Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Guided Tours

Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera on 10 June 1886 was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters. For more than four terrifying hours rocks, ash, and mud 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 BUT it doesn't end there...
Thanks to four generations of the Smith family, you can see what life was like at the village before, during, and after the eruption. 

Explore the Museum of Te Wairoa

Established in 1999, the world-class museum houses a large collection of objects excavated over the past 90 years from the Mt Tarawera eruption, and exhibits the early settlers to Te Wairoa.

Walk the Archaeological Site
With excavations starting in 1931, the archaeological site reveals the devastation of the eruption. Each site is explained in detail through informative signs. Explore and walk amongst the very sites that once housed the people of Te Wairoa. 

Guided Tours
To gain unique insights of stories of Te Wairoa, take the optional guided tour (included in admission). Our knowledgeable guides will provide you with powerful stories and recollections of Te Wairoa that cannot be forgotten.

Electronic Tour Devices
If you prefer to self-guide then use one of our electronic tour devices for free! At each site a detailed video will explain the significant stories of Te Wairoa - whether it be before, during, or after the eruption.

Get back to Nature on the Waterfall Trail
Visitors walk alongside the stunning Te Wairoa stream and Te Wairoa Falls. Te Wairoa stream flows from the Green Lake to Lake Tarawera in which wild trout swim freely down the crystal clear water. The Te Wairoa Falls is an exciting walk down where you can stand in the spray from the waterfall as it plunges 30 metres over the Waitoharuru cliffs.

Smith & Co Cafe & Gift Store
Both the cafe and Gift store were established in 1931. Vi Smith reopened the Te Wairoa Tearooms serving her famous Devonshire teas, and scones. Today, Smith & Co is just as renowned as it once was - serving Devonshire Tea, excellent coffee, and a selection of delicious home baked goods. The Gift Store sells a wide variety of New Zealand made natural and eco friendly products and also sells carvings, greenstone and bone carvings. 

Fun for kids
There is plenty of fun for the whole family to see and do around the village. Children can explore the village and complete Smithy's Treasure Hunt, Dig in the discovery room, and enjoy time on the playground. 

Availability calendar

Attractions Mon
28 Sep
29 Sep
30 Sep
01 Oct
02 Oct
03 Oct
04 Oct