The eruption lasted six hours and caused massive destruction. Several villages were destroyed, along with the famous silica hot springs known as the Pink and White Terraces. Approximately 120 people lost their lives.
On the 10 June in the early hours of the morning, locals awoke to earthquakes, lightning and fountains of molten rock and ash up to 10 km high. People as far away as Blenheim heard the eruption.
A 17-km crater in the top of Mt Tarawera and extended as far as Waimangu. The Eruption covered the land with millions of tonnes of ash and debris. Lakes around Tarawera were transformed and the native bush was flattened. The eruption had finished by 6 a.m, however due to ash the day appeared as night. Once the ash abated, men from Rotorua formed rescue parties and began digging out survivors and casualties. The settlements were destroyed. Te Wairoa, where many survived by sheltering in the stronger buildings, is now a tourist attraction, ‘The Buried Village’, a must see when visiting Rotorua.