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“If you visit Rotorua you must”

Buried Village of Te Wairoa
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$99.17*
and up
Tribal Footprints Tour
Ranked #31 of 117 things to do in Rotorua
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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: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
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.

1  Thank Heather L
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 reviewResponded 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (910)
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"volcanic eruption"
in 63 reviews
"pink and white terraces"
in 38 reviews
"treasure hunt"
in 25 reviews
"waterfall walk"
in 25 reviews
"beautiful waterfall"
in 24 reviews
"devonshire tea"
in 18 reviews
"wairere falls"
in 11 reviews
"steep steps"
in 14 reviews
"nz history"
in 12 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 16 reviews
"interesting museum"
in 11 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 25 reviews
"information boards"
in 16 reviews
"interesting walk"
in 10 reviews
"trout"
in 28 reviews
"local history"
in 10 reviews
"rotorua museum"
in 12 reviews
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666 - 670 of 910 reviews

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'.

1  Thank Julia G
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 reviewResponded 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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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.

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 reviewResponded 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.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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 reviewResponded 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.

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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.

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 reviewResponded February 17, 2013

Thank you for your review it is appreciated, we are happy to hear you found your visit interesting.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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