Te Wairoa (village)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dwelling at Te Wairoa, or "The Buried Village"

Te Wairoa (also known as The Buried Village) is a deserted village located close to the shore of Lake Tarawera in New Zealand's North Island. It was a Māori and European settlement founded in 1848 by the Revd Seymour Mills Spencer where visitors would stay on their way to visit the Pink and White Terraces. The village was destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Mount Tarawera on June 10, 1886. 120 people died in the eruption, many of them in other villages closer to the volcano.[1] The site of one of these villages (Kokotaia) was instrumental in the recent rediscovery of the Pink and White Terrace locations.[2]

The Buried Village is open to the public and shows the excavated ruins of the village, recovered relics on display in a museum and the history of the eruption. It is located 14 kilometres southeast of Rotorua on Tarawera Road.

A Māori meeting house named Hinemihi which provided shelter to the people of Te Wairoa village during the eruption was relocated in 1892 to Clandon Park as an ornamental garden building and a souvenir of William Onslow, 4th Earl of Onslow.[3]

The Smith Family[edit]

Around three to four generations of the Smith Family have had ownership of the land at Te Wairoa.[citation needed] The first generation of the Smith family bought the site of Te Wairoa from the CMS missionary, Rev. Seymour Mills Spencer, at Te Wairoa. Since then the Smith family have run the excavating of Te Wairoa.

Wairere Falls[edit]

The upper fall is almost 30 m (98 ft)

Te Wairoa Stream flows on the southern edge of the village[4] and over the Wairere Falls. The stream links Lake Rotokakahi (394 m (1,293 ft)) with Lake Tarawera (298 m (978 ft)).[5]

Coordinates: 38°12′44″S 176°21′25″E / 38.212346°S 176.357015°E / -38.212346; 176.357015


  1. ^ [1] National Library of New Zealand
  2. ^ Bunn, Rex; Nolden, Sascha (2017-06-07). "Forensic cartography with Hochstetter's 1859 Pink and White Terraces survey: Te Otukapuarangi and Te Tarata". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 0: 39–56. doi:10.1080/03036758.2017.1329748. ISSN 0303-6758.
  3. ^ Hinemihi, Hinemihi.co.uk. Accessed 11 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Wairere Falls, Bay of Plenty". NZ Topo Map. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  5. ^ "The magnificent Wairere Falls located in historical Buried Village". Retrieved 2018-07-08.

External links[edit]