The Taupō Classic – Hukafalls Jet and Cruise Combo

Chris Jolly Outdoors and Hukafalls Jet have teamed up to offer you the Taupō Classic adventure – a scenic cruise to the Māori Rock Carvings, followed by an exciting jet boat ride under the rushing Huka Falls.

Trip Highlights

Getting to see the culturally significant sculptures of Mine Bay with epic photo opportunities at every turn on Lake Taupō, then a thrill seeking blat on the Waikato River, getting super close (and a bit wet!) at the majestic Huka Falls.

What’s Provided

A 30-minute Huka Jet Boat ride. A 90 minute cruise including: Educational commentary of the region, history and cultural significance of the Maori Rock Carvings. Entertainment for the kids. Enjoy a complimentary muffin and hot beverage of your choice while on board the cruise.

Timing & Location

Cruise Departure: 10.30am
Cruise Boarding:  10.15am
Cruise Duration: 90 minutes
Our boat, the Cruise Cat, is moored at the Lake Taupō Marina and you will depart from Berth 4, Taupo Boat Harbour, on Redoubt Street.

Jetboat Departure: 1pm
Jetboat Boarding:  12.45pm
Duration: 30 minutes
The Hukafalls Jet departs from 200 Karetoto Road, Wairakei Tourist Park.


  • The Cruise Cat is stroller friendly and has wheelchair access though not a disabled toilet on board.
  • The Hukafalls Jet is wheelchair accessible, and staff are available should you require help boarding and disembarking the jet boat.
  • Both trips go ahead rain or shine, and will only be cancelled in extreme weather conditions. If either activity in your Taupō Classics combo is cancelled due to adverse weather or for any other reason by Hukafalls Jet or Chris Jolly Outdoors a full refund will be given for that cancelled activity only.
  • Our guides speak English, but there is the option for commentary in many languages on the Cruise.
  • Once booked and paid, there are no refunds for cancellations or no-shows.
  • Tickets are valid for one month: activities are normally completed in the same day but can be completed on separate days; either activity can be completed first.
  • There is a minimum height for all children of 1 metre to ride Hukafalls Jet.
  • Current prices valid until 30 Sept 2024

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Cruise And Plant Project Chris Jolly Updated

Every cruise raises funds to plant trees in our community.

Explore the Cruise & Plant initiative

Get up close to two iconic Taupō landmarks – the Māori Rock Carvings and the Huka Falls.

Wairakei Huka Falls nz

About the Huka Falls

The Huka Falls are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taupō. Every year, thousands of people come to see the powerful waterfalls. This incredible landmark is named for Huka, the Māori word for foam.

Extensive amounts of water flow over a cliff 11 metres high – The flow over the Huka Falls fluctuates between 32 and 270 cubic metres per second, with an average daily flow of 160 cubic metres per second. Depending on the flow of water, the height of the falls fluctuates between seven and nine and a half metres.

The unique blue colour of the water at the base of the falls is created by the clear water reflecting the blue light and the air bubbles in the water intensifying the colour further.

huka falls jet

About Hukafalls Jet

The Hukafalls Jet experience in Taupo New Zealand is an adrenaline-pumping activity that is not to be missed. Huka Falls is the largest waterfall in New Zealand and no one gets you closer to the action!

In operation since 1990, Hukafalls Jet is another Taupō must-do! They operate four boats, have 17 full-time staff and is visited by around 50,000 people a year.

If you are looking for an activity that will get your heart racing, then the Hukafalls Jet experience is definitely for you.

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Take in scenic vistas on the stunning Lake Taupō before chasing adrenaline along the Waikato River.

What to bring

  • Sunscreen and sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Warm layers
  • Boat friendly footwear
  • A jacket

Visitor Information

  • The staff are English speaking
  • There is nothing dangerous dwelling in the lake
  • No snakes, or poisonous insects
  • Our thin ozone layer means you can get sunburnt quickly
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About our Māori Carvings Scenic Cruise

The Chris Jolly Scenic Cruise operates aboard a spacious 52ft Catamaran, which is also offered for private charters. Each cruise lasts for ninety minutes and features a free muffin and beverage. Departures occur several times daily. The vessel boasts ample space, including exterior viewing decks and comfortable indoor seating areas.

