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“Excellent display” 5 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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Small Group
$193*
and up
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour
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Attraction details
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.
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent display”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

A Fascinating history museum of the volcano eruption that buried a thriving village in the nineteenth century and a beautiful walk through the forest and streams viewing all the houses that have been archeologically revealed from the mud. Superb tea rooms with delicious Devonshire tea scones to follow.

Visited June 2014
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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Wow thank you for the five star review. Yes this attraction provides a fascinating piece of history and is one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters. Agreed the famous Devonshire Tea and scones with cream and jam are not to be missed! Please do visit again.
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English first
Inverness, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Amazing experience taking you back in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Had a fabulous morning exploring the Buried Village at Rotorua including the tour with Lyn. Amazing to find out about what the village was like before the mountain erupted and how local people lived at that time. Stunning river with rainbow trout and beautiful water fall. Really interesting time with great views over the lake and volcano. Thank you Lyn for all the history and info :)

Visited June 2014
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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Wow thank you for the five star review. Glad to hear you enjoyed the Buried Village experience with tour guide Lyn. She definitely gives a great account of the history of the village which goes in-depth of how the people of Te Wairoa once lived. Will pass this onto Lyn! Yes Te Wairoa stream is famous for wild rainbow trout and there is plenty down there! Thank you and do come back and visit!
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Wuhan, China
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
“A history lesson”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

We arrived at the site, very conveniently, at lunchtime, and the cafe is very nicely furnished in English tea house style. We indulged in a cream tea, and then paid our 32.50 ND$ each for the buried village experience. First there is a museum, which tells of the events of 10 June 1886, when Mount Tarawera erupted and engulfed villages and communities all around it. The village of Te Wairoa was totally destroyed, but there has been a lot of excavation and discovery of a considerable number of artifacts and constructions. Within the museum there is a short video in which an actor tells of his last moments in the hotel before it was destroyed, these words being taken from a diary of a young English visitor which was later found. The village site is quite extensive, and there are many signs giving information about what was located at the spot, and some buildings have been reconstructed. There is also an interesting walk down to the base of a waterfall, and a rather steep climb back to the car park, where we were greeted by a sign saying "well done" . Overall, a fascinating little tour, although the entry fee is perhaps, like the climb from the foot of the waterfall, a little steep.

Visited May 2014
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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Thanks for your detailed review. Yes Vi's Teahouse is styled like an English Teahouse and has some goodies such as our famous scones and Devonshire Tea. The Museum of Te Wairoa provides exhibits which display rich history and excavated objects over 80 years old! Agreed the village has several sites that have informative boards detailing the history. Although there is a steep climb down to the waterfall it is definitely worth it.. just like the price!
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Bloomington, Illinois
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Nice to wander around, interesting history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

The buried village is owned/run by a family, so it has less of a commercial feel than a lot of attractions in Rotorua.

First you enter the gift shop/museum (which are kind of blended together). There were some artifacts they dug up and explanations of how people lived. It was interesting the kinds of things they used to dip into the sulphur springs and sell as souvenirs back then when they were all crusted with sulphur.

Then we went outside and walked a trail that meandered through the buried village. You could see what they had excavated, and there was a sign at each location explaining what it was. It was interesting and the weather was nice, so I enjoyed the outdoor experience. (Obviously, this is not an attraction to visit in the rain).

After you get through the village part, the path continues and you can either go back to the beginning or take a loop that has a lot of stairs but also some pretty stunning waterfalls. I couldn't believe there were waterfalls like that hiding on the property!

Visited December 2013
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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Thanks for the pleasant review. It is great to hear you enjoyed your experience here at Buried Village. Yes in the park informative boards explain the history of each excavated site and glad you picked a sunny day to visit. Even if it is raining its a great experience and we have umbrellas to help you stay dry! Agreed the Wairere Falls is stunning and one of our hidden treasures.
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Great Western, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Maybe a good place to visit for others, but not us.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

We went there because it has full of history, however we don't think there is much to see. There is a waterfall requires a little bit walking. We took some photos there.
Well, we did't find it is very interesting, Maybe someone else may like it.

Visited February 2014
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Pam M, Public Relations Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, May 25, 2014
Thanks for the review. It is always great to receive feedback. Currently we are working on another excavation in the Archaeological Site to add more to the park. We suggest to take a guided tour or an iPod tour which adds to the experience and tells significant stories of the past. This is not an adventure attraction; we provide rich history of the Mt Tarawera Eruption and the aftermath.
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