Rotorua's Redwood Forest Visitor Centre toilets have made the pages of a Lonely Planet travel guide.

Lonely Planet's Toilets: A Spotter's Guide was published yesterday.

The book's introduction states: "As any experienced traveller knows, you can tell a whole lot about a place by its bathrooms. Whatever you prefer to call them - lavatory, loo, bog, khasi, thunderbox, dunny, washroom or water closet - toilets are a (sometimes opaque, often wide-open) window into the secret soul of a destination."

Eight toilets from New Zealand made the list, from Wellington's Lobster loos, to Golden Bay's Penguin privy, and two from the Milford Track. "Toilets so often transcend their primary function of being a convenience to become a work of art in their own right, or to make a cultural statement about the priorities, traditions and values of the venues, locations and communities they serve," the book states.

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Rotorua Lakes Council sports and recreation manager Rob Pitkethley said it was great the Redwoods toilets had become an attraction in themselves.

"Council is making many improvements in our parks and recreation areas, including upgrading essential facilities like toilets. Rather than just having concrete buildings, we're creating something - through design and or artwork - that reflects the environment they're in and makes them more than just an amenity. The Redwoods toilets are a particularly great example and the designs of Darryl Church and artwork of Kereama Taepa really reflect the forest environment enjoyed by our many visitors and locals. It's great they have become an attraction in themselves, located in one of Rotorua's most beautiful and well known recreational destinations."

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