The Buried Village

Māori Culture / Central

New Zealand’s most visited archaeological site where stories of the 1886 Tarawera Eruption come to life.

Where stories of the Tarawera Eruption come to life

Stories of survival and resilience are told throughout our museum exhibits and in over 1km of heritage excavations. Wander through our beautiful park where the people of Te Wairoa lived before the eruption which includes the Te Wairoa Stream and waterfall walk. Often described as peaceful and tranquil, the regeneration hides the scars of one of New Zealand’s deadliest disasters.

Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera on 10 June 1886 bombarded the peaceful village of Te Wairoa ending more than 150 lives and destroying the eighth wonder of the world - the Pink and White Terraces.

Run by four generations of the Smith Family for nearly 90 years, the Buried Village is one of Rotorua’s iconic tourist destinations and New Zealand’s most visited archeaological site. You can choose from a self-guided experience or ask our friendly team for guided tour times. There is even a treasure trail for the young and young at heart.

Enjoy a delicious bite to eat in our licensed café to finish off your experience with us or check out our gift store, which has something for everyone.

Located 20 minutes from Rotorua’s CBD, take a picturesque drive through the lakes district, where you will find us just past Rotorua’s Blue and Green Lakes.
“Amazing place to visit and bring the whole family! Our whole family was entertained and excited”
GMB – September 2020

How to find us?

$17 NZD


1180 Tarawera Rd, RD5, Rotorua , 3076