Northland & Bay of Islands


  • Hundertwasser toilets
  • Sculptures and mosaics


  • by car:

    2 hr 50 min from Auckland

  • by car:

    45 min from Whangarei

Kawakawa is world famous for the Hundertwasser toilets, designed especially by the town's famous Austrian resident, Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Driving through Kawakawa, it's hard not to notice the colourful sculptures, mosaics, copper and cobblestones of the town's public toilets. Like nothing you've ever seen before, golden orbs perch on the grass tuft roof of this truly unique public washroom. Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser lived in Kawakawa from the mid-'70s to his death in 2000 and gifted the toilets to the town. Be warned - he didn't like using straight lines, so this might be one of the most fascinating designs you encounter!

Kawakawa is also the only town in New Zealand that is home to a railway track through the middle of town. Created during the coal mining days, you can take a ride the train today - it's called the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway. 

A colourful stop on your way to or from Paihia in the Bay of Islands, Kawakawa is perfect for a bite to eat or a stroll through the main street. 

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