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Buried Village of Te Wairoa

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Address: 1180 Tarawera Road | RD 5 Rotorua, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 7-362 8287
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where stories of...

Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life!

Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters burying the peaceful village of Te Wairoa and ending more than 150 lives. Today at the Buried Village encounter the world class Museum of Te Wairoa, explore the Archaeological Site which once housed the people of Te Wairoa, experience the unique insights of stories from our tour guides, and take the Waterfall Trail which showcases the stunning Wairere Falls.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 603 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 257
  • 232
    Very good
  • 85
  • 20
  • 9
Little Imagination Needed to Live History Here.

The ruins and archaeology are not above average in themselves: it is the history and tragedy that invades one's mind that makes this place memorable. It is NZ's own little... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Oxford, United Kingdom

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603 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
225 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The ruins and archaeology are not above average in themselves: it is the history and tragedy that invades one's mind that makes this place memorable. It is NZ's own little Pompeii. It is a great pity that the pink and white terraces of hot baths that were the 8th Wonder of the World were lost in the eruption of Mount... More 

Thank Chrisbeeoxford
Palm City, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Friends recommended this attraction to us and we found it most enjoyable, interesting, and informative. The folks at the facility were extremely gracious in particular our guide Lyn. She went out of her way to welcome us and provide more information than anyone could have expected. The on site cafe was also a great stop.

Thank DickTuschick
Hillsdale, New Jersey
Level Contributor
209 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Incredible excavating site of the volcanic eruption in this town in the late 1800's. Missed the timing of the guided tour, but they offer an ipad to take along on your walk. The waterfalls were absolutely stunning. Definitely recommend coming here.

Thank BarbaraSS
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The information on display and the conversations with the staff allows us to reflect on what life was like in years gone by...and whilst my wife went on the tour I decided to relax in 'Vi's Tea House' and sample the cream tea (with date scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam) with a large post of fresh / hot tea -... More 

Thank Stephen B
Level Contributor
82 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This village was different to the thermal attractions we also saw. It was interesting to see what had happened to the village after the eruption and how nature had recovered. I did think there would have been more of the old village uncovered but that might have been possible. There was a nice walk through the bush to the waterfall.

Thank dgluch
South Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The entry fee was exorbitant for the value of the sights and information. The village is not buried. The town or village that was flooded was at one time buried and the remnants have been dug out and are on show in small structures along a walk. Do not waste your time or money on this Buried Village

Thank Evelynne Lee G
Hull. England
Level Contributor
204 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Enjoyed walking around the displays and the grounds. Lots of useful information. The walk to the waterfall was hard work but worth it

Thank shazzy39
Whangarei, New Zealand
Level Contributor
66 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We enjoyed this - easy to follow the progress of the story, good labelling of sites. Brochure hasn't caught up with the latest added bits, though! Not sure it would have been wheelchair friendly (our wheelchair user declined the visit), as it was quite rutted and uneven in places. Not everyone ha a fancy wheelchair, and I think it would... More 

Thank kiwidiver255371
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your recent review. We value all feedback and use it as a means of measuring and improving our facilities, so I will pass your comments on It was great to hear that enjoyed learning about the Tarawera eruption and the total loss and devastation of not only this village, but many other smaller villages around the... More 

Arlon, Belgium
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

If you love history and if you have 2 hours in front of you. Give it a try but the fee for the entry is expensive compared to other themed parks.

Thank Michel M
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks for taking the time to post a review following your recent visit to the Buried Village. This unique Rotorua attraction has been owned and privately funded by the same family for 85 years. The village tells an important story and is part of the historical and cultural landscape of New Zealand, so 2 hours can very easily be spent... More 

Level Contributor
80 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I was a bit reluctant to pay the $30 entry fee for what looked a bit like a dusty old museum from the entrance but in the end it was well worth it. The grounds are quite extensive and the guide who took us round was very interesting and knowledgable. The grounds themselves are beautifully kept and there is a... More 

Thank pommybattler
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thank you so much for visiting and wonderful to hear that your initial reluctance was short lived. Our guides are extremely knowledgeable and love to share stories of the Terraces and the Tarawera eruption with our visitors. Your reward of tea and scones was well deserved after the steep walk to the Wairere falls. Hope you enjoyed the rest of... More 

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