The Mid North area includes Kawakawa near the east coast through Kaikohe to Okaihau further toward the west coast. Kawakawa, about a 20-minute drive from the Bay of Islands and is home to the famous Hundertwasser toilets, an amazing work of art fr... Show More
Tourist Information About Kaikohe & Kawakawa
The Mid North area includes Kawakawa near the east coast through Kaikohe to Okaihau further toward the west coast. Kawakawa, about a 20-minute drive from the Bay of Islands and is home to the famous Hundertwasser toilets, an amazing work of art from Austrian artist Fredrich Hundertwasser. Also in the area are the Kawiti Caves and the Ruapekapeka Pa Track. Through the centre of Kawakawa runs a railway line with the recently restored vintage steam train engine, Gabriel. The Twin Coast Cycle Trail runs from Opua in the East Coast through these areas taking in natural thermal hot pools at Ngawha and a Pioneer Village at Kaikohe filled with heritage buildings, passing through old train tunnels, past Lake Omapere and through beautiful rural countryside with rivers and bush to the West Coast.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Kaikohe and Kawakawa
1. Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail
The tranquil Hokianga Harbor is 87 kilometers from the magnificent Bay of Islands. It can be ridden on this track in any direction because of its four sections.
The Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail features breathtaking scenery and spectacular views, as well as a fascinating journey into New Zealand's first Maori and European settlements.
The two most popular options are riding from east to west (Opua to Horeke) or downhill in both directions from the center of the trail which is located in Kaikohe.
2. Pioneer Village
Take a trip back in time. This hidden gem is worth exploring and discovering. Pioneer Village, located in the center of Kaikohe Township, has something for everyone. Take a leisurely stroll through the town or schedule an interesting guided tour. Take in the history and culture!
A visit to New Zealand's oldest standing courtroom would be incomplete without seeing the treasures kept therein, envisioning life in the 1875 Maioha Cottage, or taking a tranquil moment inside the 1886 Methodist chapel.
Pioneer village caters to both young and elderly with its wide collection of heritage buildings, machines, antiquities, and displays.
Enjoy, experience, and carry stories from the past and lasting memories with you.
3. Bay of Islands Vintage Railway
The oldest railway in the North Island, family friendly and the only one to go along a main street of a town in NZ.
On this magical adventure, you will visit the longest curved wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere in Taumarere.
This is a unique experience for your family and friends to see and create lifelong memories.
4. Hundertwasser Toilets
The most well-known public toilets in New Zealand are found here in Kawakawa. They'll most likely be the most colorful and artistic restrooms you'll ever see. A late Austrian expat artist constructed the bathrooms, which are ornamented with mosaic ceramic and glass bottles.
The structure was finished in 1999 and is named after Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an architect and visual artist who designed the project. It is one of the few toilet blocks in the world that is both an international work of art and a standalone tourist destination.
5. Kings Theater Creative
This restored 1930s theater is now home to a vibrant art gallery featuring works from the Far North and Bay of Islands regions. This exhibition, which is open from September to June, features native Maori art as well as other thought-provoking pieces. Kings Theatre Creative is the Bay of Islands' biggest art gallery. It is undoubtedly an encounter with the dynamic, creative, and bicultural talent Tai Tokerau has to offer, as it represents over 300 local artists.
6. Hone Heke Memorial Park
This is a fantastic place to stop by if you are in the area and want to know a smidge more about the local history.
This memorial is dedicated to the warrior who chopped down the flagpole at Russell. Ngapua backed the Kotahitanga movement which aimed at Maori separatism.
7. The Kawakawa Mural
It began as a paper backdrop for a school performance, winning a Keep New Zealand Beautiful award, before being scaled up and painted on treated plywood panels with ceramic, wood, and metal embellishments.
Kawakawa is a creative town, and the gorgeous mural alongside the Hundertwasser Toilets adds to the appeal. This incredible work of art created by local school children provides an incredible photo opportunity.
8. The Northland Firehouse Museum Trust
The Northland Firehouse Museum has over a thousand model fire engines and uniforms from the 1940s to current, allowing visitors to travel back in time.
From the earliest hand cart to the modern engine and everything in between, there has been a lot of progress. Models and photos of advancement in New Zealand and throughout the world over the years. On display are uniforms, badges, helmets, equipment, and full-size engines. This is Northland's largest publicly owned display.