Tours and Tickets

Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour, Rotorua

Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour

Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour
4.5
Book in advance
from
$26.67
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Duration:
45–120 minutes
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
150
Wheelchair accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 45-120 minutes
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
German, Chinese, Japanese, English, French, Dutch
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 45-120 minutes
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
German, Chinese, Japanese, English, French, Dutch
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 14862P1
Important information
Inclusions
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Local guide
  • Entry/Admission - Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
45–120 minutes
Departure details
  • 1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately. Bring walking shoes and protection from adverse weather. The paths are flat and paved but the optional waterfall trail has several flights of stairs.
  • Hat, sunscreen, umbrella or raincoat are recommended
  • Guided group tours and talks, which are included in admission, are scheduled throughout the day.
  • Video tours and self-guided tours are available
  • You can arrive at any time throughout the day, and stay for as long you'd like
  • Wheelchair available for public use - please inquire at reception
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 150 travellers
Inclusions
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Local guide
  • Entry/Admission - Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
  • 1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
Duration
45–120 minutes
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately. Bring walking shoes and protection from adverse weather. The paths are flat and paved but the optional waterfall trail has several flights of stairs.
  • Hat, sunscreen, umbrella or raincoat are recommended
  • Guided group tours and talks, which are included in admission, are scheduled throughout the day.
  • Video tours and self-guided tours are available
  • You can arrive at any time throughout the day, and stay for as long you'd like
  • Wheelchair available for public use - please inquire at reception
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 150 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    1180 Tarawera Road
    1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
    See address & details
  • 1
    Buried Village of Te Wairoa
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
    The Buried Village of Te Wairoa, just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua city, offers a firsthand look at one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters. Learn about the devastating effects when Mt. Tarawera erupted in 1886, which buried Te Wairoa and ended more than 150 lives. Now, well over a century later, the excavated village provides a unique opportunity to see how the area's Maori inhabitants and early settlers lived. Guided group tours, audio/video tours, and talks, which are included with your admission ticket, are scheduled throughout the day. Learn about the geological and geothermal features of Lake Tarawera, Mt. Tarawera, and the surrounding lakes region. Find out what happened to the Pink and White Terraces, once a popular natural landmark. Discover how the village of Te Wairoa came to be, the role it played in developing the region, and how its legacy continues to influence New Zealand's tourism industry to this day.   Encounter the world-class Museum of Te Wairoa and its collection of excavated objects. Explore the archaeological site, which reveals the devastation of the eruption, and walk a paved path along the very sites that the people of Te Wairoa once called home. Take the Waterfall Trail to Wairere Falls, which plunges 98 feet (30 meters) to the valley below. Head to Vi's Teahouse for delicious scones, Devonshire tea, and excellent coffee, or browse the range of gifts in the gift store. Children can search through the excavated sites for clues, or go to the Adventure Playground. Allow 1–1.5 hours to experience the entire Buried Village.
    Read more
  • You'll return to the starting point
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
42 reviews
Excellent
24
Very good
13
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
2

susan g
Warrington, UK50 contributions
Thie history of this village is being kept alive by its current owners. They tell the tale of the village which had become a bit of a "tourist attraction" for those intrepid travellers of the late 1800's, including Prince Albert. They went to visit the pink and white terraces formed by the local geology. Alas a volcano erupted and buried the villages who were both of European and Maori origin.

The site has been excavated and there are exhibits of various buildings, pottery, and equipment that was used by the hotel and the other villagers.

You can choose to self guide yourself around the site or take a tour with the guide at no extra charge. The guide is able to give additional information and answer any questions so if you have the time this in my opinion is much better.

On site is a cafe and you can choose to eat either inside or out on the terrace. There is also a museum that gives a full rundown of the development of the village up until and including its demise when buried under the mud and ash of the volcanic eruption.

The staff are extremely welcoming and friendly. The site however closes at 4.30pm so make the trip earlier in the day as you need at least a half day here.
Written 4 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for visiting the Buried Village and giving us this comprehensive review. Our staff were very pleased with your comments. During March we are still open until 5pm, however, it is best to be here by 4.30pm to get enough time in our museum. Our closing time changes when daylight saving ends.
Written 8 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robyn G
Raglan, New Zealand90 contributions
This was a childhood favourite and I was pleased that the sewing machine in the tree is still there! The village includes a really informative museum section, which has a good background on what the village was like before, during and after the eruption. The outdoor section is an intriguing walk around the archaeological sites. The full loop walk is quite long and there isn't much to see around the back part. Only do the waterfall walk if you feel fit.
Written 15 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nzworkingmum
Wellington, New Zealand105 contributions
It was pouring with rain on the day we went and we only went because it was our last day and I had prepaid the vouchers. I'm so glad we did.
The history of the area is so interesting. The visit starts in a small museum which explains what was in the area before June 10th 1886 and what happened then. You then take the your outside and visit the archeological sites finishing with either a walk down to the waterfall or a flatter walk with views out into the valley. About 90-120min in total. Suitable terrain for almost everyone - possibly lacking in seating for those who may need it.
For the children there is a treasure hunt - not a clipboard, paper sheet or pencil in sight. It kept my daughter enthralled in the pouring rain for the whole visit.
Written 15 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
You have described the Buried Village very well. I might add that we do have seating in the grounds from the hotel site onwards but perhaps not so obvious on a rainy day. Thank you for visiting us and giving us this lovely review.
Written 16 July 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lian06
75 contributions
Lots of us went as school kids but that’s a while ago now! Nice drive from Rotorua city. Friendly and helpful service. Unique place to visit and the museum artefacts are well worth viewing to give you a strong feeling for the events of that night. Enjoyed the tea and scones at the end too.
Written 25 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

