My wife is a professional artist and we have friends who had visited the Hundertwasser Art Centre in January and recommended it to us enthusiastically. Therefore, having lived in Onerahi, Ngunguru and Kamo during my first 17 years, a return to the region of my birth, coupled with a visit to the Hundertwasser, seemed like a great idea on the occasion of my 70th birthday. I can certainly say it was an excellent idea. It was great to see the tasteful development of the old Town Basin and we had the additional pleasure of hitting it (by shear luck) at the time of the Fri night Canopy Food Market. Dinner sorted!! On the Sat morning we went to the Hundertwasser for a couple of hours and loved it. I know there was a lot of discussion and controversy surrounding the funding and building of the Centre, but now that it's completed I can say it is world class and a fantastic asset for Whangarei, Northland and NZ. The art works, exhibits, displays, explanations, photos, memorabilia and the museum itself tell a wonderful story of a true genius. Hundertwasser was a fabulously creative, innovative, eccentric, bold, caring, visionary artist and architect. Some of the exhibits are particularly poignant. I loved the carpet made of one of his artworks by weavers in Afghanistan. Then a little later I learned it was the same carpet that adorned his cabin at the time he died on board a cruise ship off the coast of Australia. Letters between him and politicians and others illuminate the type of person he was. Then, there's the magical roof garden which is a joy to behold. We thoroughly recommend the Hundertwasser Art Centre, together with the Wairau Maori Art Gallery - the first unique and dedicated public Māori Art Gallery in Aotearoa New Zealand, with various exhibitions throughout the year.