See and Do

Archaeological Site


The village, now peaceful and green, hides the devastation of the areas violent history. Explore the 12 acre park-like setting that is the archaeological site to discover the remains, excavated evidence and recreated scenes from the lasting devastation that was the Tarawera eruption.

Excavation Begins

The first excavation began in 1931 of a whare (house) which shows the depth of volcanic material that destroyed Te Wairoa Village. Other excavations have been done nearly every decade since then; with  the last excavation in 1986 of the Rotomahana Hotel. At each excavation site; interpretive panels explain the sites' history.

The Buried Village archaeological site today

The sites have been excavated to the original floor levels which shows the depth of mud and volcanic ash that ejected upon the village. Because of detoriaration the sites have now been reconstructed using the native materials that were once used, for example ponga, tree fern, and raupo rushes.   

The archaeological site is linked by a meandering pathway and fills a 12 acre park-like setting. The park-like setting is a predominetly flat 1km walk, with an additional challenging 0.5km for the waterfall trail.  

The archaeological site takes 40 minutes to view.

 

 

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