Don't let clinical, cold-metalled toilet seats goose pimple your road trip north! No, hold on until Kawakawa, gateway to the Bay of Islands and home to the king of all public conveniences — the Hundertwasser toilets.
A brightly coloured archway greets visitors as they arrive at this quintessential Northland town. Sculptured columns beckon those with crossed legs to make their way quickly to find comfort and relief within its walls.
Tufts of native grass adorn the roof, a tree is incorporated into the structure, and mosaic tiling, copper handwork, sculptures and cobblestone flooring abound.
Designed by internationally renowned artist, ecologist and architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the toilets are made from the community's recycled old glass bottles and reclaimed bricks. It is the only structure he ever built in the southern hemisphere.
Outside this very quirky and creative structure, you'll see other gems: vivid pottery columns, mosaic shop fronts, adobe bench seats, and little railway carriage tiles that pave a route in the footpath drawing upon the town's old coal-mining past.