New Zealand - The Buried Village by Mark Sukhija

The violent and unexpected volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera during the early hours of 10th of June 1886 was New Zealands greatest natural disaster. For over four hours, rocks, ash and mud bombarded Te Wairoa. Over 150 lives were lost as well as many livings. The Pink and White Terraces of Wai-O-Tapu, the worlds eigth wonder, which had brought so many travellers to this area previously were also destroyed. In total, around 8,000 square kilometers were covered as a result of the eruption.

The Buried Village of Te Wairoa offers an insight into the village that once stood here. Some of the buildings have been excavated but many still remain under the ash and mud that was thrown up in 1886.

The museum offers an excellent insight to life in Te Wairoa and the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Tarawera. Included in the museum are extracts from letters, diaries etc which tell the stories of travels to the Pink and White Terraces. Te Waiora provided a base for those travellers wanting to visit the terraces and some were caught in the eruption.

Excavation of Maori whare and settler buildings was begun in 1931 by the Smith family and have been continued by three generations until the present day.

The walk around the site of the buried village is both educational and beautiful. The scenary is fantastic. Wild rainbow trout live in the stream that runs through the land. Te Wairoa is also home to the Te Wairere Falls which are 30 meters in height. It is possible to continue at the same level of the village, but if you are able it is more than worth taking the steps down to see the falls. They are fantastic.

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Further reading

Rotorua - Tamaki Maori Village - A welcome at the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua on the north island of New Zealand

New Zealand - places not to miss - Recommended places to visit in and around New Zealand

New Zealand - Wai O Tapu - Information on and about Wai O Tapu (Geyser Wonderland) near Rotorua in New Zealand

A helicopter ride over Taupo - Notes from our helicopter ride over the Lake Taupo area on the North Island of New Zealand

New Zealand - The Waitomo Caves - A brief history of the Waitomo Caves on the North Island of New Zealand

Hawkes Bay - where to (and not to) stay - Recommendations on where to and not to stay in Napier and Havelock North in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Hawkes Bay trip - facts and figures - Facts and figures about our trip to Napier and Hawkes Bay in New Zealand

Hawkes Bay - a wine tour - Travelogue from a wine tour in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand

New Zealand travel plan - 2009 - Plan for a trip to New Zealand in 2009

Napier - Art Deco building - An Art Deco façade in the city of Napier in New Zealand

Key facts

Name: The Buried Village
1180 Tarawera Rd, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
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About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook