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“Buried Village - over rated and somewhere between poor & average” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Buried Village of Te Wairoa
1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera 3076, New Zealand
+64 7-362 8287
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Visit Buried Village of Te Wairoa like an insider
Small Group
$193*
and up
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour
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Fee: Yes
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.
Hobart, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Buried Village - over rated and somewhere between poor & average”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We made the decision to visit this place last minute; so we had no expectations other than the fact that we thought we may learn something about Maori culture. We were a party of 8 (youngest 17 & the eldest 63) our opinion of the Buried Village was pretty much the same, in that we thought it was over priced $29 for a group or $32 single adult and rather boring. We learnt very little about Maori culture as the tour tended to focus on the European aspect. Your guide takes you through the first 12 sites and then you are free to amble at your leisure. There is a water fall towards the end of the site that is lovely. There are 93 steps down to the waterfall which are not evenly spaced, so elderly people may find it slightly difficult but certainly not impossible. I wore thongs and was comfortable walking the site. However appropriate footwear would be recommended. The staff were really friendly and some of the landscape was serene, however I do live in Tasmania and in relation to the scenery I may be a little hard to impress:)

Visited February 2013
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Rotorua, New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Dull”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

If you are a geologist or very into archeological digs then this is for you. It is lacking information in and around the houses that they have uncovered. The cafe does some really nice lasagna and cake!

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Buried Village - hidden treasure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

A great break from the road, and surrounded by beautiful lakes with worth-a-stop lookouts. The history of the Buried Village is not well known by many and it's worth finding out. Lyn the guide is very knowledgeable on both the village and Maori culture. Stunning surrounds mixed with interesting stories and well stocked museum and gift shop/cafe .....highly recommended.

Visited February 2013
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“If you visit Rotorua you must”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

visit the Buried Village. This was truly wonderful experience and I particularly enjoyed reading the 'letters' Margaret supposedly sent back to her family in England describing the changes to the landscape after the volcano eruption. Unfortunately we didn't get to the village earlier enough, (went to the lving village-save your moneyand dont bother) you could easily spend a good half day there enjoying the gardens etc, but for the time we were there it was fab. And the walk to the water falls was well worthwhile As we have found throughout NZ great care it taken to ensure your safety and protection of the bushland. This is a little bit out of Rota but if you're in your own vehicle is a 'must do' and even if you don't have your own vehicle, find some a tour that goes there. There is also the delightful Lake Tarawera nearby where you can swim and relax.

Visited February 2013
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Pam M, Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Hi Heather, thank you for you review it is appreciated. It is very pleasing to hear that you enjoyed your visit and we hope to have you back again in the future.
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
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30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Definitely worth a visit - One of our trip highlights!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

The Buried Village should be on everyone's Rotorua 'must see' list! This was one of NZ's major tourist attractions in the 1800's and was buried by a volcano eruption. Excavation of the site commenced in the 1930's and continues to this day.

After being a little disappointed with the commercialism of the main Rotorua attractions that are full of bus loads of tourists we stumbled upon this fabulous museum and Buried Village and it was the highlight of our trip!

The Buried Village is a very pleasant drive from the city centre of Rotorua and on the way back we also visited the Red Forest and Blue Lake which are on the same road - & also 'must see' locations!

The Buried Village guide, Brian was knowledgeable, friendly and passionate about both Maori and Settler history. His stories were moving, humorous and informative.

The exhibits and archaeological sites are very 'hands on' and fascinating to look at and touch! The landscape and scenery is just magical and if you have moderate fitness levels there is an easy 1km walk with marked pathways, stairs and boardwalks that takes you past a most spectacular waterfall (My fitness level is probably below average and I found the walk very easy!) There is also a pleasant Cafe on-site where we sampled the NZ specialty, 'Louise Cake' and had a great coffee! The cost of the guided tour and access to the whole site was very reasonable & worth every cent.

I would highly recommend a visit to the Buried Village & although not usually one for guided tours - I would recommend the guide tour of the excavated sites as the guides knowledge and stories made this village 'come to life'.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pam M, Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Thank you for your review it is appreciated. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the Buried Village experience as well as the scenic drive out here. Brian our youngest guide a descendent of Guide Sophia (a famous guide in the 1800's) is extremely passionate about the village and it great to get positive feedback about his tour. We hope to have you visit again in the future.
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