The eruption of Mt Tarawera - Roadside Stories

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to Tarawera's geological history.

Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to Tarawera in the Video tab.

'The sky was lit by great flashes of flame ...' The 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera obliterated the spectacular Pink and White Terraces, one of the world's scenic wonders, and buried a number of villages. The disaster was heralded by an apparition of a ghostly canoe on Lake Tarawera.

Historic volcanic activity: Tarawera
Eruption of Mt Tarawera
Volcanic Plateau places: Lake Tarawera district
Te Arawa: the Tarawera eruption

Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives. Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number sa-t-0224-su02-pm).

Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way -- its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

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