A massive rock carving depicting Lake Rotomahana’s legendary White Terraces took up permanent residence at the Buried Village in October 2011.
Following placement, landscaping and water reticulation, the 19-tonne carved replica went on public display in early November and is already proving to be a great photo opportunity for visitors to the Buried Village.
Initially providing a centrepiece at the Energy Events Centre during the QuarryNZ conference in July, the replica terraces were jointly gifted to the people of Rotorua by the Institute of Quarrying NZ, the Aggregate and Quarry Association of NZ and Hinuera Natural Stone at the conclusion of the conference.
The Rotorua District Council felt The Buried Village (Te Wairoa) was the ideal location for the gift as Te Wairoa was (then) the jumping off point for tours to the original Pink and White Terraces, once described as the eighth wonder of the natural world but destroyed during the eruption of Mt Tarawera in June 1886.
Buried Village managing director Pam McGrath, said “We’re delighted the Rotorua District Council has entrusted us with the replica particularly given the village’s historical significance in relation to the Terraces.”
Pam added that the gift is particularly timely given the resurgence of interest following the discovery of part of the Pink Terraces during a joint New Zealand and American mission to map the lake floor and investigate geothermal activity at Lake Rotomahana in January 2011 followed by a June announcement that they had also found part of the White Terraces.
The original 30-tonne of Hinuera stone was carved by Mario Kerkhoff, Harry Toa and a team from Hinuera Natural Stone Quarry, who also supplied the material.
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The 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters. Rocks, ash, and mud bombarded the peaceful village of Te Wairoa, leaving a tomb of ash and mud. Now you can see what lies beneath at this carefully excavated site.