Chris Jolly Outdoors

About Chris Jolly Outdoors

Founded in 1980 by the Chris & Sue Jolly, our team loves the great outdoors in Taupō, New Zealand and sharing that with people like you. Chris Jolly Outdoors boasts an array of offerings, from scenic cruises on Lake Taupō, private charters & corporate events, fishing trips, hiking & biking trips with some of the region’s experienced guides.

Our business is built on having good boats and a great team who know how to show you a great time while you’re in town. It’s all about New Zealand’s natural environment, the native bush, the clear water, the fish and animals that live here; and more importantly the people that don’t… so you can get away from the world that’s nagging you.

Chris & Sue Jolly owned and operated Chris Jolly Outdoors until 2017 when their son Simon and his wife Katie purchased the business.

On 30 August 2019, Tūwharetoa  Māori Trust Board entered into a partnership with Simon and Katie Jolly to jointly own and operate Chris Jolly Outdoors.  The investment by Tūwharetoa  Māori Trust Board supports the Board’s strategic aspirations to be more actively involved on Lake Taupō. Ultimately, the desire of Tūwharetoa is to have a stronger Māori offering on Lake Taupō whilst providing more employment opportunities.

Simon and Katie Jolly were both thrilled to be able to bring the family business into the Ngāti Tūwharetoa  whanau.

Chris Jolly Outdoors is a Gold Qualmark operator.  We are also an Orvis endorsed partner in New Zealand.

Reliable and experienced

After forty years in the industry, Chris Jolly Outdoors is like coming home to someone you can trust:

  • We’re a family just like you (headed by Simon Jolly with a number of the clan in the team)
  • We’re fishing, hiking, boating, biking, bush experts with long term staff who can teach you a lot about the Taupo region.
  • Experienced tour guides lead Māori Rock Carving Cruises. 
  • Gold Qualmark rated (5 star rating NZ)
  • Orvis endorsed for fly fishing excellence with crystal water
  • Specialists in corporate, entertainment and bespoke itineraries in Taupō’s Outdoors.
  • Partners with Ngāti Tūwharetoa (TMGH) with a focus on growing Māori Tourism for Taupō


What we offer


  • Four private charter boats for small or large functions with full catering/bar/fishing equipment and your personal crew
  • Exclusive land, private water and a tonne of experience
  • Specialists in the outdoors – fly fishing, hiking, biking, hunting activities and pretty much any activity that you wish to hold in the outdoors (land or water)
  • Corporate events & team building
  • Venue hire on the water – whatever it is, from Nana Beryl’s 80th to your Christmas party, we can make it happen
When in Taupō, royalty, movie stars, the doctor down your street and the family next door all choose Chris Jolly Outdoors. It’s like butter on your bread, it just makes sense.

Our Team

  • Directors
Chris Jolly

Chris Jolly


As a young child fly fishing the shores and small stream mouths, I began to develop an affinity with my surroundings that has lasted a lifetime. My parents were not fisherman or outdoor sports people but loved the area for other reasons, and I had to go through the rather painful process of teaching myself to fish but I was never happier than when marching along the beach to Mission point or nearby with fly rod in hand and full of expectation.

How fortunate was I some twenty years later to find myself and family living nearby the Lake, spending many memorable evenings after work anchored at the mouth of the Tauranga Taupō river amongst local Maori fishermen, many of whom would be friends for life.

I have now spent nearly forty years entertaining guests, either on the Lake, in the mountains fly fishing, or at various hunt camps. I love to hunt and fish but even more, derive enormous pleasure by guiding others into my world of the outdoors. To match expectations and fulfil dreams of clients is challenging where the weather, fish and deer don’t always play by the rules but that’s the fun of guiding!

The fun and reward in coming up with new and exciting products limited only by imagination, entertaining guests with a sense of adventure to experience some authentic kiwi outdoors entertainment…  “Let us create your outdoor experience of a lifetime.”

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Simon Jolly Trout Fishing

Simon Jolly

General manager

My history has always been about adventure.  I spent my youth with either a rod or rifle, skis or scuba in hand, which developed my love and need for the outdoors.  I started working on boats from the tender age of 12, (trying to impress the adults with my bartending skills) and growing up in Taupo was something special.

As soon as I was old enough I sat my skippers ticket and i’m sure many clients were amused ( if not bemused) by an 18 year old driving the party boat and singing karaoke, doing everything possible to ensure the clients had an amazing time with us on the Lake.

Having spent 20+ years as a deer hunting guide , thousands of hours chasing game fish and diving around the Pacific, or being up one of the many spectacular  rivers fly fishing, my passion has always been about being out in the open.

Being able to share my love of the outdoors with everyone and the people I love is  just so special.

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Our Partners

We hold hands with the best in the country. Trusted businesses who value quality and your customer experience at the top of their priority. Our union with Tuwharetoa Trust Board (TMGH) represents our company’s focus on creating a legacy for tourism in the region.

If you feel you are aligned with our values, please get in touch. Let’s create an amazing experience together.

Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Governance members of the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board are elected from and by Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board beneficiaries aged 18 years and over. The Board consists of up to ten Board Members and a Board Secretary. Each member is appointed for a term of three years.



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