We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very dramatic and moving”

Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Book In Advance
More Info
$24.48*
and up
Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour
Ranked #19 of 110 things to do in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
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.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
132 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Very dramatic and moving”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

The Buried Village of Te Wairoa is a little way out of Rotorua, but very much worth visiting. In private ownership since 1931, this place has the excavated remains of the little tourist village of Te Wairoa, which was smothered in mud from a violent volcanic eruption in 1882. The story is told in the excellent museum, and the guided tour around the various points of interest on the site was very knowledgeable and well-presented. The only shame is that a few sites of known and significant build0ings are not on the property but on bordering land, and no access to them is possible. This is a 19C Pompeii, very well-preserved and presented, and an excellent lesson in just how prone this land is to volcanic activity.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Nyree13
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 you enjoyed you visit including the guided tour, and we hope to have you back again to visit in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

812 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    363
    295
    118
    26
    10
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“A pleasant walk with some light reading”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Overall it's too much money for very little return. You'll get most of the story at Rotorua Museum, most of the stops on the walk there is little to actually appreciate. Skip it.

Helpful?
Thank Avocadia
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. Although I am sorry to hear that you did not appreciate your visit to the Buried Village. While the Rotorua museum does a great job telling the story, it is at the Buried Village that you get a first hand insight to the chaos and mayhem that transpired the night Mount Tarawera erupted. Visitors can choose to self guide and explore the sites on their own or take an optional guided tour that is included in admission and have one of our guides share their local knowledge with them.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Worth a stop if you have time.”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Interesting to see how powerful nature can be. The nearby volcano erupted not so terribly long ago. Impressive reminder of Mother Nature.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Susan C
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, we are happy to hear you found your visit interesting.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Interesting, but a little boring”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

I honestly expected more from this attraction, I was interested in the history but I thought the tour would have included more visuals of actual relics.

I think I enjoyed the gift shop the best.... :(

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Keiran W
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 . I am sorry to hear that you found your visit to the Buried Village boring. The Museum of Te Wairoa and the excavated sites have been set up to give an appreciation of the eruption of Mount Tarawera, showing the devastation caused and sharing the stories of those who lived and visited Te Wairoa. The relics housed in the museum and on display at the sites were all excavated onsite and and help to share that story. Visitors have the option to take a guided tour through the excavated site with a guide sharing their local knowledge and bringing the stories to life.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
perth
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“a place of great beauty and sadness”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

the artefacts and displays tell an horrific story. the setting is idyllic. an easy ramble, or a hike to the waterfall - you choose. the tearooms are a must...if only for the staff in period dress and good home baking !

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank bmeup
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, January 29, 2013
Thank you for your review it is appreciated, it is pleasing to hear you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you back again in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Buried Village of Te Wairoa also viewed

 
Rotorua, Rotorua District
 

Been to Buried Village of Te Wairoa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing