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Buried Village of Te Wairoa

1180 Tarawera Road, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
+64 7-362 8287
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Ranked #19 of 43 attractions in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Experience New Zealand's most evocative archaeologist site where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life! Violent and unexpected, the... more » Owner description: Experience New Zealand's most evocative archaeologist site where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life! Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera in June 10 1886 was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters. For more than four terrifying hours rocks, ash, and mud bombarded the peaceful village of Te Wairoa ending more than 150 lives and destroying the eight wonder of the world the Pink and White terraces BUT it doesn't end there...Thanks to the sensitive redevelopment by three generations of the Smith family; you can see what life was like at the village before, during, and after the eruption. HIGHLIGHTS:ENCOUNTER Te Wairoa Museum and be enriched in the collection of excavated objects, the fusions of cultures and tourism, and hundreds of images. EXPLORE the archaeological site which reveals the devastation of the eruption. Walk amongst and enter the very sites that once housed the people of Te Wairoa. EXPERIENCE the unique insights of the stories of Te Wairoa through optional guided tours or try our electronic tour devices ADVENTURE- Take the stunning nature trail along the crystal clear waters of Te Wairoa stream and be thrilled as you stand under the spray of the Wairere Falls as it plunges 30 metres to the valley below. CHILDREN can enjoy Smithy's Guide Map searching through the excavated sites for cluesREFRESH at Vi's Teahouse offering delicious home baking, Devonshire Tea, and excellent coffee OR browse the range of gifts in our gift store « less
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364 reviews from our community

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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

I arrived at this place not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised at the extensive museum and friendly, knowledgeable hosts and guide at this charming museum. Our guide Lyn was a wealth of knowledge as she lives in the area of Te Wairoa. There was much more Maori knowledge than I had expected and I was glad for it as... More

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Valparaiso, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

Beautiful location, lots of history and great guide named Lyn. She provided lots of historical facts about the site, the peolpe living in the area during the time of the geological event, and the Maori people.

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London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
5 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

I booked for the Buried Village at the iSite in town. I was picked up from my hotel by a very friendly Maori lady driver who gave me an insight into the village which was a good start. I was given a map and an iPlayer and started my own personal tour. I got back 3 hours later... absolutely fascinating... More

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Cranebrook, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

The water fall was the best part. The history is interesting. The archaeological digs are interesting

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Durham
Top Contributor
200 reviews 200 reviews
25 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

We arrived here mid afternoon paid our entrance fee and walked through the buried village. We were not offered any guide but were given a map. It was very interesting and we continued through the woodland walk. It was very steep in parts but we took our time and managed to complete it. We were disappointed that the cafe had... More

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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thank you for the review. Our guided tours are daily at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm.. Otherwise we have two other great options: Taking an ipod for an audio tour, or self-guide with our map. Yes our cafe shuts earlier than the shop; however the shop should not have been closed before 5pm in the Summer time so I shall pass... More

Bracknell
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

We are a 60 something couple visiting from the UK. We wanted to see the Buried Village as we had seen the Maori Meeting House at Clandon Park in the UK. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit which was made special by guide Lyn who brought the whole eruption story to life. The events that led to the village being buried... More

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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks for the five star review.. it is always a pleasure. The Maori Meeting House - Hinemihi; is such a treasure to Te Wairoa and we are glad that it is well kept in Clandon Park. I will pass this onto Lyn- she will be very pleased. Yes the story is such a tragedy however we are glad we can... More

Echuca, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

Visited March 2014. We were warmly greeted by the period dressed shop attendants who encouraged to join the walk through the old village. Lyn our guide was wonderful. She explained the setting over a model of the area before leading us around the village. Her knowledge was extensive regarding life then and now of the Maori and local people. Felt... More

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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Wow thanks for the five star review. I am glad our shop attendants suggested the guided tours as they give great insight into the history of Te Wairoa. I will pass this onto Lyn she will be very pleased.. what a great job she is doing! Yes the Wairere Falls is one of treasures that shouldn't be missed! And a... More

Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

Visited here in April 2014 and really enjoyed learning a lot about Te Wairoa and the buried village there. As a foreigner I didn't know much about early interactions between the Māori and Europeans so it was informative in an engaging way. The kids' scavenger hunt is worth the time (regardless of age) and the waterfall track at the end... More

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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks for a great review. Yes there is so much history about the village and it is great we can share it with you. The Museum of Te Wairoa helps us understand the fusion between the two cultures Maori and Europeans; and how they lived and worked together.I am glad the kids enjoyed the scavenger hunt; it is a fun... More

Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

a beautiful wallk around the buried village seeing the history and the old way of life all finished off with excellent home baked fresh scones, cream and jam with pot of tea, we come here just for the cream tea even if we don't enter the 'village'

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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks for the five star review it's always a pleasure. Yes Vi's Teahouse does excellent home-baking (baked fresh daily). The Teahouse is in remembrance of Vi who opened the Te Wairoa Tearooms in 1931. Vi Tearooms were renowned for her famous Devonshire Tea and scones. Vi would make cream from the cow, and jam from the berries her sons picked.... More

Concordia, Kansas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

Our guide, Lyn, made the village come alive .......telling about the time before the eruption and what life was like after the eruption.The area must have been amazing with the pink and white terraces. By having such a detailed introduction of the area and then to walk the trails and experience the waterfalls and nature was pure delight. The museum... More

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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks for the great review. Yes, the guided tours definitely help give a great insight before and after the eruption. I will pass this onto Lyn she will be pleased! Agreed the Museum of Te Wairoa has several exhibits that portray the history of Te Wairoa in-depth. And what a great way to end the experience at Vi's Teahouse ..... More

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