Lake Tarawera

Lake Tarawera: Our most recommended tours and activities

Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

1. Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

Discover Tarawera and Lakes on a unique 2-hour fully-guided adventure that takes place on land and water on-board a genuine WWII amphibious Duck. One of the best ways to appreciate the scenery of the Rotorua lakes district and learn more about the history of the land, the people, and the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera.  Your tour begins right in the heart of Rotorua and ventures out of town to the spectacular lake’s district where you will experience your first splash down into the sheltered calm waters of Lake Okareka. Your ConDUCKtor will then take you further, exploring the natural beauty of the lakes district with a backdrop of the magnificent volcanic domes of Mount Tarawera. After plunging into the deep blue water of Lake Tarawera, the return trip will see you viewing the sacred Lake Rotokakahe (The Green Lake) before splashing down on Tikitapu (the Blue Lake) your forth and final lake visit before the homeward journey back to the sulphurous aroma of Rotorua’s city centre. This tour is suitable for all ages and the whole family, combining fun, learning and new experiences during a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in an authentic WWII amphibious Duck.

Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

2. Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Located just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa features an interactive museum, scenic walking trails, and a look at the devastating effects of one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters: the Mt. Tarawera volcanic eruption of 1886, which wiped out a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. The award-winning museum sheds light on the hardships suffered by this once-bustling European and Maori village settlement.  Expect to spend at least 1 and a half hours at the site to get the most out of the experience, which includes audio guides, living history tours, and talks by costumed guides scheduled throughout the day. Gain firsthand insight into the chaos of the night that Mt. Tarawera erupted and destroyed Te Wairoa, a village of Maoris and missionaries excavated under the Kaitiakitanga of the Smith family for nearly 90 years. Refresh at Smith & Co, the onsite cafe offering delicious scones with whipped cream and jam, Kiwi's favorite selection of pastry pies, and Devonshire tea. Take the opportunity to dress up in Victorian style clothing. On the waterfall trail, learn about the native flora and fauna and experience the beauty of a land recovering from violent destruction. Experience the Te Wairoa Falls in a special way as you stand in the mist of the waterfall. At the end of the day, check out the wide range of goods at the gift shop and bring home a special memento.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Tarawera

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Tarawera? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Tarawera

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 30 reviews

Absolutely loved learning about the history of the land we stood on and the stories shaped our future today. Honestly such an amazing place with interesting displays to accompany the stories as they are being told! Worth the price for sure!!!

I hadn't visited since the 80's and was pleased to see it hadn't changed too much, just improved. We loved the museum.

I enjoyed learning about the history and culture. The staff were great too.

The staff were very knowledgeable and the site was very informative

An amazing experience like no other, would highly recommend