Vi's Teahouse at the Buried Village

Fire, the Great Depression and two world wars – Vi's Teahouse at the Buried Village has survived the effects of these ordeals and withstood the test of time since it’s inception in 1910. The façade of the tearooms may have changed, but the essence of this very special place has remained. Vi and Reg Smith, who arrived at Te Wairoa in 1931, 45 years after the spectacular eruption of Mount Tarawera, were intent on surviving the depression. With help from their sons that began to clear the land for farming. As visitors began to arrive, Violet made delicious Devonshire teas. Sons Basil and Dudley picked blackberries for jam, and milk from the resident cow Darkie was turned into butter and cream.

Today the Devonshire Teas are just as renowned as they were in earlier times. There’s also excellent coffee and a selection of delicious cakes, slices and sandwiches. Now more widely known as Vi's Teahouse a feature of the dining room is the large photo gallery of images depicting the history of the Tea Rooms since the opening in 1910. The tea garden, set in tranquil native bush offers visitors the option of dining outside and being serenaded by the native bird life. A play ground keeps the children happy while Mum and Dad have one more coffee.


The natural surroundings of Vi's Teahouse offer a fabulous location for private functions and events. Barbeque and picnic lunches can be organised by arrangement. We very much welcome your enquiries and are happy to create a menu that perfectly suits your group, event, or occasion. For more information, please phone: Karlene Zlahtic on (07) 362 8287 or email us.

Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter Tourism Industry Association New Zealand