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“step back into the history of rotorua”

Buried Village of Te Wairoa
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$25.90*
and up
Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour
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$144.73*
and up
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Geothermal Geyser Tour and Agrodome Combo...
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$102.83*
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Tribal Footprints Tour
Ranked #19 of 112 things to do in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence
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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: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Rotorua, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“step back into the history of rotorua”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

This attraction is situated over the remains of Te Wairoa village which was destroyed when Mt Tarawera erupted over 100 years ago.
Over the years there has been constant excavation of the site and the findings are amazing to see, both in the museum part and the actual diggings. There is a stream walk also where the trout can be viewed but not caught. Then for the energetic and adventurous, the bush walk down beside the Te Wairoa stream waterfall.
After that there is a playground for the youngsters and the cafe which has good coffee and food.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank gerlyn08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Thanks for your recent visit and great feedback. It is always a pleasure to see that our "locals" are proud of what we have to offer. We hope to have you visit again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
325 reviews
174 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
“Excellent insight into the local history”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

We spent 4 hours here on our first day in Rotorua - and I would highly recommend for most; with the small caveat that younger kids might get bored. Let me share why we went here first (out of all attractions in Rotorua) and why we'd do it again:

1.) Gives an excellent accounting with a mobile handheld device you're given of the area before the eruption; during; and after - so you can go at your own pace.

2.) The site was easily walkable. There were roughly 15-20 different stops; all short; that showed something of either what was left post-eruption or what used to be there.

3.) The waterfall was fantastic; we were pleasantly surprised. From the grounds around, you'd never guess it was there.

4.) The staff was very welcoming, friendly, happy to answer any questions.

5.) The scones and warm drinks at the end (we were there in June and it was a bit cool out) were extremely welcome.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Dfcameron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Thanks so much for taking the time to provide us with such a detailed review. We are pleased that you chose to visit the Buried Village as your first Rotorua attraction, and look forward to seeing you here in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rip-Off”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

What a Rip-Off. Overpriced and nothing to see. That price is horrific! Wouldn't recommend. Could have done a lot more with that fee money.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Caro B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thanks for your visit and your comment Caro. To get feedback of any kind is always helpful.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
213 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Interesting”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

Not sure what I was expecting to see...understood the history but not a lot to see...the waterfall was fantastic and well worth the effort but a very steep climb out....so make sure you are up to the climb...it was raining on the day we visited so perhaps that made the difference...the staff are very welcoming, friendly and informative...has a good cafe on site well worth stopping off for a cuppa and scone....

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Ireland, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
849 reviews
220 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 924 helpful votes
“Scenic”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Great drive up from Rotorua taking in some impressive lakes.... Location is in a scenic setting but the ruins are not that impressive....entrance fee is quite high for the overall experience but i understand the need for funds to maintain the site. Story of the volcanic eruption is poignant and history of the Smith family's efforts over the years to uncover the covered ruins is very well documented and interesting. Museum as you enter the site is the focal point with lots of recovered artefacts from the ruins.
Staff are friendly and helpful and the free i pod guide assists with an explanation of what you are viewing as you walk round.
Waterfall at end of the tour is a must see and is quite spectacular in a wooded setting....climb down and back up the other side is steep. Bonus is that the path comes out at the cafe and there are some great toasties, tea and scones to help restore your energy levels!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank ExpatKL88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to provide us with such a thorough review. As a top contributor to Trip Advisor, your feedback is valued. So pleased you rewarded yourself with tea and scones after walking to the beautiful Wairere Falls.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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