I've had a love/hate relationship with New Zealand for over 30 years. Although unfairly deserved by them for the most part - I've now forgiven them for past trangressions, mainly for producing an ex-husband & his very 'unusual' family! From my first trip there as an 18 year old backpacker, it has always bowled me over with its beauty & diversity. And I've seen it grow from a sleepy backwater with no confidence in its abilities, to a vibrant, sophisticated country full of a confident self-assurance that makes me positively bubble up with pride & emotion.
One of New Zealand's greatest icons is the Kiwi bach. When I lived there in the late 70's as a very young new bride, they were all a bit of a mystery. Some Friday nights, Husband # 1 used to head off 'Over The Rimutakas' from Wellington to spend the weekend with his uncles in their bach. What they did there I was never quite sure, but it definitely had the Secret Men's Business thing happening. It took me quite some time to 'get' that a bach was the Aussie equivalent of a shack or an American cabin.
Wiki says 'Bach pronounced Batch (or a Crib in the South Island), is the name given in New Zealand to structures akin to small, often very modest holiday homes or beach houses. They are an iconic part of New Zealand history and culture, especially in the middle of the 20th century, where they symbolized the beach holiday lifestyle that was becoming more accessible to the middle class.'
'Bach was originally short for bachelor pad, but actually they often tended to be a family holiday home. Baches started to became very popular in the 1950s, as better roads and more available cars allowed family beach holidays, often to the same beach every year, and hence to the construction of a bach in that spot. One humorous definition of the bach is 'something you built yourself, on land you don't own, out of materials you borrowed or stole.'
This is a current offering of a Kiwi bach - on gorgeous Waiheke Island close to Auckland. It's a beauty & yet unpretentious & welcoming. I hope you agree. I know for sure I'll get some comments from my dear NZ friends - be kind now!!