374Kelly374
Auckland, New Zealand16 contributions
Family
Fantastic attraction with interesting exhibits and beautiful grounds. Our kids loved the interactive treasure hunt throughout the museum and the grounds and we saw huge trout in the stream. Thoroughly recommend.
Written 23 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

thedame72
Lower Hutt, New Zealand7 contributions
We got there at 2 pm and left just after 5 pm. My husband and I read all the panels at the museum, visited every spot on the map, then wandered off to the waterfall, which was beautiful, powerful, and worth the visit. The buried village is sombre and interesting. Loved every part.
Written 6 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are pleased you enjoyed every part of the Buried Village experience. Thank you for your visit and for giving us this lovely review.
Written 15 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

trish r
Auckland, New Zealand26 contributions
Never knew this place existed. Worthwhile visit will take you a couple of hours to view the museum and walk through the village. Def do the guided tour to learn the stories of the people and places that will enhance your enjoyment.
Written 15 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are glad to hear that you found the Buried Village by chance and enjoyed your visit. The Buried Village is set up for self-guiding but we do offer guided tours and audio-visual guides at no extra cost. Thank you for your visit and commending review, it's much appreciated.
Written 19 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KIM S
Auckland, New Zealand30 contributions
Couples
Brilliant staff. Loved that could just stroll through at own pace and enjoy the history, beauty and tranquility. Allows time to really appreciate everything.
Only downside is that a little expensive at $35 per person and personally could only manage halfway down waterfall steps due to disability with the steepness. Would love to have seen them.
Written 11 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are pleased that you had time to appreciate the setting of the Buried Village. Since this is a private business the admission fee covers the maintenance, staff costs and further developments. Thank you for your visit and commending review.
Written 14 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

livetwodine
tanzania53 contributions
I'd been past here before and was really pleased to finally make it inside this lovely old building less than an hour from Rotorua.

The self-guided tour of 1km provides a great snapshot of a sad part of NZ history when people perished at the eruption of Mt Tarawera.

Parts of the buried village have been excavated and these, along with various re-presented rooms and houses and relics and letters, are presented very well.

There's an excellent museum and cafe on site and the hosts were extremely welcoming and well informed, keen to share their knowledge of this part of New Zealand's sad past.
Written 8 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
You have summarized the Buried Village experience very well. Thank you for keeping us on your agenda to visit and for giving us this commending review, it's much appreciated.
Written 15 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Talia
28 contributions
Solo
Quite a sad place when you look around and imagine this village as it once was before it was sadly lt distroyed. However beautifully preserved and put on display with great historic information. Would highly recommend this walk which also have the most stunning waterfall towards the end of the track, do not miss the waterfall, its a must see!
Written 21 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The history of the Tarawera eruption is very sad indeed. It has affected many lives and destroyed the beautiful Pink and White Terraces. Thank you for your appreciation of the Buried Village and your lovely feedback.
Written 23 July 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 40
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Buried Village of Te Wairoa
suewQ522QX
suewQ522QX
00
Blind Citizen Group Rotorua
We took our blind citizen group for afternoon tea today, what a beautiful presentation of high tea, staff just coul
Ampm1988
Ampm1988
00
A cool place with a heap of history
Want to get know a little bit more about parts of Rotorua, this is a great stop and so full of history.
WRCRHP
WRCRHP
00
Interesting day out for the family
Our family loved our visit to the Buried Village. Grandad spent a lot of time reading about the eruption in the mu
LouiseC3442
LouiseC3442
00
Overpriced
Interesting yes, but overpriced for what Rotorua provides in comparison. Compare with the Redwoods Treetops experie
Dp P
Dp P
00
Pleasent walk
Interesting look at how bad the eruption actually was recommended the bush/waterfall walk steep steps however well
stumblethru
stumblethru
00
A village frozen in time
Highly recommend a visit to the Buried Village, which is a short 10-15 min drive out of Rotorua. The village was bu
chrisalijo
chrisalijo
00
Learn a bit of NZ history
Enjoyed the experience, indoor museum, learn a bit of history, lovely cafe, great for gluten free options. The nat
HattieCoco
HattieCoco
00
Well worth a visit
I last visited as a child and recently returned. This is a fascinating slice of NZ history.. Super informative and
KiwiKerry53
KiwiKerry53
00
Amazing piece of New Zealand history
It was many years since I'd visited the Buried Village and to be honest I was quite disappointed -not a lot had cha
JoanneF1874
JoanneF1874
00
Revisiting after number of years
Visited on Wednesday 12/1 with my husband. We both really appreciate the history of the site. Seeing the museum fi
Stopticklingmeplease
Stopticklingmeplease
00
Lovely walk
Came here with two friends to have a look around the buried village and have a scone and drink. We haven’t been out
asianmikey
asianmikey
00
Great place
Congratulations to the Smith family for accepting the responsibility for preserving and bringing back to life this
ghetet
ghetet
00
Must Visit
We visited the museum and the display was surreal, especially the memories of those who were lost to the eruption.
Jill S
Jill S
00
Ok....
This was ok....not a huge amount to see ......but enjoyed it all the same. The best bit for me was walking by the
xrae10
xrae10
00
Day visit.
15 minutes out of Rotorua, a wonderful afternoon’s entertainment! Great history of the volcanic eruptions and the
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