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Kawakawa, New Zealand

© Northland Inc

Kawakawa is the gateway to the Bay of Islands, marked by its unique entrance sign, an arch constructed in the style of Frederick Hundertwasser.

Kawakawa is home to the famous Hundertwasser-designed public toilets - a definite must on your itinerary. This is the only building in the Southern Hemisphere designed by the Austrian born artist and is the last building he designed before he died in 1999. The toilets were awarded the prestigious ‘Golden Plunger’ award in a world-wide search for the best public toilets as voted by the travelling public!

Gabriel, the renowned steam train which runs through the centre of town presently takes passengers on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a 30 min ride through the beautiful surrounding countryside, and the station is open and welcomes visitors. Kawakawa is the only town in New Zealand to boast a railway track through the centre of the commercial area.

Visit the Museum in the old Memorial Library (open Thursdays & Fridays) for a glimpse of Kawakawa's coal mining history. Visit also the Kawiti glow-worm caves at Waiomio which boast a galaxy of glow-worm lights, white limestone formations and 12 generations of history.

Kawakawa is a unique small town Northland experience – come and see why Hundertwasser fell in love with his adopted home.