New Zealand - The Buried VillageTweet
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.