History and museums, Natural sights
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. 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.
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.
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.
Bay of Islands College is a secondary (years 9-13) school with a roll of 422. It takes students from around the Bay of Islands and middle Northland, with 85% of its students travelling daily by bus to attend.
Both schools have a decile rating of 1, and are coeducational.
Karetu School is also a local primary school in the Kawakawa region.