Kawakawa, New Zealand

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Motto: Train Town
Kawakawa is located in Northland Region
Coordinates: 35°22′48″S 174°4′8″E / 35.38000°S 174.06889°E / -35.38000; 174.06889
Country New Zealand
Region Northland Region
District Far North District
Postcode(s) 0210

Kawakawa is a small town in the Northland Region of northern New Zealand. It had a population of 1347 at the 2006 census, down from 1401 in 2001.[2] Kawakawa developed as a service town when coal was found in the area in 1861, but there is no longer coal mining here. The economy is based on farming.[3]

The town is known as "Train town", because the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway runs down the middle of its main street on the way to Opua. 8 km of the 17 km track reopened in 2008.[4]

Entrance to the Hundertwasser toilet building

The town is also famous for its Hundertwasser toilet block, designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who was a resident of the town from 1975 until his death in 2000. Another attraction is the nearby Kawiti glowworm Caves at Waiomio.


Kawakawa Primary School is a full primary (years 1-8) school with a roll of 210.[5]

Bay of Islands College is a secondary (years 9-13) school with a roll of 422.[6] It takes students from around the Bay of Islands and middle Northland, with 85% of its students travelling daily by bus to attend.[7]

Both schools have a decile rating of 1, and are coeducational.

Karetu School is also a local primary school in the Kawakawa region.


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Coordinates: 35°23′S 174°04′E / 35.383°S 174.067°E / -35.383; 174.067