The Cruise Cat Boat Charter With Chris Jolly Outdoors

Helmed by Chris Jolly outdoors, Te Wānanga Wai Whakarewa, is a nature education classroom aboard the Cruise Cat on Lake Taupō, hosting a localised curriculum. From early childhood to adult learners, our aim is to provide rich learning opportunities about our vivid culture on the waters of Lake Taupo.

Trip Highlights

The view of the trio of snow-capped mountains, Ruapehu, Nhaurahoe and Tongariro is best from the water.

What’s Provided:

A fresh baked muffin and hot beverage and coloring in for the younger passengers.

Transport and Timing:

Trip time is ninety minutes long The Cruise Cat is moored at The Taupo Marina and your guests should arrive at Berth 4, Taupo Boat Harbour, on Redoubt Street to embark.

*The Cruise cat is stroller friendly and has wheelchair access though not a disabled toilet on board. 

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Welcome to Te Wānanga Wai Whakarewa, The Floating Classroom created by Chris Jolly Outdoors
learning and drawing on the floating classroom

Learn Aboard The Cruise Cat

Lake Taupō is a unique place with a rich culture and history. Our goal at Te Wānanga Wai Whakarewa is to provide nature education opportunities for all ages aboard the Cruise Cat on Lake Taupō. We aim to provide a localised curriculum that is rich in learning opportunities about our culture and history. Our hope is that by providing these opportunities, we will help to preserve and protect our culture for future generations. We invite you to come and join us on the waters of Lake Taupō as we learn about this special place.

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Chris Jolly Outdoors Education Curriculum:

  1. Social Sciences – Place & environment, identity & culture
  2. Science – Living world, planet earth & beyond
  3. The Visual Arts – Māori rock carvings, communicating & interpreting
  4. Mathematics – Mapping, measurement
  5. Te Reo Māori – Making connections
  6. English – Listening, reading, viewing

Treaty of Waitangi:

Acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

Cultural Diversity:

Reflects New Zealand’s cultural diversity and values the histories and traditions of all its people.

Community Engagement:

Connects with their wider lives, and engages the support of their families, whanau and communities.

Future Focus:

Look to the future by exploring such significant future-focused issues as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation.

What educators and students have been saying about us:

Thank you for hosting such a wonderful experience for our team, and learning about Tuwharetoa pūrakau on our beautiful Taupō Moana with Kristy yesterday. It surpassed our expectations. A huge thank you to Kristy, Gil and Lauren. Everything was perfect.

Louise, Pinnacle Health

Thank you so much for all you did for us today. We all had an amazing time and learnt so much! You made the whole process of booking and coming on board an absolute breeze! Thanks for the hard mahi that you have done, and put in. It was an awesome experience to be a part of!

Monique, Arohena School

Our classes had an amazing experience onboard the Floating classroom. Follow up sessions in class showed the amount that was learnt about local Tikanga, including the importance of our maunga and chiefs, especially Ngātoro-i-rangi and Tia. Thank you for the wonderful learning opportunity. With the art being created along the way as well as informative dialogue the time just flew by. It is an experience that should not be missed by any tamariki and whanau.

Bridget, Tauhara College 

Come Aboard The Floating Classroom and Discover Lake Taupō
lake taupo from above and chris jolly boat

Visit Taupō New Zealand and Cruise the Lake!

Taupō New Zealand is a beautiful place to visit and cruise the lake. The guides are English speaking and the educators are top-notch. There is no dangerous game in NZ and no poisonous insects or snakes or spiders (no snakes at all). You’ll always receive the best Kiwi Hospitality! The fishing guides and skippers are experts at what they do. Taupō is a great place to visit and enjoy the beauty of nature. Thanks for choosing Taupō New Zealand!

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"Blown away by the location"
Lake Taupo Sunset

Learn about Lake Taupō

Here at the floating education centre, we offer a unique learning experience for all ages. Our Cruise Cat will take you out onto the water where you can learn about native flora and fauna, and discover the secrets of Volcanic Aotearoa. You can go fishing during your classroom breaks, and enjoy our teachings with the stunning backdrop of the Central Plateau Mountains in the background. The curriculum is suitable for learners of all ages including early childhood, primary, secondary and adults. So come and join us for an unforgettable educational experience.

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"We had an outstanding guide and we thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with him"

History of the Māori Rock Carvings

The story of the rock carving of Ngātoroirangi begins with the artist’s grandmother, Te Huatahi Susie Gilbert of Ngāti Tūwharetoa. Susie asked her grandson Matahi Whakataka Brightwell to create a likeness of her ancestor Ngātoroirangi on a totara tree to create a permanent connection for her family to the land.  When Matahi arrived in Taupō, there was no totara tree to carve, so he journeyed onto the lake for inspiration. The rock alcove at Mine Bay became the canvas for one of the most extraordinary contemporary carvings New Zealand has ever seen.  Surrounded by smaller sculptures depicting tupuna (ancestors) and kaitiaki (guardians), the carving now towers 14-metres above the deep water of Lake Taupō and is now regarded as one of the North Island’s most significant tourist attractions. Ngātoroirangi is a true showpiece of New Zealand’s cultural artistic ability.

