The Northland conveniences have become an unexpected stimulus for business, as the area benefits from the trickle down of a quarter million visitors passing though to 'spend a penny'.

When it comes to New Zealand, our country has no shortage of bucket-list spots to promote to visitors. There's the breathtaking fjordland, pristine beaches and 60 million sheep nestled in seriously green countryside.

But a toilet tucked away in a remote town in an even remoter stretch of Northland? It seems so. In fact, a staggering 250,000 tourists a year traipse up through the guts of the country to Kawakawa, a town found five hours north of Auckland, to visit a toilet block.

But this is hardly your standard public loo.

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Hundertwasser Town: Kawakawa has become famous for the toilets' unique design. Photo / Getty Images
Hundertwasser Town: Kawakawa has become famous for the toilets' unique design. Photo / Getty Images

The Hundertwasser toilet's allure is founded in the fact it's an architectural stunner, created by famed Austrian architect and artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

His work, which ranges from pocket-sized canvases to incredibly unique buildings, is spotted around Austria's Vienna and Germany and always attracts a crowd. And this maze of a toilet is the only example of his architectural work in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hundertwasser moved to New Zealand in the 1970s and created his toilet masterpiece in 1999. But the architect never got to see how popular it would become in the next two decades as the following year he died at sea at the age of 71.

Austrian-born Kiwi artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Photo / Steve Sharp
Austrian-born Kiwi artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Photo / Steve Sharp

These days there's a steady stream of travellers detouring ten-minutes off the state highway to Kawakawa to have their photo taken inside and outside of the unusual design on any given day.

And the neat line of tourists waiting to have their photo moment actually rarely use the fully-working facilities available.

Hundertwasser was an architect whose work focused firmly on opposing the concept of a straight line, and the toilet is a cobbled example of this.

He used bricks recycled from a demolished Bank of New Zealand building, tiles made by students at Bay of Islands College, empty bottles and scraps of concrete, steel and copper for the truly eclectic creation.

Toilet tourism: It's thought that 250000 visitors visit Kawakawa annually to spend a penny. Photo / Getty Images
Toilet tourism: It's thought that 250000 visitors visit Kawakawa annually to spend a penny. Photo / Getty Images

But why? Essentially, it was a commissioned piece by the Kawawaka Community Board who wanted the tourist driving to the nearby Bay of Islands, the third most popular spot for visitors in the country, to use the former coal town as a pit-stop to help with dwindling economics.

And it worked. With the constant arrival of tourists, small cafes have popped-up along the very small high street that was one run-down and desolate. And the area has unofficially become known as "Hundertwasser Town".

It perhaps sounds a little potty that a toilet can push life into a remote Kiwi town but toilet tourism has continued to grow in New Zealand and is taken very seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that a huge chunk of this year's $19.3 million tourism funding is going to improve public toilets.

Lobster tails: Wellington's Kumutoto WCs are a popularport of call for visitors. Photo / Supplied
Lobster tails: Wellington's Kumutoto WCs are a popularport of call for visitors. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand was flush with success in last year's inaugural International Toilet Tourism awards, hosted by MyTravelResearch.com. With appealing public conveniences and newly pledged investment in this vital infrastructure, the standing in 2019 is bound to be improved.

We'll no doubt be eyeing up a clean sweep in this year's awards.

Here's a list of the country's most remarkable thrones:

Matakana - Nautical loos

Matakana: Steffan de Haan's Natuical loos. Photo / Getty Images
Matakana: Steffan de Haan's Natuical loos. Photo / Getty Images

The market town of Matakana is another scenic spot to be caught short. Two hours drive north from Auckland, its weekend market has become a tourist haven in the last few years. In part that's due to the giant sculpted toilets that meet visitors on the edge of town.

Designed by Auckland art student Steffan de Haan, the two unisex loos have the appearance of salvaged ships complete with stained glass portholes.

Roxburgh - the pits

The metal sculpted toilets of the South Island mining town are a fine place to spend a penny. The polished metal sculptures 'steel' the show and give queuing visitors something to contemplate.

Wellington - Lobster tails

Lobster tails: Wellington's Kumutoto WCs are a popularport of call for visitors. Photo / Supplied
Lobster tails: Wellington's Kumutoto WCs are a popularport of call for visitors. Photo / Supplied

The much lauded Kumutoto loos have won recognition not just from passerbys, but also in the NZIA architecture awards. The marine-inspired 'lobster tails' first made a splash in 2011 when they were opened to the public and have been a port of call for visitors to the Steamship Wharf Building ever since.

Wellington - Potty mouthed

The Kiss Urinal by Meike van Schijndel. Photo / Bathroom Mania
The Kiss Urinal by Meike van Schijndel. Photo / Bathroom Mania

These Rolling Stones style red lips are actually the mens urinals at Wellington's Malt House. Painted in bright pop art red, they are inspired by Meike van Schijndel's "The Kiss" urinals in The Stones Fan Museum in Germany.

As the cleaners would testify, they're 'not to be missed'.