Considered the gateway to the Bay of Islands this small town is known affectionately as 'train town' for the train line running through the centre of the town, the reason being Kawakawa was once a distribution hub for local coal mines.
A rather strange attraction to add to anyone's itinerary are the public toilets. This is the only building in the southern hemisphere designed by the famed Austrian artist Frederick Hundertwasser. About 5 km south are the Kawiti glow-worm caves at Waiomio.
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust is a heritage Steam railway in Kawakawa, home of the world-famous Hundertwasser toilets, in the Bay of Islands region of Northland, New Zealand. The railway at Kawakawa was the North Island’s first railway to be opened and the first to run a rail passenger service in the North Island. The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is unique in the world as it is the only working railway in the world where the trains travel down the middle of a State Highway and right through the middle of the town. The star attraction Gabriel, built-in 1927 is a fine example of a working steam engine and is the only one in her class left in the world. Today the railway operates on part of the former Opua track and offers train rides to visitors using both steam and diesel locomotives. See a working vintage steam engine and enjoy a ride through scenic countryside for a unique experience and a great family day out!
Get inspired with stories and advice on visiting New Zealand.
Our team of New Zealand specialists can help you create the perfect touring itinerary. Whether you want to explore the South Island on a self drive holiday or the North Island on an escorted coach tour package we can design or recommend the best options. We have a huge range of accommodation ideas to suit everyone and our first hand experience of destinations and activities means that we can give the best, most up to date honest advice.
Discover New Zealand is part of the New Zealand Fine Touring Group of companies. It specialises in self drive, seat in coach and escorted coach touring holidays across New Zealand's North & South Islands. We have hundreds of tour ideas listed to inspire you or give you an indication of what is possible to achieve on your New Zealand adventure. Whether it is a luxury fully escorted coach tour or a self driven off the beaten track adventure, we have something suitable for everyone. Our wide range of tour lengths and tour prices give you options and are tailor made so we can build the itinerary to suit your interests and needs.
Our team of consultants are all 100% Pure New Zealand Certified specialists and are passionate about designing your New Zealand holiday. Our consultation service is free and our quotes are provided with no obligation. Based in the heart of Wanaka you can be assured you will get the best local advice when planning your dream holiday to New Zealand. Contact one of our experienced team today.
Discover New Zealand is also Qualmark Gold Certified. This is Tourism New Zealand's official measure of how our business impacts the environment and our team are proud to have achieved the highest level of quality.