Buried Village

From $5

One of NZ’s most visited historic sites; Te Wairoa was literally buried in the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera. Volcanic ash preserved many of the buildings and other features of the village and visitors today can get a rare insight into 19th-century NZ life.

It’s an awe-inspiring and moving experience that is put into context by displays in the award winning Museum of Te Wairoa.



Violent and unexpected the eruption of Mount Tarawera during the early hours of June 10 1886 was one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters. For more than four terrifying hours, ricks, ash and mud bombarded the peaceful village of Te Wairoa. As well as ending more than 150 lives and many livelihoods, the eruption destroyed the eighth wonder of the world the Pink and White Terraces, and buried the staging post for travellers to the terraces- Te Wairoa under 2 meters of volcanic material.

Today Te Wairoa known as the Buried village is home to an award winning Museum that houses many precious objects dug from the ruins, guides in period costume escort groups though the excavated sites and the walk to the base of one of NZ’s most stunning waterfalls should not be missed. Delicious food including Devonshire teas are served in Vi’s Teahouse and distinctive gifts are available in Smith’s Store.


The Buried Village is located fifteen minutes from Rotorua on one of the districts most scenic drives.
Opening Hours
The Buried Village is open 7 days a week, all year around. We only close on Christmas Day.
Hours of Operation
Summer October – April 9.00am – last entry 5.00pm
Winter May – September 9.00am – last entry 4.30pm
At closing time visitors are welcome to continue their visit and exit at their leisure.
The Cafe opens at 9.30am and closes at 4.30, a little earlier in the Winter months.