Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Rotorua - New Zealand

Objects at the Buried Village of Te Wairoa, Rotorua

Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera during the early hours of June 10, 1886, was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters. For more than four terrifying hours, rocks, ash and mud bombarded the peaceful village of Te Wairoa. The eruption killed over 150 people, and destroyed the eighth wonder of the world - the magnificent Pink and White Terraces. Also the village of Te Wairoa was buried under two metres of thick volcanic material.

Excavations began in 1931 by the Smith Family and have continued for three generations. Buildings, both of Maori and settlers, have been excavated to their original floor ground floor level.

The museum of Te Wairoa tells the fascinating story of the village, the voyages to the Pink and White Terraces and the eventual eruption of Mount Tarawera. In this museum you can see artifacts and belongings that have been recovered from the buried village.

You can also enjoy the native bush along the scenic pathways that link the excavated archaeological sites and be sure not to miss the Te Wairere Falls which plunge 30 metres to the bush-clad valley below.

A waterfall near the Buried Village of Te Wairoa, Rotorua, New Zealand

How to get to the Buried Village

The buried village is a 15-minute scenic drive from Rotorua past the Blue and Green Lakes on the way to Lake Tarawera. Just drive east on Te Ngae Road and then turn right at the Tarawera Road roundabout.

Allow 60-90 minutes to visit this attraction.

For more information and current prices, check out their website: www.buriedvillage.co.nz

The museum at the Buried Village of Te Wairoa, Rotorua, New Zealand

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