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
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • 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, Chinese, French, Dutch
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
German, Chinese, Japanese, English, Chinese, 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
Located just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa features an interactive museum, scenic walking trails and a look at the devastating effects of one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters: the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption of 1886, which wiped out a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. Expect to spend at least 1.5 hours for the entire experience, including audio guides, living history tours and talks by costumed guides scheduled throughout the day. Gain firsthand insight into the chaos of the night that Mt Tarawera erupted and destroyed Te Wairoa, a village of Maoris and missionaries that remained uncovered until 130 years later. Children can search for clues using a special guide map of the excavated sites. On the Waterfall Trail, learn about the geothermal features of the landscape, including Lake Tarawera, and stand in the spray of Wairere Falls as it plunges 98 feet (30 meters) to the valley below. You’ll find a range of goods at the gift shop and scones with tea or coffee at Vi's Teahouse.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 14862P1
Call +1 855 275 5071
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
2h
Departure details
1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
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
2h
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
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 end at
    1180 Tarawera Road
    1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
    See address & details
+
Popular mentions

4.5
32 reviews
Excellent
18
Very good
9
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
2

TabNZ
Auckland, New Zealand11 contributions
Poignant and fascinating history and a stunning waterfall walk
Jan 2021
We loved our morning at the Buried Village. I am a history nut, and this was my activity of choice for my birthday morning - we all (family of four, kids 11 & 13) absolutely loved it. We took the guided tour with the most engaging, lovely guide who really made it all come alive. She answered all our questions about Maori culture and history so knowledgeably and was really passionate about the village and what had happened there. There is also a lot of interesting information about the European settlers and travellers who visited the pink and white terraces, and what life was like back then.

It is a very poignant and sad place, but at the same time, totally fascinating. The museum is well worth a look too. Don't miss the walk to the waterfall - some of the most stunning views we've ever seen. The cafe looked very tempting, although we didn't eat there as we'd had a huge breakfast, but would definitely go for lunch there another time. The gift shop is also fab and all the staff were super friendly and welcoming. All in all a must-do!
Written 3 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kapitidon
Kapiti Coast, New Zealand45 contributions
Ripped off
Jan 2021
Charge a lot less. The fee is astronomical for what is there. You could maybe justify this if it was going to an ongoing excavation. Felt ripped off
Written 8 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

livetwodine
tanzania53 contributions
Great to finally make it there. Worth a visit.
Jul 2020
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.
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.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

thedame72
Lower Hutt, New Zealand7 contributions
Relaxed, Peaceful, with fabulous waterfall
Jul 2020
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.
We are pleased you enjoyed every part of the Buried Village experience. Thank you for your visit and for giving us this lovely review.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Talia
28 contributions
Understandably heart breaking but historically beautiful
Jul 2020 • 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.
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.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nzworkingmum
Wellington, New Zealand103 contributions
Best children's activity
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.
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.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Angie
39 contributions
Very good
Jul 2020 • Family
This weekend we decided to go to Rotorua and see everything most people wont usually do! It was the best long weekend ever, so much rich history! Loved this place, wish more people would support! Visit the waterfall with a lovely short walk after the village too...
Written 5 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The Buried Village is a bit off the beaten track, a lovely 15 minute drive from Rotorua, past the Blue and Green Lakes. A short ride on from here you get stunning views of both Lake Tarawera and the volcano. The eruption of Tarawera in 1886 buried the whole area under mud and ash which is visible in the excavated sites of the Buried Village. The history of this area has fascinated visitors ever since the eruption. Thank you for visiting us and writing this commending review!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

trish r
Auckland, New Zealand26 contributions
A hidden slice of Aotearoa history
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.
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.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

pjwilk
Aurora, Canada131 contributions
Interesting but somehow I was expecting more.
Mar 2020
Clearly there has been a tremendous amount of work done at this place over the decades. The staff were great. There are some cool artifacts and it's a nice walk. For some reason though I was expecting more. I can't quite put my finger on it but I left feeling a little disappointed.

The extra walk down my the stream and waterfall was beautiful and well worth the extra time but there are a lot of stairs. I think the change in elevation is somewhere around 30 metres (100')
Written 13 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
You are right, the drop down to the waterfall is about 30 metres and, although steep and quite a few steps down and up, most of our visitors love it and are very pleased with themselves after they have made the effort. We are sorry that the Buried Village experience didn't quite meet your expectations. We are trying to ensure that our visitors fully understand the history of this area and hope you had a chance to join one of our guided tours. Thank you for your visit and feedback.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vince
2 contributions
History lesson
Mar 2020 • Couples
Great tour, the guide was brilliant.
Who knew about the with wonder of the world. If there had been no eruption the Rotorua would be a much different place.
Well worth the short drive to check this out - big thumbs up.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your visit and your commending remarks about our guide, it's much appreciated. We are pleased that you enjoyed the whole Buried Village experience.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 30
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
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
Serajis
Serajis
00
Nicely presented hisotry!
The views and nature of thsi place is so soothing. It is very nicely presented and family friendly. Local rate and
lian06
lian06
00
NZ History worth a visit
Lots of us went as school kids but that’s a while ago now! Nice drive from Rotorua city. Friendly and helpful servi
TravlinLyn
TravlinLyn
00
Really informative
Very interesting, educational and informative on the history of the eruption. A well put together and preserved pi
TimJewel
TimJewel
00
Family weekend away
This was our first visit to the Buried Village. The kids loved the treasure hunt and it helped to keep them busy so
Oldie1958
Oldie1958
00
No need for the guided tour
Unless you are short of time, we would recommend doing the self guided tour with the visitor map provided. A lot of
OSUGYPSY
OSUGYPSY
00
Beautiful and Solemn
Our local tour guide took us to this solemn and beautiful place. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and answered
janD3507LR
janD3507LR
00
Buried village
Lovely spot with an interesting story to tell. Lots of artefacts. A look at how unexpectedly volvcanos behave and
Frequently Asked Questions about Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour