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Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Address: 1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera 3076, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 7-362 8287
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Small Group
$186*
and up
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour
81%
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums, Sights & Landmarks, Museums
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums, Sights & Landmarks, Museums
Fee: Yes
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Owner description: 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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478 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Bundaberg, Australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
21 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

We did this on the recommendation of a friend of a friend on our last day in Rotorua. We found it very informative. It was lovely to have Soltice as our guide who is a direct descendant of one of the original inhabitants of the village. I thought an hour or so but it filled our whole morning and due... More 

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
48 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

We really liked the place and all the story behind this sad event. Kids enjoyed a lot as well and it's a nice walk

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

Kia Ora and thank you for your review. I am pleased that you enjoyed your visit. Our village tells of the history of the Tarawera eruption and the famous Pink and White Terraces which were buried under 60 meters of water. Our guides bring this story to life as they take you through the excavated park which is ended with... More 

Grimes, Iowa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015

After a long day of driving around, and walking/touring, we just wanted to see the museum, not do the walking tour, but it's an "all-or-nothing" deal. The gal working said the best she could do was charge us just $29 each ("just"?! we only wanted to walk thru their museum). We thanked her, then turned around and left.

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

I thank you for your review. We are privately owned and funded so admissions cover the cost of the maintenance of our historical museum and village. It is unfortunate that you did not experience our village and take part in one of the guided tours however we hope that you visit again. Many thanks. More 

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

We enjoyed walking around reading and seeing the life in this area prior and after the tragedy that occurred. The added bonus was a walk through the bush to the waterfall (fairly steep terrain). I would recommend this as a worthy visit while on holiday in Rotorua area.

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

Kia Ora and thank you for your review. I am pleased that you experienced the Wairere waterfall. Our village holds aq lot of history pertaining to the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera and unfortunately destroying the famous Pink and White Terraces. Many thanks for your recommendations. More 

Saskatoon, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

This was a pleasant surprise addition to our day. The site tells the story of a volcano eruption that buried a village and destroyed a popular natural wonder of the pink and white cascades. This disaster of the late1880 s change the entire region . You can walk through the remains which are very well interpreted , visit an enchanting... More 

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

Kia Ora, Many thanks for your review and I am pleased you enjoyed your visit. Our village which was once a thriving staging post for all visitors in the 1880's was buried in volcanic mud and ash due to the eruption. This village holds a lot of history so we are able to tell the story of this historical village.... More 

usa
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
69 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

This village is being brought back by a dedicated family and has interesting items to bring home the impact of the disaster. If you are able, climb to see the falls, and make your way around through the forest glades. It was relatively quiet during our visit, so we could enjoy at our own pace and not feel rushed.

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

Many thanks for your review. I urge all people to visit the waterfall if they can. Although there are a few steps the waterfall is amazing. My family have a huge history in relation to the excavations of our village. I thank you for taking the time to review our wonderful village. More 

Yarraville, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2015

This little museum was certainly interesting! With a bushwalk, tearooms, and the famous Buried Village, there is lots to see and do! The museum tells the story of the earthquake + volcano erruption, as well as the stories of the tearooms itself, which makes for a great day! As you walk outside to the Buried Village itself, you begin a... More 

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

What a great review! We have a lot to offer here at our village. The museum offers great information around the 1886 Tarawera eruption then the walk through the excavated park and nature trail to the Wairere waterfall. Our famous Devonshire tea is well deserved after the waterfall trail. Thanks again. More 

Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2015

The initial museum, I think, is well layed out and provides a good amount of reading material along with a collection of items from the site. Once outside, some of the plaques and reading items do become repetitive. The gardens are lovely and provide for a nice stroll along with the walk to falls, which is worth doing and doesn't... More 

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

Kia Ora and thank you for your review. I agree, the museum has a lot of good information relating to the 1886 Tarawera eruption and the Pink and White Terraces. We are currently looking at the sign posts around the village to improve on the information that is currently written. Our guided tours depart between 10am - 3pm daily. Taking... More 

Calgary, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

A really interesting area that shows the buried village of Te Wairoa, which was destroyed in the Tarawera eruption of 1886. If you understand Maori culture at all, don't bother visiting. If you are interested in history and don't mind paying a lot of money to essentially walk around a garden, then by all means, visit!!

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

Kia Ora. I appreciate your feedback. Our village is a historical village which was once home to the Tuhourangi tribe and European settlers until that fateful night of the eruption. We have excavated down to the original floor level of the village prior to the eruption to give people an idea on what life was like prior to the eruption.... More 

Canberra, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

Beautifully kept grounds, interesting artifacts, lovely waterfall and friendly staff. Our guide for the tour was friendly and knowledgeable. Given our lack of archeological experience this was interesting and at about the right level. The walk down to the waterfall is well worth it. Our son didn't get to do the "treasure hunt" as we went around the first time... More 

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

Kia Ora and thank you for your review. I am glad to hear that you went around again to do the treasure hunt! We take pride in the presentation on our park. It's not everyday that you come across an excavated Maori and European settlement destroyed by a violent volcanic eruption and wiping out the 8th natural wonder of the... More 

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