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Buried Village of Te Wairoa

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Address: 1180 Tarawera Road | RD 5 Rotorua, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 7-362 8287
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where stories of...

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 was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters burying the peaceful village of Te Wairoa and ending more than 150 lives. Today at the Buried Village encounter the world class Museum of Te Wairoa, explore the Archaeological Site which once housed the people of Te Wairoa, experience the unique insights of stories from our tour guides, and take the Waterfall Trail which showcases the stunning Wairere Falls.

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USD 23.81*
and up
Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour
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USD 208.08*
and up
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 722 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 301
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 98
    Average
  • 22
    Poor
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    Terrible
Curiosity visit

We saw this advertised in a the hotel brochure and it piqued my curiosity. It turned out to be an interesting walk through a tragic piece of history. It has been presented in a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
A TripAdvisor Member
via mobile
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722 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 685: English reviews
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We saw this advertised in a the hotel brochure and it piqued my curiosity. It turned out to be an interesting walk through a tragic piece of history. It has been presented in a respectful way and shows the impact a volcanic eruption had on the towns people. Surrounded by beautiful grounds that hide a gem of a waterfall, we... More 

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thank you for choosing to visit the Buried Village and posting a lovely review. Our visitors often comment on the peacefulness of the grounds which suits the history of this place. I am glad you found the presentation of the history had been done in a respectful manner which was one of the objects for preserving the history for future... More 

Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
122 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is an absolute must if you are in Rotorua. There has been a great amount of work put into both the Museum and the outdoor exhibits showing the effects of the eruption which gave the Buried Village it's name. We visited just after the recent earthquakes and it did make me stop and think of the awesome power of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sue W
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thank you for your visit and your wonderful, commending review. The story of the Buried Village, the Mt. Tarawera eruption in 1886, is a significant part of the Rotorua and New Zealand history. The displays in the museum and the excavated village sites are indeed a timely reminder of the power of nature, how it gives and takes unexpectedly. Walking... More 

Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Quite simply a lovely way to while away a few hours. Excellent and friendly environment with some lovely walks and an interesting history. Thankyou.

Helpful?
Thank WAP1956
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting the Buried Village and posting a very positive review. I am pleased to read that you found your visit interesting and enjoyed the environment and walks. Our staff love the interaction with our visitors, so it's great to hear that this is well received. More 

Driggs, Idaho
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was a great place to visit and learn a little more about what happened in the area. They have a great little treasure hunt to keep kids engaged. Absolutely beautiful waterfall to see and just a beautiful area.

Helpful?
Thank J5wife
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks for choosing to visit us and for taking the time to post a review. Tourism was definitely thriving here from the mid 1800's but came to an abrupt end with the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886. It certainly makes you appreciate how nature gives and takes away. So glad to hear that the children enjoyed the treasure hunt... More 

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Take some time out and wander through what used to be a bustling village until an eruption buried it in the 1880's. The whole village was covered. Many lives were lost (that's the sad part) and there are many artifacts recovered from the site (that's the interesting part) that are on display in the Museum. New Zealand's first tourist attraction... More 

Helpful?
Thank Caz G
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks so much for the lovely feedback and great photos. Respectful redevelopment by three generations of the Smith family has resulted in the village sharing the stories behind the Tarawera eruption for over 80 years. It's great to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and finished your visit with the beautiful walk to the Wairere Falls. More 

Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

You walk through the museum and see artefacts from the time of a tragic volcanic eruption that buried the entire village of Te Wairoa. Read stories of the victims involved and picture for yourself the scenario at the time of the event. The trail leads you out of the museum and into the actual archaeological site of the village which... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jesbelieve
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your recent review of the Buried Village. It certainly is an interesting walk through a very tragic history and makes you realise the power of nature, and how it gives and takes away. More 

Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This archaeological site tells the story of the 1886 eruption that destroyed the local villages, and tells it well. It is fascinating to see and indeed enter the very houses that people were living in only that short period ago. The museum gives a good intro, the gardens are beautiful and the walk to the waterfall well worth it.

Helpful?
Thank peterrickard
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your lovely review which really sums up what we hope our visitors will take away from their visit. So glad we were able to share this important part of New Zealand's heritage with you. More 

Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
202 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This attraction tells the story of a volcanic eruption that destroyed this village. I think the entrance fee is a little steep, but still quite good value. Interesting little museum and simulation of the quake. Lovely walk around the site with artefacts etc on route.

Helpful?
Thank moxxy-girl
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

The Buried Village is a private tourist attraction that has been run by the Smith family for three generations. The first excavations were done in the 1930's and since then every generation has contributed to preserving the history of the Tarawera eruption. Thank you for your visit and review. More 

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
210 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Found the buried village and it's history fascinating. Especially reading the recounts of people who survived and hearing how the landscape changed afterwards. As we walked around and saw the displays and artifacts it showed the changing world we live in and how quickly natural forces can change our environment. Well worth a visit down a steep track with stairs... More 

Helpful?
Thank Europahol
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

It is always pleasing for us to hear that our visitors enjoyed their visit to the Buried Village and learned a bit along the way. Thank you for your visit and your commendation. More 

New Zealand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2016

Certainly the scenery is stunning, a very tranquil environment. Be sure to walk down to the waterfall - it's well worth the effort. There was a lot of information in the museum, but we found the actual outdoor sites underwhelming. Overall, we were expecting more considering how much it costs to get in.

Helpful?
Thank fluffyblueskies
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Sorry to hear that the excavation sites didn't meet your expectations. A lot of the objects that were found in the sites are now displayed in the museum to better preserve them. Some of the whares had been re-created on their original floor level to give visitors an idea of what the originals would have looked like. The Rotomahana mud... More 

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