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Weird places to take a selfie, the public toilets of New Zealand’s North Island

Waipu Cove Murals toilets @Dan Mills Paintings

Twenty funky buildings, quirky architecture and it’s a toilet

Public toilet architecture is absurd. It highlights a bodily function that we unusually perform in private. It is fun and amusing to explore the potty side of New Zealand and, of course, take a selfie for the road.

Hundertwasser Toilets, Kawakawa, New Zealand
Hundertwasser Toilets, Kawakawa
  1. HUNDERTWASSER PUBLIC TOILETS – KAWAKAWA

Star billing and since they have been opened these toilets have been on the tourist bucket list. Sculptures, mosaics, copper and cobblestone, nothing in a straight line is the perfect selfie location. The toilets were opened in 1999.

  1. MAIKI HILL PUBLIC TOILETS – PAIHIA

Exposed aggregate concrete, deliberately rough rock exterior and stainless steel toilets as plant pots and the rooftop garden with the words ‘Paihia’s Wee Toilet’ is a great waterfront selfie moment, forget the views and photograph the toilets with you in the frame.

Maiki Hill Toilets, Paihia NZ @Creative Communitites
Maiki Hill Toilets, Paihia NZ @Creative Communitites
Waipu Cove Murals, New Zealand @Dan Mills Paintings
Waipu Cove Murals @Dan Mills Paintings
  1. WAIPU MURAL TOILETS

A mural is wrapped around the entire building narrating the story of the district in pictures. The use of colours reflects the kiwi landscape with its earthy tones and splashes of blue. Together with kilted figures, Maori voyaging and native bush it is hard to actually see it as a toilet block.

  1. MATAKANA PUBLIC TOILETS

The hulls of upturned boats with recycled kauri are a striking addition to the town’s reputation as an upmarket village. Look for the stained glass porthole windows. The two figures guarding the entrance have featured on many instagram posts

Matakana toilets. Built in 2009 to attract visitors to Matakana township at the cost of about $400,000 (NZD)
Matakana toilets
  1. STANMORE BAY PARK & RESERVE TOILETS

The local school children helped paint the mural of a New Zealand summer by the beach. The flora and fauna panel is fun against an otherwise modern functional toilet block.

Stanmore Bay Park toilets, New Zealand @Auckland Council Stanmore Bay Park toilets @Auckland Council
Stanmore Bay Park toilets, New Zealand @Local Matters Stanmore Bay Park toilets @Local Matters
Heritage Woman's toilets, New Zealand @Heritage New Zealand
Heritage Woman's toilets @Heritage New Zealand
  1. WARKWORTH HISTORIC TOILET

When is a toilet not a toilet. In the historic building precinct of the Warkworth heritage museum where the historic latrine already has an occupant. A Victorian lady with her knickers around her ankles. Open the door and find out.

  1. HERITAGE WOMEN’S TOILETS – GRAFTON BRIDGE AUCKLAND

History buffs do not miss out with the Grafton Bridge early twentieth century toilets built with a dual function. Toilets and a tram shelter. The Edwardian baroque architecture is now on the heritage register as a category 2 building.

  1. HOT WATER BEACH – COROMANDEL

The use of wood, steel and the see through architecture is stunning for a public facility that supports a very large number of visitors. The communal hand washing area to get rid of sand is great for families. Selfie moment coming…

Hot Water Beach toilet, New Zealand @Thames-Coromandel District Council
Hot Water Beach toilet @Thames-Coromandel District Council
Waihi beach public toilet, New Zealand @Exeloo
Waihi beach public toilet @Exeloo
  1. WAIHI BEACH PUBLIC TOILETS

Another beach, another glorious summer mural complete with vehicle, surfboard, tussock, flax and ocean surf. The combination of steel and wood creates the illusion of a simple beach bach (shack). Find the dog wearing sunglasses for a great selfie. Clue the dog is on the path to the beach.

  1. OUTHOUSE PUBLIC TOILETS – TIRAU

Humour is great especially when paired with the deliberately corrugated shabby look. These toilets are on a side road and a must see destination for selfie toilet fans.

