In the interest of boat-bound crew sanity we teamed up with the Toucans mainly for a change of scene, shared a Rent-a-Dent and headed up to Kerikeri to replenish provisions at the Countdown, a large modern supermarket. It’s either that or the little general store in Opua. Once the car boot was filled we showed the Toucans the Old Stone Store at the head of Kerikeri River, then found our way to something we’d heard a lot about and wanted to see, the municipal toilets of Kawakawa. Really. Toilets. The municipal kind. Turns out the distinction, apparently, is that the Kawakawa municipal toilets have been designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Let me help you here. Friedensreich Hundertwasser is an Austrian architect who fell in love with New Zealand and settled here in the 70’s, disdained straight lines and in Yr. Humbl. Skprs. opinion is Austria’s answer to Gaudi.
After the toilets went in the town went nuts, taking a fashion forward stylistic cue from Herr Hundertwasser and Bob’s-your-uncle, the whole town is now kinda whimsical and fun. You just can’t take yourself too seriously when you’ve got a big grin on your face and now I can proudly state that I’ve pee’d on a real Hundertwasser.