Bob Carson (74), of Dunedin, has enjoyed the sun and the
fishing at Lake Mahinerangi for nearly 30 years. Photo by
According to the map there is nothing there, but the
locals call it a "home away from home".
The fishing village nestled on the banks of Lake Mahinerangi
consists of about 35 cribs, the majority of which serve as
holiday homes to keen fishermen and women.
Some were so taken by the area they made it their permanent
Among them were Bruce and Georgina Dunstan, who bought their
crib in 1987 and moved there from Dunedin in 1988.
They commute to Dunedin for work and their son goes to school
at Lee Stream.
The "easy lifestyle" and, of course, the fishing was what
they enjoyed most about living there.
The history of the area was also evident in their home, where
treasures found whenever the lake level was dropped were
Among the collection of bottles was a tin whistle, a wooden
pipe and a Chinese spice jar.
The lake, which is known for its brown trout and perch
fishing, was created in the early 1900s when the Waipori
River was dammed for a hydro-electric power station.
New plans for power generation were now upon the area, with
TrustPower building a wind farm on the Lammerlaw Range.
But locals do not seem to mind.
Bob and Margaret Carson, of Dunedin, bought their crib in
1980 and loved escaping to the peace and quiet the community
They also believed progress was inevitable and were relaxed
about the project bringing more people to the seemingly
"It couldn't happen in a better place. It blows up here," Mr
Carson said with a smile.
He described the idea of a wind farm as a "novelty".
For the past 20 years, the couple had enjoyed spending
weekends and holidays at the lake.
Keen fishers, they made the most of their boat and watched
young families grow up in the community and continue to
return as older generations passed.
Everyone took care of each other, not "living in each other's
pockets", but just keeping an eye out, working together and
sometimes getting together for a barbecue, Mrs Carson said.
Their spearmint-coloured crib, kitted out with SkyTV, a
cellphone aerial and computer, acted as their "home away from
home", she said.
"The only thing I miss up here is a paper."
Richard Griffiths was one of the children to grow up by the
lake who still spent time there. His father built the family
crib in 1968 as a fishing hut.
It had been added to about four times since then, he said.
Holidays, weekends and duck-shooting season saw him drive the
hour from Dunedin to reach the lake.
But in the last two weeks of winter it was a no-go zone due
to the cold.
"It's good to get away."
•Lake Mahinerangi was formed in the early 1900s when the
Waipori River was dammed for a hydro-electric power station.
•40km west of Dunedin.
•35 cribs compose the lake's fishing village off Mahinerangi
•The lake is known for brown trout and perch fishing, as well