did need something, then town is just down the road.
Despite the sleepy nature of the coastal village, Mr Carr
says the family's days are ''action packed''.
Most days are spent appreciating the simple things in life,
like walking on the beach, swimming, fishing, snorkelling,
kayaking, boating, ''stalking'' the Hector's dolphins which
can frequently be seen from the beach and collecting
shellfish off the rocks and mud flats.
Even when the weather is rough, there is still plenty to do -
especially for surfers.
And then there's the odd chore like trimming the hedge and
mowing the lawns to be taken care of.
''When the dolphins are there, we call all the neighbours to
come down. You can swim with them - it's fantastic,'' Mr Carr
''You pay for that up in Kaikoura, but here it's free.''
Warrington, one of Otago's safest swimming beaches, is
patrolled by the Warrington Surf Life Saving Club over
Other attractions in the area are the former Seacliff Asylum,
which has since been turned into the Truby King Reserve,
boasting a popular walking track through the grounds; Rabbit
Island, which is situated in the middle of Blueskin Bay and
is accessible at low tide; and the former Purakaunui Maori
''Rabbit Island is a bit creepy,'' Mrs Carr says.
''There's lots of wind chimes, faces drawn on trees and
dive-bombing oyster-catchers. They're quite territorial.''
The population of Warrington is about 400 during the year,
until the holiday season, when the population explodes with
crib owners and campers on the Warrington domain.
The Carr family has made many friends with other ''cribbies''
in Warrington, and they all meet at someone's crib almost
every night for a barbecue tea.
There is a real sense of community, Mr Carr says.
One of the favourite social hubs for holidaymakers is the
private bowling club on Margaret Harris' property.
There used to be four bowling greens in Warrington but hers
is the only one to have survived.
Each summer, cribbies compete in The Warrington Invitational
Tournament (TWIT), prompting them to
dress up in themed costumes for a weekend of bowls, tennis
Another social event occurs on New Year's Eve when crib
owners celebrate the new year together with food, drink and
the discharge of ODT chief Sir Julian Smith's cannon.
''He fires it at midnight and it rings around the hills,'' Mr
''It's a quirky old place, Warrington,'' Mrs Carr adds.
''And one of the many reasons we've just ended up loving it