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World's Greatest Public Bathrooms

Ian Leonard / Alamy

Hundertwasser Public Toilets, New Zealand

Kauri forests, turquoise waters, and a cove-studded coast top the list of attractions in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, but the colorful Hundertwasser Public Toilets are a surprising draw. Built in 1997, these loos are the architect and artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser's wacky version of a temple (bathrooms are places of contemplation after all, he has noted), with curvy columns, shardlike mosaics, and "stained glass windows"—walls embedded with vividly hued glass bottles. The eco-smart building incorporates a living tree, a grass roof, and reclaimed bricks.

Where to Go: These johns are on State Highway 1, north of Paihia, in the rural township of Kawakawa.


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