When my wife and I were visiting New Zealand a few years ago, our first stop after the long flight was at a hotel, the Waitakere Resort, just outside of Auckland. It was a perfect place to recover from the jetlag, and as we found out, to tune our ears to the Kiwi accent that we were about to hear for the next month of our trip.
The resort was high up in the Waitakere Ranges, the picturesque mountains west of the city. The hotel within view of the city of Auckland was within a 20-minute drive from the airport and was situated high above the beautiful beach town of Piha.
The road leading to the resort is Scenic Road, a very apt name. The actual entrance to the hotel is a narrow winding road designed for only one vehicle in either direction. When I expressed my anxiety about leaving the resort along this road, the receptionist suggested that I try to avoid it during the early afternoon because that was when the “chickens would be arriving.”
We figured that she meant that poultry would be featured on the dinner menu even though we had been looking forward to tasting New Zealand lamb. It wasn’t until we were leaving two days later that the receptionist was referring to the guests who were arriving or “chicking in” to the hotel!
Besides learning that the New Zealand and Australian accents were very different, we discovered that Piha Beach was the location featured in the wonderful series, “800 Words”, which was great for bingeing during the 2020 Pandemic. It was fun seeing many familiar sites such as the picture below.