Kawakawa is the Train Town of the Far North and famous for its public toilets which was designed by renown artist and ecologist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.


General Information

1Kawakawa is the train town of the north, and famous for its public toilets which were designed by renown artist and ecologist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Kawakawa is marked by its unique entrance sign an arch, constructed in the style of Frederick Hundertwasser, and in having a railway running through its main street.
Kawakawa Township, Far North, North Island, New Zealand Township of Kawakawa.
Maori Translations
1 Kawakawa
Native Tree
2 Opua
AO - place of
  pua - flower.
BPorch, verandah
3 Kawiti
Taper, dwindle

Kawakawa District War Memorial and Park, Far North, New Zealand Kawakawa District War Memorial and Park.

Attractions and Activities

The famous Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed public toilet, is the only building in the southern hemisphere designed by this Austrian born artist and is the last building designed before he passed away in 1999, making it a must see attraction. For a glimpse of Kawakawa's coal mining history visit the museum in the old Memorial Library, which is open Thursdays & Fridays. Experience Northland history on the original coal train route, which is 14kms long, with bridges, tunnels, and unspoilt scenery. Journeys take 45 minutes each way. Check out the 3Kawiti glow-worm caves at Waiomio which boast a galaxy of glow-worm lights. A yearly annual event is the Kawakawa Christmas Parade, and the Christmas in the Park.
The annual Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival, takes place over three days in August. This event takes place on Kawakawa’s streets, while simultaneously proceeding at other venues, at other towns in nearby Bay of Islands.

Hunderwasser Toilets, Kawakawa, Far North, North Island, New Zealand Hunderwasser toilets. Kawakawa
Interior of the Hundertwasser designed public toilets.
Kawakawa train sign. Far North, North Island, New Zealand
Train Town Sign.


Kawakawa developed as a coal-mining town. For the first few years horses were used to haul the coal, via a tramway to the port at 2Opua. Soon after New Zealand’s first steam train and railway, was built to transport the coal. Kawakawas most productive coal years being the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, but by 1899 the coal mines had all but collapsed.

Kawakawa Sign, Far North, New Zealand Kawakawa's Sign
First viewed when entering Kawakawa.

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