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"Share and celebrate the adventure and wonder in nature" - Orvis
valley and hills in owhaoko

The Volcanic Zone of New Zealand

Lake Taupō is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand. The lake is located in the Taupō Volcanic Zone, which is a region of high volcanic and geothermal activity. Taupō is also home to the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume. The lake is approximately 26 million years old and has a maximum depth of 186 metres. Taupō is a popular destination for fishing, swimming, boating, and other outdoor activities. The lake is also a major source of hydroelectric power for the region.

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Owhaoko river walk

Taupō’s Climate

Taupō weather can be quite unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities when packing for your trip. In general, Taupō experiences hot summers and cold winters, with temperatures ranging from 2-22 degrees Celsius. However, it’s important to remember that Taupō is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so these temperature ranges are reversed compared to the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer months (December-February) can be quite humid, so it’s important to pack light, breathable clothing. The winter months (June-August) can be quite cold, so it’s important to pack warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Taupō is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year, so no matter when you’re planning your trip, make sure to pack accordingly and enjoy your time in this stunning part of New Zealand.

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Learn and grow together, enjoy a journey full of wonder and adventure click here to make it happen.


The Cruise To Plant Project

Chris Jolly Outdoors is committed to planting trees in an effort to protect and enhance Aotearoa’s natural environment. All passengers on Chris Jolly Outdoors scenic cruises will have a dollar from their ticket price go towards the planting project with The Opepe Farm Trust. This is one of the first planting initiatives for Chris Jolly with the future goals being to offset the boat charter service and to become carbon neutral. The partnership with The Opepe Farm Trust will help to ensure that the right trees are planted for sustainability. The Trust is passionate about protecting the environment for future generations and has the knowledge and expertise to guide the project. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against climate change and help to preserve our natural environment.

Have a closer look at our initiative

Your Taupō Activity Partner

As the trusted activity partner for things to do in Taupō for forty years, Chris Jolly Outdoors will take care of you during your stay here.  From absolute relaxation and fishing crystal pools to exciting hikes in the wilderness; we are the go-to guides to tick off that bucket list.

In Taupō, the possibilities are truly endless. But one thing is sure; we will create a memorable experience for you that you’ll treasure forever.  Put yourself in the picture with us, and book with us today.

More about us

What We Offer

  • Five private charter boats for small or large functions up to 140 pax with full catering/bar/fishing equipment and an exclusive personal crew
  • Access to private land, water and know-how of local’s secret spaces
  • Corporate events & team building.

Reliable and Experienced

  • We’re a family headed by Chris’s son Simon Jolly with a number of the Jolly clan still working within the team
  • We’re a bunch of fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and bush experts with experienced staff who can teach you a lot about the Taupō region.
  • We’ve spent forty years in the industry taking care of people’s holidays.

Our Qualifications

  • Gold Qualmark rated (5 star rating NZ)
  • Our Fly fishing guides are Orvis endorsed, a globally recognised mark of excellence
  • Partners with Ngāti Tūwharetoa (TMGH) with a focus on growing Māori Tourism for Taupō


Do you cater to all dietary requirements?

Absolutely, with a little notice we can make sure that all members of your group are adequately catered for.

Do you have team building?

We can absolutely cater to your team-building needs, whether it be a big friend group or a company looking to get their staff united. Our packages can be tailored to suit your business's team-building objectives and of course, your budget requirements. Our boats are capable of entertaining groups of anywhere between 2 and 140 people. Activities available onboard are fishing, clay bird shooting, paddling boarding and of course practising the ultimate Manu. Being aboard our boats in the middle of the lake ensures both privacy and exclusivity! What goes on tour, stays on tour.

Do you do any kind of corporate team building?

We can absolutely cater to team building needs. Our packages can be tailored to suit your business's team building objectives and of course, your budget requirements. Our boats are capable of entertaining groups of anywhere between 2 and 140 people. Activities available onboard are fishing, clay bird shooting, paddling boarding and of course practising the ultimate Manu. Being aboard our boats in the middle of the lake ensures both privacy and exclusivity! What goes on tour, stays on tour.    

Is jumping into the lake allowed off the boat?

It is encouraged! Show us your best bomb, the more water spray, the better.

Contact Us

in New Zealand

phone Icon073780623

from overseas

phone Icon+64 7 378 0623

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