Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour

Badge of ExcellenceRotorua, New Zealand

From US$16.90

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 45 minutes to 2 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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.
  • Admission to the Buried Village of Te Wairoa
  • Learn about the Mt Tarawera eruption at the museum
  • Walk on the Waterfall Trail to Wairere Falls
  • Take a guided tour of the archaeological site

What's Included

  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Local guide
  • Food and drinks
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 1180 Tarawera Road
    1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand

Start time

Opening hours

  • 10/1/2022 - 9/30/2023

    Wednesday - Sunday : 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

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.

Buried Village of Te Wairoa

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.

2 hours Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • 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 travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 150 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

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59 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-3 of 59 reviews
I guess if with tour guide it would be more attractive and more interesting
KimFat_K, Jan 2023
This is my second time visit the site with my wife and 10 other friends, I can fill and see non of them [FRIENDS] are connected to this history, without tour guide just like flower without perfume.
Great family day
Nicola_N, Jun 2022
Enjoyable time with the family, great way for the children to find out part of NZ history, by looking for the clues throughout the trail.
Beaucoup d émotion lors...
Fabienne_L, Jan 2023
Beaucoup d émotion lors de la lecture du passage devant les maisons. lorsqu’on voit les photos du village détruit et avec la boue, et maintenant après 137 ans, la nature est magnifique.