Buried Village, Rotorua
This is really interesting, The story of the eruption of the mountain and the aftermath is great, and the sight of a sewing machine lodged up a tree is different.
The pink and white terraces story also is worth listening to.
It is described as New Zealand's Pompeii. Whereas Pompeii, buried by an eruption of Vesuvius, was a big city, Te Wairoa was a small but growing village, being the gateway to the then famous Pink and White Terraces. The eruption of Mt. Tarawera on 10 June 1886 killed 151 people and buried Te Wairoa and two smaller villages under heavy ash and mud. Also the Pink and White Terraces disappeared. They had been a major tourist attraction at the time and also branded as one of the many eighth world wonders.
Te Wairoa, east of Rotorua, has been excavated and is now known as the Buried Village. The Maori huts are still half filled with the petrified ash and mud which makes you imagine at least a little how disastrous the forces of nature can be.
To me it is a memorial and always reminds me of the destructive potential of nature we admire so much for all its beauty. There could not be a more appropriate place for such a memorial which indeed is also a graveyard, as the volcanic plateau around Rotorua and Taupo is still active, and disaster could strike again and at a far huger scale. If Lake Taupo, just a crater lake, erupts again half of the North Island would be lost forever.
Also to Maori Te Wairoa has immense historical, cultural and spiritual value. You feel it when you walk on the paths, they are surrounded by a mysterious atmosphere, but also full of peacefulness and tranquility. The trees around the excavated huts with their moss-covered rooves are tall, and give the place a fresh and cool airyness. A scenic walk leads to the Wairere Falls and the Wairoa stream.
The museum tells the story of the place and holds artifacts which were found during the excavations, and information about archaelogy and volcanology.
Entry fees (as Feb. 2007):
Adults $25, children $7, family passes available.
The Buried Village was an interesting place to check out. We got lost a bit on the ride over but it was worth the visit.
There are a bunch of houses, the area where the hotel was and old bottles that can be seen that were buried by the Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886. They have been excavated and the buildings were recontructed.
After checking out the village we took a walk through the grounds to the Te Wairoa Falls. Along the way you walk past a stream where you see trout swimming by.
After wandering through the remains of the buried village, take the path along the beautiful Te Wairoa stream and watch the wild rainbow trout hovering in the currents. This short walk (maybe half an hour or so) is easy walking through lush native bush with lots of good photo opportunities, including a beautiful waterfall - the Te Wairoa Falls- and lots of places to stop and enjoy the surroundings.
In 1886, Mount Tarawera erupted, and in doing so completely obliterated the village of Te Wairoa and the "Eighth Wonder of the World" ~ the Pink and White Terraces.
Nothing remains of the Terraces, tiers of natural hot springs, but the remnants of the village and hotel now form one of Rotoruas most famous attractions.
The story of this catastrophic eruption, in which over 150 Maori and Pakeha (Europeans) were killed, is told in the museum and by the tour guides - several of whom are direct descendants of the original Maori guides of the Terraces. As you wander through what is now a really tranquil place, you can see the excavations and reconstructions of several 'whares' (dwellings), a stone storehouse and a blacksmiths workshop, as well as the old hotel (including its cellar where full bottles of whiskey were excavated!).
This was a Maori village that was famous for its White and Pink Terraces. A volcanic explosion burried the whole village, but they are excavating it now. On the way over to the Burried Village from Rotorua, you'll pass the Blue and Green Lakes, a monster lives in one of them according to the stories. The Burried Village is interesting, the guides are nice, but they could make more of it than it is now.
This is a traditional Maori village (Te Wairoa ) which was one of three villages buried in the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption which claimed 153 lives. The village sits one mile from Lake Tarawera and 15 mins from Rotorua. You can walk through the grounds and see excavations of the blacksmiths shop, barmans house, flour mill and the Rotomahana Hotel. If you following on down the stream through the native bush you come to a spectacular waterfall.
Located within the Te Wairoa Buried Village complex is one of the nicest falls we saw on our trip to the North Island, and it was Wairere Falls.
This set of falls is started by a small creek, but has quite a drop of about 30 meters, one in which a ten to fifteen minute walk is required from the museum that holds the information at Te Wairoa. Also, you will have to take a fairly steep walk back up the hill to the village, so be prepared for some heaving breaths.
I guess you could call that a breath taking waterfall then!
One of the most historical things you can do when you go to Rotorua is to visit the Buried Village. Rotorua used to be the starting point for visitors to come when they were on their way to see the 8th Wonder of the World, the Pink and White Terraces in which steaming hot water slowly made its way down the mountain into pools at the bottom.
A great volcanic explosion buried these terraces as well as the village of Te Wairoa, which ended for the most part most of the tourism to this region. The historians of the area began digging out this village and have turned it into a historical place to come and learn about that tragedy.
We didn't plan to visit the Village, we didn't know about it we spotted a sign and decided to have a look.
This is an amazing place, really strange walking through a village which was lived in but destroyed by the Tarawera Volcano which erupted.
They have also dug out some of the mud so you can see how much mud actually went into the village and the homes.
They have a lovely pathway which links the excavated sites and enjoy the unspoilt native bush.
Open everyday from 9am except Christmas Day.
Pictures to follow very soon
This was a very intresting place to visit, to learn what had happend to the village before and after the eruption of the volcano.
Violent and unexpected, the erution of the Tarawera volcano, during the early hours June 10th 1886, was New Zealands gratest natural disaster.
For more then four hours, rocks, ash and mud bombarded the village of Te Wairoa. The eruption destroyed the eighth wonder of the world - The Pink and White Terraces, and buried the staging post for travellers to the Terraces.
Very moving experince and well worth it.
I have been to The Buried Village twice in my many trips to Rotorua, once when I was 13 and again when I was 26. In that time there was the welcome addition to the village excavations of a museum which explains more about the history of the area and the famous volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886 which is the eruption responsible for burying the village of Te Wairoa.
Once you have walked through the museum and read up on all that fascinating history you can walk outside around the various excavations. I recommend you also take a walk on the Te Wairoa Falls track. It is very scenic and not too difficult to walk on.
I would say that this is personally one of my favourite attractions in Rotorua (but then I love anything to do with volcanic history!)
Speaking of which - a great website for more information on the Tarawera Eruption visit http://anheizen.com
Rotorua's Buried Village is a fascinating and informative place...you can learn about the volcanic eruption which once buried this village, and wander around the excavations of huts that are still partly visible.
One of the best things we visited.
Excavation at Te Wairoa began in 1931 almost half a century after the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera that claimed 153 lives and devastated the surrounding countryside.
Today you can experience the outstanding Museum of Te Wairoa, then explore the various excavations set in large and beautiful grounds. Visitors can feed the tame animals, see huge rainbow trout in the stream, view the 20 metre waterfall and take the forest walk to complete the adventure. The gift shop offers an extensive array of souvenirs and in the tearooms light meals and Devonshire teas are served.