Outhouse public toilets, Tirau, New Zealand @366 photos
Outhouse public toilets, Tirau @366 photos
Redwood Forest Public Toilets, New Zealand @Graeme Murray
Redwood Forest Public Toilets @Graeme Murray
  1. REDWOODS SHROUD TOILETS – ROTORUA

These award winning toilets are magical especially at night with the use of light to enhance the native bird images and Maori kowhaiwhai patterns.

  1. WAIPU VALLEY BIKE PARK PUBLIC TOILETS – ROTORUA

A mountain bike trail runs over the roof with toilets nestled into the hillside. The toilets are unisex, have showers and changing space for disabled users. The metal artwork is durable, robust and striking against the forest setting. LTHA

Waipu valley bike park, New Zealand @NZ Herald
Waipu valley bike park @NZ Herald
Public Conveniences Ladies Toilets Eltham, New Zealand @roll the dice
Public Conveniences Ladies Toilets Eltham @roll the dice
  1. ELTHAM PUBLIC TOILETS – TARANAKI

Cute upgrade for a simple brick exterior with recycled vintage iron columns, ornate interior with leadlight windows, tiling artwork and mosaics makes this a compulsory toilet stop.

  1. STRATFORD PUBLIC TOILETS – TARANAKI

Shakespeare probably would be laughing at the faux tudor exterior, imitating the glockenspiel clock tower. The artwork is sketches of the iconic Mount Taranaki depicting scenes from the Forgotten Highway.

Stratford (New Zealand) @Wikivoyage
Stratford (New Zealand) @Wikivoyage
  1. OTOROHANGA PUBLIC TOILETS

A functional block concrete facility has a makeover with a deep forest green coat and the slang for toilets on the side of the buildings. Inside are local art tiles reflecting the town’s kiwiana theme. Definitely on the selfie kiwiana trail.

Otorohanga Kiwiana toilets, New Zealand @Otorohanga Otorohanga Kiwiana toilets @Otorohanga
Otorohanga Kiwiana toilets, New Zealand @Otorohanga Otorohanga Kiwiana toilets @Otorohanga
  1. TIMBER TRAIL BENNEYDALE PUBLIC TOILETS

A perfect selfie moment against the backdrop of two cyclists taking a selfie of themselves, on a bike in the forest. The toilet block is cheerful, functional and the artwork fun with its depiction of the trail.

  1. NAPIER BAK SKATE PARK, MARINE PARADE

Deliberately tagged with black and white contemporary abstract art the art is part of the SEA WALLS art trail. The comic characters are fun.

Public Toilets, New Zealand @Napier City Council Public Toilets @Napier City Council
Public Toilets, New Zealand @Napier City Council Public Toilets @Napier City Council
Tui Brewery (Mangatainoka), New Zealand @Bronxi
Tui Brewery (Mangatainoka) @Bronxi
  1. MANGATAINOKA TUI HQ CAFE TOILETS

There are a lot of architectural details in a ubiquitous stainless steel brewery drum if you put your mind to it. Corrugated orange painted walls and Tui branded signage completes the picture. Functiona fun Tui style.

  1. JAILHOUSE TOILETS – ONGAONGA

Pioneering history with heritage buildings narrating the story of settlement in the nineteenth century greets visitors to OngaOnga. An old jailhouse is now a public toilet featuring the original jailhouse iron bars and heavy metal peepholes in the doors.

The Old Jail, Ongaonga, New Zealand @Waymarking The Old Jail, Ongaonga @Waymarking
The Old Jail, Ongaonga, New Zealand @Waymarking The Old Jail, Ongaonga @Waymarking
  1. WELLINGTON’S LOBSTER LOOS – QUEEN’S WHARF

Crowned best public toilets in the world by DesignCurial in 2015 the segmented metallic sea crustacean tentacles will fascinate you and the kids in everyone.

Lobster loos, New Zealand @Ballofstring Lobster loos @Ballofstring

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