The people of Te Wairoa were New Zealand’s first tourism entrepreneurs, taking visitors on tours to the Pink and White Terraces. The guides were usually woman; and our best-known guide was Sophia (Hinerangi). On the night of the eruption, over 60 people took shelter in Sophia's whare. Unlike many of the buildings in the village, her home withstood the destructive power of the eruption due to its steeper than usual roof and strong reinforced timber walls.
Today at the Buried Village our guides are continuing the tradition of guiding at Te Wairoa. Lyn, John, Brian and Hamish represent the two cultures that lived and worked in the village during the busy tourism days of the 1880’s.
To capture the mood of the past era and to enhance the experience, our guides dress in period costume. From bowler hats for the gents and copious petticoats for the ladies, the traditional dress from the Victorian era depicts a much different world from today. Tours of the excavated sites are available throughout the day although are dependent on the season, please phone us on (07) 362 8287 to enquiry about tour times. Exclusive group tours can be arranged on request.