ArchitectureKawakawa is a simple, gabled rectangular structure with a smaller gabled men’s toilet at the east end. There is a verandah to the platform elevation, with scalloped edged valancing at both ends. The west end of the verandah is partly closed off. The roof of both the main building and the verandah is corrugated iron and the exterior cladding is rusticated weatherboarding. There are a lone chimney on the roof apex and finials over the gable. There have been some internal alterations to the station building but the arrangement of the platform elevation is much as it was built, with office, lobby and ladies' waiting room.
HistoryThe branch line to Kawakawa opened in 1868 but it was not until 1895, when the District Inspector prepared plans and estimates, that a station building was proposed. After requests for a ladies' waiting room and toilet, the following year the prospect of moving a nearby railway-owned house was investigated, but the tenant refused to leave. By 1897 a cottage, known simply as No.5 house Opua, was moved and used as a ladies’ waiting room. The goods shed was attached to the station in 1902, and the lack of conveniences attracted a lot of criticism. Attempts to improve the facilities were made, but the cottage was not easily enlarged. Finally in 1910 funds were approved, estimated at £1780 for a station with a verandah, originally a class 5 station but amended to a class 4 - the building constructed was a class B. The cottage reverted to being a dwelling in December 1910, and in March 1911 Kawakawa had a new station building, urinal, yards and picket fence. It remained much as built until 1956, when it was altered to accommodate Railways coach services. Its dual role led to proposals for a refreshment room, but after much discussion one was not provided. In 1981 it closed to all traffic except parcels and small lots. The nearby goods shed, built in 1877, was sold for removal in 1983. The adjoining bus verandah was removed in mid 1992.
Architectural SignificanceKawakawa is one of the small number of Troup class B station buildings, and it remains in largely original condition. It is an integral component of the historically and visually interesting Kawakawa townscape.
Historical SignificanceKawakawa is a tangible reminder of a very early and successful branch railway station. Although now no longer part of a commercial operation, the station building and track are still in place use and provide a rare visual railway experience.
Town / Landscape ValueThe station is at the west end of Kawakawa's historic and attractive main street, which has the railway running down its centre towards Opua.