Timings : 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM (March - September)
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (October - February)
Time Required : 3 - 5 hours
Entry Fee : NZD 34 - Adult
Free - Child
A century-old village, ruined due to a fatal volcanic eruption, namely the volcano of Mount of Tarawera on June 10th, 1886 now lies in fragments and desert along the coast of Lake Tarawera in New Zealand’s North Island. The spot is now a rage for tourists wide across for its local anecdotes, the fragmented relics of the past and excavation discoveries. The place is also renowned for a stunning waterfall on its southern end, Te Wairoa Stream linking Lake Rotokakahi and Lake Tarawera.
One can expect a range of interactive stories being passed on by some experienced tour guides who were once locals of the village. When not busy walking by the waterfall, or a definite archaeological spot, or listening to anecdotes being doled out you may nestle inside designated tea rooms inside the native bush and enjoy the very famous Devonshire tea. There is also a gift shop you can visit at the end of the trip.
Now a tourist attraction of the Rotorua region, this place was once a local village with people residing it. It has his roots from the age of Depression when a Smith family with their young kids stumbled upon a mediocre area of plot land with a cottage nestled inside it.
The Smiths thereafter huddled in that plot, made a living, cut down the shrubbery, turned it into a livable place. It is a motivational story of their dedication to doing all of that and you will be told about it by the local guides there.
The family stayed there for almost a century with their third generation being sustained within the little village. After the village was fatally ruined by the volcanic eruption, the Smiths again pioneered to not leave their village in desertion and turn it into a spot of archaeological and tourist attraction
VISIT THE MUSEUM OF TE WAIROA- This museum has kept some valuable relics of Victoriana and the Tarawera eruption. The relics reek out loud the devastation it caused after the volcano and how their lives changed from the face of the tiny village.
The displays in the museum show how the two existing tribal cultures Maori and the Europeans merged during an important phase of New Zealand's social development. The museum was also awarded at the New Zealand Tourism Award for the Tourism Innovator Award in 2001-2002.
ARCHAELOGICAL VISIT- You may stroll through the actual trail where the village once stood and examine its remains left on the ground. It is a 12-acre land which leaves you with ample space to walk and let your imagination recreating the scenes during the time of the volcano. The place is now majorly excavated by archaeological teams and the site is linked with a park-like setting which is the 1km trail.
VISIT THE WATERFALL- The scenic path trails are central to the area natural flora and fauna which still remains as untouched as ever. One of the most crucial points of the place is above the Wairere Falls from which you may glimpse a sight of the Te Wairoa stream. Allow yourself undisturbed 20 minutes standing by the fall, listen to the loud hum of the water and watch the serene view of Te Wairoa. It is best visited during the time of dusk or dawn.
CHECK OUT THE CHILDREN DISCOVERY ROOM- There is a separate wing in the museum that is exclusively dedicated to the amusement of children and piques their interest in the place. It is an interactive session where they are encouraged to ask questions and learn about the historical significance of the museum by some of the experienced guides of the museum.
GIFT SHOP- There is a gift shop inside the museum from where you can pick up souvenirs for your loved ones back at your homeland. Each gift bears with it the historical essence and is a relic from the past.
DEVONSHIRE TEA- You may nestle inside designated tea rooms inside the native bush and enjoy the very famous Devonshire tea.