At Mine Bay, the boat is expertly positioned to provide all passengers with an excellent view of the carvings. Guests can admire the detailed artwork and capture stunning photographs.

Lake Taupo Charter Chris Jolly Outdoors Cruise Cat

About Lake Taupō

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.

The Taupō Classic package is the best way to experience our exceptional moana and awa – Lake Taupō and Waikato River.

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History of the Māori Rock Carvings

We can thank Te Huatahi Susie Gilbert of Ngāti Tūwharetoa for her request to her grandson, resulting in these beautiful carvings. 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 and found the rock alcove at Mine Bay. The alcove then became the canvas for one of the most extraordinary contemporary carvings in New Zealand.

The Legacy of our Ancestors

The main carving is a depiction of Ngātoroirangi, an esteemed tohunga (priest), whom laid claim to the land of Ngāti Tūwharetoa. This is surrounded by smaller sculptures depicting tupuna (ancestors) and kaitiaki (guardians).

Ngātoroirangi towers 14-metres above Lake Taupō and is regarded as a significant North Island tourist attraction. Ngātoroirangi is a true showpiece of New Zealand’s cultural artistic ability.

Maori Rock Carvings from boat lake taupo

Start your day with a chill cruise, and finish it off with an adrenaline rush!

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What We Offer

  • Private charter boats with catering/bar/fishing equipment and crew
  • Access to private land, water and know-how of local’s secret spaces
  • Functions, corporate events & team building

Reliable & Experienced

  • Over forty years in the central North Island tourism industry
  • We’re a family business, with local Taupō knowledge
  • Our staff are experienced adventure experts

Adventure Qualified

  • 5 Star Rated Gold Qualmark
  • Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guides
  • Trip Advisor’s Travellers Choice 2023
  • Partnered with Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Your Taupō Activity Partner

From beautiful lake views, to fishing crystal pools, to scenic hikes in the central North Island wilderness; Chris Jolly Outdoors are the go-to guides to tick off that bucket list.

In Taupō, the adventure possibilities are truly endless. We guarantee one thing – we’ll create a memorable experience for you that you’ll treasure forever.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors?

You can book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors by either calling us on +64 7 378 0623, emailing us at or filling out the form to make an enquiry. If you want to book a cruise to the Māori Rock carvings, head over to the experience page to book direct.

When do I board my cruise?

Report to Berth 4 at least 15 minutes before your cruise departure time. We recommend being first in line to snag the best spots on the Cruise Cat!

Does Chris Jolly have activities suitable for kids?

Yes! We recommend the Māori Carving scenic cruise. We have activities onboard for kids and cosy indoor areas to chill out in. If you’re looking to book for a school group, our floating classroom experience cannot be misssed!

Can you swim in Lake Taupō?

Yes! From December through to March it is absolutely beautiful to get in to that fresh crystal clear water. We would advise a good quality wetsuit if you’re going to attempt it in winter!

How old are the Māori carvings?

The Ngātoroirangi carvings are over 40 years old. They were carved during the 1970s, taking four years to complete and finished in 1980.

How big are the Ngātoroirangi rock carvings?

The Ngātoroirangi rock carvings are a staggering 14 meters tall.

What are the small sculptures by the Māori Rock Carving?

The smaller sculptures surrounding Ngātoroirangi depict tupuna (ancestors) and kaitiaki (guardians) that are pivotal to the history of the local Māori tribe.

What are the Huka Falls?

The Huka Falls are a truly mighty 11-metre waterfall on the Waikato River. It is said to be the most visited natural attraction in all of New Zealand! Experience the foaming falls from the banks of the river for free, or book the Huka Falls Jet and Scenic Cruise combo to get your adrenaline pumping and see the falls up close!

Is Lake Taupō a volcano?

Lake Taupō is a caldera volcano, formed approx 26,000 years ago. It erupted 29 times, with the last eruption about 1800 years ago. These days, Lake Taupō is the second largest freshwater lake in the southern hemisphere.

Is Lake Taupō fresh water or salt water?

Lake Taupō is a fresh water lake with excellent water quality, perfect for swimming, fishing and even drinking!

Who carved the Ngātoroirangi rock carvings?

Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell and a team of carvers worked on the 14m high rock face to carve Ngātoroirangi.

Can kids drive the boat?

Yes! If you ask the skipper nicely.

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