It's amazing how pronounciation (or rather, mis-pronounciation!) can completely change your understanding of a place. Not long after we moved to Northland I joined up with the famous Whangarei "Sunday cycle group", an informal gathering of road cyclists which for years has met each Sunday, year round, at Kensington Stadium to go riding around the district. After a while I heard people referring to a ride which sounded like "going Oupatow". They would say, for example, "we should go Oupatow". Not wanting to sound silly, or more new to town than I was, I tried fruitlessly to look this mysterious place up on the map! Eventually I gathered the courage the quietly ask a cyclist I had become friendly with where it was.
"You know," he said patiently, "Patow."
I didn't know. "Sure," he said, "there's north and south, connected by the bridge. Patow."
Finally it clicked, but only because a friend had said it was a cool place and we should go there on one of our local familiarisation trips! Since then I have indeed been with the group on a few rides "out to Pataua" on the spectacular eastern coastal circuit.