Te Wairoa - The Buried Village

Categories: Bay of Plenty
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Te Wairoa - The Buried Village
Rotorua's Most Scenic Drive
Lakes District
Award Winning Museum
Archaeological Village Site
Wairere Falls & Trail
Tarawera Trail
Vi's Tea-house & Cafe

Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera on 10 June 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 the story doesn’t end there…

Thanks to the sensitive redevelopment by three generations of the Smith family, you can see what life was like at the village before, during, and after the eruption.

Museum of Te Wairoa

Established in 1999, the world-class museum houses a large collection of objects excavated over the past 80 years from the Mt Tarawera eruption, and exhibits the early settlers to Te Wairoa.

Archaeological Site
Established in 1999, the award-winning Museum of Te Wairoa is well worth a visit, with excavated objects over 80 years old and an extensive archaeological site set in 12 acres of meadow and native bush. Detailed signage provides a rich narrative of the people who visited and lived in the village.

Electronic Tour Devices
If you prefer some guided direction, use one of our electronic tour devices for free! At each site a detailed video will explain the significant stories of Te Wairoa - whether it be before, during, or after the eruption.

WaterfallTrail
The trail allows visitors to see the stunning Te Wairoa stream and Wairere Falls. Te Wairoa stream flows from the Green Lake to Lake Tarawera in which wild trout swim freely down the crystal clear water. The Wairere Falls is an exciting walk down to the base where you will be thrilled as you stand in the spray from the waterfall as it plunges 30 metres over the Waitoharuru cliffs.

Vi’s Teahouse & Gift Store
Both Vi’s Teahouse and Gift store were established in 1931. Vi Smith reopened the Te Wairoa Tearooms serving her famous Devonshire teas, and scones. Today, Vi’s Teahouse is just as renowned as it once was - serving Devonshire Tea, excellent coffee, and a selection of delicious home baking. The Gift Store provides Rotorua’s most comprehensive collections of authentic carved objects in bone, greenstone, and native timber; along with greenstone and bone carved jewellery.

Children
Not to fear, there is plenty of fun for the whole family to see and do around the village. Children can explore the village with Smithy the Archaeologist, dig in the discovery room, and enjoy time on the playground.

The Buried Village of Te Wairoa is open seven days, with entry from 9 – 5 in Summer, and 9 – 4:30 in Winter. Don’t worry if you’re still there at closing time, you can keep looking and let yourself out when you’re ready.

Learn how people have been living at this site for centuries

Learn how people have been living at this site for centuries

Enjoy our beautiful teahouse and cafe

Enjoy our beautiful teahouse and cafe

Take in the beautiful natural scenery

Take in the beautiful natural scenery

Treat yourself to a Devonshire tea

Treat yourself to a Devonshire tea

Discover Te Wairoa at our indoor museum

Discover Te Wairoa at our indoor museum

Built on a historic site and house in historical structures

Built on a historic site and house in historical structures

View relics of the past, like this hand-carved Maori waka

View relics of the past, like this hand-carved Maori waka

Discover the lives of the people who lived here at our archaeological site

Discover the lives of the people who lived here at our archaeological site

Discover items recovered from the 1886 eruption

Discover items recovered from the 1886 eruption

Award winning museum

Award winning museum

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Contact

Te Wairoa - The Buried Village
1180 Tarawera Road, RD 5
Rotorua
Bay of Plenty
3076
New Zealand
+6473628287
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