Recent Searches
Clear

COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

Read More

Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tours

star-4
4 Reviews
Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Take a short drive out of Rotorua and explore a village trapped in time. The Buried Village of Te Wairoa is a remarkable relic of Victorian-era New Zealand, preserved by volcanic ash from the 1886 Mt. Tarawera eruption. Walk around the village and marvel at this portal to the past, nestled in the Bay of Plenty forest.

The Basics
Te Wairoa was buried by volcanic ash in the devastating 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera that also famously buried the Pink and White Terraces. But much of the village was preserved by the ashes and so, over the last hundred years, archaeologists have been able to excavate many of those old buildings. You can explore the remains as you walk through the Te Wairoa grounds, which sprawl across 12 acres (4.9 hectares) of forest in the Bay of Plenty forest.

The Museum of Te Wairoa displays items left behind by people escaping the Tarawera eruptions, and exhibits explain the geological history of the region and the deteriorating relationship between local Maori and European colonizers at the time. There are also several forest walks around the buried village, including a challenging walk up to the near-100-foot-tall (30-meter) Wairere Falls.
 
Some half- and full-day guided tours of Rotorua include admission to the buried village.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Buried Village of To Wairoa is a must-see for history and culture enthusiasts.
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes and come prepared for changing weather—pack sunscreen and rain jackets.
  • The museum is home to several remarkable, towering Maori carvings, as well as a Children’s Discovery Room for your kids to learn about the region’s history through play, and a scavenger hunt is available to make exploring the archaeological site more fun.
  • The on-site café, Vi’s Tea House, serves coffee and light meals, while the gift store sells a range of carved jewelry and books about the history of the village and the Tarawera eruption.
  • The museum and much of the village is accessible to wheelchair users, but the path to Wairere Falls is steep and not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.

How to Get There
Te Wairoa is fewer than 10 miles (16 kilometers) out from Rotorua, just a short, scenic drive down Tarawera Road. To get to Tarawera Road from the center of Rotorua, follow State Highway 30A and State Highway 30 around Lake Rotorua—the turnoff is in the suburb of Ngapuna. Local taxi and shuttle operators can provide transport for larger groups.

When to Get There
The Buried Village is open every day except Christmas. The village is at its busiest on weekends, so try visiting on a weekday during summer—there’s less risk of getting rained on and fewer crowds to disturb the peace and quiet of the forest around Lake Tarawera.
 
Guided Tours of the Buried Village

The Buried Village of Te Wairoa guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more. The site also offers Mozivision, a multimedia device that shows you where to go and teaches you more about the village’s storied past. If you want to explore solo but would still like some background information, the village has several scheduled introductory talks during the day.
Address: 1180, Tarawera Road, RD 5, Rotorua, New Zealand
Admission: Varies
Read More

3 Tours and Activities to Experience Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Filter
Select Dates
Today
Tomorrow




Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
Sort by:Featured
Rotorua full-day tour, Wai O Tapu, Waimangu, Buried Village, Whakarewarewa

Rotorua full-day tour, Wai O Tapu, Waimangu, Buried Village, Whakarewarewa

star-4.5
Tour Wai-O-Tapu with a naturalist guide and discover the bubbling mud pools and hot springs of Rotorua’s most popular geothermal park. This full-day tour with a small group delivers you to the shores of several volcanic lakes and includes a bush walk to a waterfall and the Lake Tarawera lookout. Learn about Maori history, volcanology and New Zealand’s native flora and fauna along the way. Numbers are limited to a maximum 12 people to ensure an intimate experience.
More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$225.11
From
$225.11

Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour

Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour

star-4.5
Visit the Buried Village of Te Wairoa — New Zealand's most visited archaeological site. See historical exhibits on the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption at the Museum of Te Wairoa, then discover the fate of the Pink and White Terraces on a walk along the Waterfall Trail. Your entrance ticket includes a guided tour that explains geothermal features and shares insight about how Maoris and early settlers lived in the village before it was devastated.
More
  • 45 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$17.87
From
$17.87
Taking safety measures

Tarawera and Rotorua Lakes Eco Tour by Boat with Guide

Tarawera and Rotorua Lakes Eco Tour by Boat with Guide

star-5
Explore the Rotorua lakes district and learn about its history on a 2-hour tour duck boat cruise from Rotorua. Travel on land and by water in the amphibious World War II vehicle, visiting four lakes including Lake Tarawera, located at the foot of Mt Tarawera. Hear about the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera and other aspects of local history on this family-friendly tour.
More
  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$67.89
From
$67.89
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Buried Village of Te Wairoa?