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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 1,221 in 2013,[2] down from 1,347 at the 2006 census and from 1,401 in 2001.[3] 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.[4] The town is named after the kawakawa shrub.[5]

The main street of Kawakawa
The main street of Kawakawa
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
CountryNew Zealand
RegionNorthland Region
DistrictFar North District



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.[6] At present trains cannot go over "Long Bridge" because rails have not been relaid since it was re-piled, and the track between this bridge at Taumarere and Opua is being used as part of the Twin Coast Cyclepath. When the rails have been relaid, the cyclepath will be 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.[7]

Bay of Islands College is a secondary (years 9-13) school with a roll of 422.[8] It takes students from around the Bay of Islands and middle Northland, with 85% of its students travelling daily by bus to attend.[9]

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 2018 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-18 (2017 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ "2013 Census map – QuickStats about a place". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  3. ^ Quickstats about Kawakawa
  4. ^ "The Waiōmio valley". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  5. ^ "Kawakawa, New Zealand history online". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  6. ^ "Kawakawa Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
  7. ^ Education Counts: Kawakawa Primary school
  8. ^ Education Counts: Bay of Islands College
  9. ^ "Bay of Islands College - School Information". Archived from the original on 2007-08-08.

External linksEdit