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Kawakawa, New Zealand

Kawakawa is a small town in the Bay of Islands area of the Northland Region of 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 there in 1864, but coal mining ceased in the early 20th century. The economy is now based on farming.[3]

The main street of Kawakawa
The main street of Kawakawa
Motto(s): 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



The town is known as "Train Town", because the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway runs down the middle of its main street on the former Opua Branch railway line. 8 km of the 17 km track reopened in 2008.[4] At present trains are unable to go over "Long Bridge" because it is being re-piled, and the track between this bridge at Taumarere and Opua is being used as part of the Twin Coast Cyclepath. As soon as re-piling has been completed and the bridge certified for train use, this part of the track will be refurbished and the cyclepath moved next to the track.

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 another primary school in the Kawakawa region.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2017 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-16 (2017 boundary)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  2. ^ Quickstats about Kawakawa
  3. ^ "The Waiōmio valley". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  4. ^ "Kawakawa Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
  5. ^ Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Kawakawa Primary school
  6. ^ Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Bay of Islands College
  7. ^ "Bay of Islands College - School Information". Archived from the original on 2007-08-08.

External linksEdit