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Experience New Zealand’s most visited Archaeological Site where stories of the 1886 Tarawera Eruption come to life! Encounter the world-class Museum of Te Wairoa which exhibits excavated objects from the ruins; explore the site which once housed the people of Te Wairoa; hear unique stories from the tour guides and take the Waterfall Trail which showcases the stunning Wairere Falls.

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Buried Village

1180 Tarawera Road

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Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption...

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    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 of Mt Tarawera in 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 ending more than 150 lives and destroying the eighth wonder of the world; The Pink and White terraces, but it doesn't end there…
    Thanks to sensitive restoration and preservation of this vast archaeological area by three generations of the Smith and McGrath families; you can see what life was like at the village before, during, and after the eruption.

    Buried Village highlights:

    ENCOUNTER the award winning Museum of Te Wairoa exhibition and be enriched in the collection of excavated objects (Taonga) over 130 years old.

    EXPLORE the archaeological sites which reveal the devastation of the eruption to this once bustling European and Maori village settlement. Walk among and enter the very sites that once housed the people of Te Wairoa.

    EXPERIENCE the unique insights and storytelling from our tour guides or use an electronic tour app.

    TAKE the beautiful waterfall trail which showcases the stunning Te Wairoa (Wairere) Falls. Be thrilled as you stand in the spray of the waterfall as it plunges 40 meters to the valley below.

    CHILDREN can enjoy Smithy's Map searching through the excavated sites for clues to find treasure at the end of the visit.

    REFRESH at Vi's Tea house offering delicious scones (with whipped cream and jam), Kiwi's favorite selection of Pastry Pies, Devonshire Tea, and excellent fresh-ground coffee or browse the range of gifts in our gift store

    A visit to the Buried Village encompasses Rotorua's most scenic drive and starting with the Redwood Forest walking and bike trails (5 minutes from city), Redwood Treewalk (voted NZ's #1 tree-top bridge walk by Tourism NZ), Blue and Green Lakes freedom walk (10 minutes from city), Start of the Tarawera Trail (a 14 km freedom tramp to Hot water Beach) just 15 minutes from city, Buried Village and Te Wairoa Waterfall (just 20 minutes from city) and then to the Lake Tarawera Landing (just 30 minutes from city) where you can catch a water-taxi for a lake cruise to either Hot-water beach or to the trail that leads to Tarawera Falls (voted NZ's #1 waterfall by Department of Conservation). The Tarawera Waterfall trail is a comfortable 90 minute trek from the shores of Lake Tarawera into the Tarawera native bush area.


    Rotorua City / Rotorua

    Cancellation Policy

    If a cancellation is made within 24 hours of arrival day, loss of 100% of the total booking price

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    Contact this business using the details below.

    Phone:   +64 7 362 8287
    Fax:   +64 7 362 8287
    Address:   1180 Tarawera Road, RD 5, Rotorua, New Zealand
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