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. Let your imagination glide across Lake Taupō’s printing waters on a 90-minute cruise in the Chris Jolly Outdoor Classroom. Our lessons celebrate the local history of Taupō, including Ngati Tuwharetoa and the origin of the Mine Bay rock carvings.

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

What to expect from your floating education centre:

  • Learn about native flora and fauna
  • Discover the secrets of Volcanic Aotearoa
  • Go fishing off the Cruise Cat in your classroom breaks
  • 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

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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

Visiting Taupo New Zealand to Cruise the Lake? Helpful tips and facts:

  • Your guides are English speaking
  • Our Educators are top-notch, ask them anything.
  • There is no dangerous game in NZ
  • 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.

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"Blown away by the location"
Lake Taupo Sunset

What you will learn about Lake Taupo

The Great Lake Taupō is nestled in the centre of a plentiful volcanic and geothermal oasis. Enjoy panoramic mountain and lake views, explore the nearby ranges, or journey 20 minutes south to a colour ridden desert.

The Central Plateau is an area known for its nature-based tourism and extraordinary hot pools. Chris Jolly Outdoors is proud to showcase Taupō’s range of hidden gems. Whether you want to meander through open plains or chase adrenaline, Taupo has it all, and we’re here to guide you through it.

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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

Be Weather Wise On Your Education Adventure

Weather in Taupō varies from 2 to 22 degrees Celsius depending on the season. It rarely snows in the Winter at lake level with the Summer months able to get quite humid, between 70-90%. Bearing this in mind, please bring seasonally appropriate clothing, and polarized sunglasses.

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

Reliable and Experienced

After forty years in the industry, spending time with the team at 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 Jolly clan still working within the team
  • We’re a bunch of fishing, hiking, boating, biking, bush experts with experienced staff who can teach you a lot about the Taupo region.
  • Our Fly fishing guides are Orvis endorsed, a globally recognised mark of excellence


  • Gold Qualmark rated (5 star rating NZ)
  • 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
  • Proud conservationists with the future of our stunning Lake Taupo forefront in our minds

An Exceptionally Unique Team

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 certain; we will create a memorable experience for you that you’ll treasure forever.  Put yourself in the picture with us, book with us today.

More about us

craterlake of tongariro NZ

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
  • Experts in the outdoors – fly fishing, hiking, biking, hunting and cruising
  • 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, leave the logistics to us


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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