“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Fun Professionalism Integrity
Creating experiences Gratitude Innovation
Chris Jolly Outdoors, Creating Experiences of a Lifetime
Chris Jolly Outdoors is Lake Taupo’s premier outdoor experience operator. In 2015, we celebrated 35 years in business. Chris Jolly Outdoors is family owned and operated with several of the Jolly family members working in the company. We love sharing the outdoors with our clients and helping them to make the most of beautiful Lake Taupo!
Chris and Sue Jolly moved to Taupo from their farming business in the Manawatu to Taupo in 1978 to start a fishing – sports shop business. This led to friendships in the charter boat and heli hunting industries and before long, their first launch Facilita was purchased and Chris Jolly Outdoors started its journey. The last 35 years have been an action packed ride leading now to 5 boats on Lake Taupo, guided fly fishing, hiking, hunting and their latest product guided biking and water shuttle.
Over the years they have entertained royalty – English and Dutch, diplomats, VIP’s, movie celebrities and put together packages to suit the most discerning clientele. They have been the preferred outdoors supplier to Huka Lodge for more than 30 years.
Son Simon and his wife Katie have now taken over the business from Chris and Sue, who are now enjoying their free time with the grandkids, gardening and hunting. Along with some very loyal and long standing staff, the Chris Jolly Outdoors team all love sharing the outdoors and helping people enjoy the beautiful part of the country that is Lake Taupo and its surrounds.
An avid fisherman, Simon has been with the company for more than 20 years. He has many strings to his bow as an operations manager, hunting guide, skipper and anything and everything in between. When he’s not sleeping, he’s enjoying the great outdoors – motocross riding, kayaking, running or fishing.
Katie joined the family business in 2017 alongside Simon. A busy Mum of two young children with her main background in naturopathy and nutrition, Katie is passionate about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle which can be seen and felt within the company’s staff culture.
Katie’s goal is to create a cultural and educational arm of the company where the Lake, its Whakapapa and surrounding experiences can be accessed by all ages.
Founder & Chief Hunter
Chris founded CJO in 1980. With a love of fishing and hunting, Chris is the ultimate outdoorsman with a lot of his time now spent on the hunting side of the business which he is passionate about.
Sue Jolly co-founded the business alongside her husband Chris and has built the business up to what it is today before handing over the reigns to Simon and Katie. Sue is now enjoying mountain biking, a little bit of gardening and time with her grand children.
Admin & HQ
Booking & Events Manager
Introducing another Jolly family member – our booking manager extraordinaire. Anna has been with Chris Jolly Outdoors for over 25 years. In the past Anna has been in charge of all the catering as well as being an excellent crew member on the boats. She manages with ease the daily juggling act of bookings on four different launches, not to mention fly fishing and hunting enquiries. Outside CJO, Anna is a keen Bridge player and can knit up a storm.
Our awesome office administrator who has been with the company for over a decade. Her hobbies are photography and creative clay plus she loves walking (with pooch Coco) and gardening.
Chief Cuisine Creator
Crew member and master muffin maker, Ali’s not only a dab-hand with a downrigger, she does ALL the catering for every CJO trip! Head down to the office and you’ll see her cooking up a storm and singing her heart out.
Originally from Germany, Isabel moved to Taupo 10 years ago and now calls Taupo home. She helps out in the office on weekends making sure everyone gets booked in on their respective activities. Her favourite activity is exploring New Zealand in her vintage pop top caravan.
Sales & Marketing
Joleen Lunjew Gadd
Websites and Digital Techy Stuff
Joleen is behind the computer making sure all our digital marketing promotions are reaching the right people. She keeps our website up to date, gets our e-newsletters sent out and ensures our social media channels remain relevant and exciting. Anything digital, she’s our girl!
Joleen is also a qualified yoga instructor, making sure the team stays calm and stretched each week.
Social Media & Design
Boat Operations Manager
Pete Boyle is a Chris Jolly icon in his own right. He’s been with the team a long time, and if you don’t know something about fishing, he is the man to talk with! A much loved part of our CJO family, Pirate Pete drives all of our boats with ease. He can mingle with the finest clients and then party up with the Contiki crew. His knowledge of the hospitality industry is superb, and we are so lucky to have him as part of the Chris Jolly Outdoors team. Pete Boyle is a one in a million skipper who ensures your experience on the Lake is awesome!
Skipper & Fly Fishing Guide
Our super-friendly and very knowledgeable skipper and fly fishing guide. Like many in the CJO crew, Paul lives and breathes trout fishing. Got a question about New Zealand trout fishing? Ask away…
Skipper & Fly Fishing Guide
Skipper and fly fishing guide Shaun has been a keen fisherman all his life, starting at the age of 6 with his father in England. As an experienced fishing guide Shaun has a wealth of knowledge in the area and is able to take clients to some of the best fishing the region has to offer; by 4×4 vehicle on the local and back-country rivers, or by helicopter to the most remote spots. If your desire is to cruise the lake for a few fish or just take in the scenery, he can show you all the best spots on offer.
Steve comes to us very well qualified with his maritime work history at the Auckland Harbour Master’s office, Fullers ferries and New Zealand Fire Service. His hobbies include competition shooting, offshore power boat racing, fishing, motorbike riding, animal communication and animal training.
Guides & Crew
Hiking Guide & Crew
Hiking & Biking Guide
Graham guides our clients through some amazing biking and hiking trails around the region. Health and fitness is his life, having raced professionally for over 15 years and coached internationally for more than a decade.
Sarah started with the CJO team last summer and loves working on the boats. She holds qualifications in catering and hospitality, and her knowledge of Taupo is an asset amongst the crew. With a young family, Sarah is also active in Taupo community in local sport.
Hiking & Biking Guide, Crew
Originally from The Netherlands, Erik has made Taupo his second home. He spent a lot of time in the hills hunting and hiking and has been a volunteer for Land SAR for many years. He is a keen fly fisherman and has a taste for adventure sports to keep life interesting. Erik likes spending time in the air as well as on the water.
While having been a kayak guide previously, mountain biking and hiking are his main disciplines now. When not working he entertains the locals with his minimal paddle boarding skills and on rainy days can be found tinkering with his Hi-Fi equipment and music collection.
After moving back to her hometown of Taupo, Summer is excited to be part of the Chris Jolly Outdoors team. You’ll find her on our cruise boats ensuring your experience on the lake is enjoyable. When she’s not out on the lake she enjoys camping, hiking and biking with her husband and children, walking the family dog Daisy, and rolling out her Pilates mat.
Grace has grown up in Taupo and always enjoys returning to her home town for the summer. She has spent many hours on the lake and up the local rivers with her family and is passionate about Taupo and all it has to offer. When Grace isn’t home she is studying at Otago University and skis as often as possible.
Cymry Thompson has been with the Chris Jolly team since 2017 as she wanted to go further with tourism and learn more people skills. She now loves meeting the new clients, helping to create an atmosphere and seeing the clients enjoy there experience on the boat.
Cymry is beautiful girl with a heart of gold. She is always busy running around making sure all tasks are done to a high standard. You’ll see her mixing drinks on our corporate charters and netting a fair few fish! She must be pretty lucky, as every time she’s on they net a good Trout!
Surely one of the most photographed dogs in New Zealand. Charlie has featured in many hunting articles, clothing catalogues and television shows. He has even had a 2 page story written up on him in a NZ hunting magazine. Nick-named the King of Dogs, when he’s not sitting around looking regal, Charlie is baling up huge stags at our hunting station or running down Turkeys.