Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell shares his story

Master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell shares his story behind the remarkable Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings in Lake Taupō, New Zealand.

Do I need a license to go fly fishing in New Zealand?

We supply all required Fishing Licenses on our guided trips. so you can spend more time on the water.

What should I wear for fly fishing in New Zealand?

In the New Zealand Summer we recommend wearing: Light layers, a fleece/light jersey in case of a bit of breeze in the shade. In the New Zealand Winter we recommend wearing: Thermal layers, preferably wool-based A winter hat and gloves. We provide outerwear but you are welcome to bring your own gear if you have it.

Why do we only use the best quality equipment at Chris Jolly Outdoors?

We want to make sure our clients have the best possible experience of fly fishing in New Zealand. That's why we only use the best quality equipment. We want you to have an unforgettable experience.

What is the best way to learn how to fly fish?

One of the best ways to learn how to fly fish is on a half-day flyfishing experience with a Chris Jolly Orvis endorsed guide.

What should I wear for fly fishing in taupo?

In Summer we recommend wearing: Rubber-soled boots, with plastic studs if possible. Light layers, a fleece/light jersey in case of a bit of breeze in the shade. In Winter we recommend wearing: Thermal layers, preferably wool-based A winter hat and gloves. We provide outerwear but you are welcome to bring your own gear if you have it.

How can I book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors?

You can book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors by calling us on +64 7 378 0623 or email us at bookings@chrisjolly.co.nz or submitting a contact form

Can I bring my own equipment?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. and anything you dont have we can supply

How much experience do I need to go fly fishing in Taupo?

You don't need any experience to go fly fishing with Chris Jolly Outdoors - our guides will teach you everything you need to know. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman looking to catch a trophy trout, or a beginner wanting to learn the basics of fly fishing we have an adventure for you.

Do I need a license to go fly fishing in Taupo?

we supply all required Fishing Licenses on our guided trips.

What is the Tongariro River?

The Tongariro River is a beautiful, Class II-III river located in the North Island of New Zealand. The river offers great fly fishing for trout and has been rated one of the top 10 fly fishing destinations in the world. Rafting down the Tongariro is a great way to experience the beauty of this river and its surroundings.

What are the different types of trout in the Tongariro river?

The Tongariro River offers great fly fishing for Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout.

What is the maximum group size?

We can accommodate groups of all sizes, talk to us about the individual requirements we can tailor a trip to suit you. Whether you're looking for a challenging fight on the Tongariro River or a relaxing day on a smaller stream, we can provide an adventure that's perfect for you.

What kind of equipment do I need for fly fishing?

Our guiding rate includes all required gear such as Rods, reels, waders, boots, flies and leaders.   Summer: Rods 5-7 wt, 9 or 10 ft. Breathable waders or wet wading if the conditions are right. Rubber-soled boots, with plastic studs if necessary.   Winter: Rods 6-8 wt. 9-10 ft. Foul weather gear, such as a good, waterproof fishing jacket, wool layers, winter hat, and gloves.   Please note- No felt-soled boots!! Felt soles are banned in New Zealand.

Can I bring my own food and drink on the trip?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drink on the trip. our full day guiding rafting and flyfishing adventure includes lunch, snacks and refreshments (please advise in advance of dietary requirements)

Do you provide life jackets?

Yes, we provide life jackets for all participants on the trip. It is important to note that you are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on the river.

How long does the trip last?

It is a full day of adventure, be prepared for 8 hours or more

What is the best time of year to go fly fishing in the Tongariro River?

The Tongariro River is a popular fly fishing destination, and the best time of year to go depends on what type of trout you're hoping to catch. The brown trout is most active during the winter months, while the rainbow is more active during the summer. If you're looking for a challenging fight, then winter is the best time to go fly fishing on the Tongariro River. If you're looking for something more relaxing, then summer may be a better option. Fishing seasons: Lower reaches - 1 July to 30 June; Mid reaches - 1 December to 31 May; Upper reaches - 1 October to 30 June

Do I need a license to go fly fishing in the Tongariro River?

Yes, you do need a license to go fly fishing in the Tongariro River. Licenses are supplied on all of our guided trips

What can I expect on a guided fly fishing trip in the Tongariro River?

On a guided fly fishing trip in the Tongariro River, you can expect a full day of adventure on the raft and fishing! including 8 hours or more on the water. The river offers great fly fishing for trout and has been rated one of the top 10 fly fishing destinations in the world. Our experienced guides will make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy a successful day on the water.

Is it necessary to have polarized sunglasses when fly fishing in the Tongariro River?

Polarized sunglasses can be helpful when fly fishing in the Tongariro River, as they will help you to better see beneath the water's surface. This can be helpful when trying to spot trout and make accurate casts. we do recommend to bring them on your rafting adventure

What is the best time of year to go fly fishing in Turangi?

The best time of year to go fly fishing in Turangi is from October to May. This is when the weather is most stable and the fish are biting.

What type of fish can be found in the rivers around Turangi?

The rivers around Turangi are home to rainbow and brown trout. These fish can range in size from 1-2 kilos, but there are always a few trophy fish up for grabs each season.

Do I need a license to go fly fishing in Turangi?

Yes, you need a license to go fly fishing in New Zealand. We supply these on our guided experiences.

What is the difference between a guided and unguided fly fishing trip?

A guided fly fishing trip is where you will be supplied with a license and all the necessary equipment, and an expert guide will take you to the best spots for trout fishing. An unguided fly fishing trip is where you rent the equipment and do not have a guide.

What can I expect on a guided fly fishing trip in Turangi?

A guided fly fishing trip in Turangi is a great way to experience some of the best trout fishing in New Zealand. You can expect to be supplied with all the necessary equipment, including licenses and to be taken to the best spots by an expert guide. The chance to land a trophy fish is always high, so make sure you bring your A-game!

What is the average weight of the trout caught in Turangi?

The average weight of the trout caught in Turangi is 1-2 kilos.

Are there any trophy fish that can be caught in Turangi?

Yes, there are trophy brown and rainbow trout that can be caught in Turangi. These fish can weigh up to 2 kilos.

What is the best way to increase my chances of success when fly fishing?

The best way to increase your chances of success when fly fishing is to book a guided trip with our Orvis-endorsed guides.

What is the weather like in Turangi during October to May?

The weather in Turangi during October to May is stable and ranges from 2-22 degrees Celsius. This is the perfect time of year for fly fishing.

Is it necessary to have polarized sunglasses when fly fishing in Turangi?

Yes, polarized sunglasses are a must-have for any fly fisherman, as they help reduce glare on the water.

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.

Is Lake Taupō fresh water or salt water?

Fresh clear and largely drinkable water. We would recommend drinking from a stream as running water is best.

Is Lake Taupō a volcano?

Lake Taupō is actually the crater of what was an enormous volcano. Lake Taupō is now the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, and the southern hemisphere. Lake Taupō is roughly the size of Singapore and the eruption was one of the largest volcanic eruptions earth has had in the last 5000 years. If you skydive above Lake Taupō on a clear day, you can see the edges of the entire North Island!

What is the Huka Falls?

A truly mighty 11-metre waterfall. It is said to be the most visited natural attraction in all of New Zealand, and it's free! Experience the foaming falls from all of the different viewing platforms to fully appreciate their power, or book in for a Huka Jet Boat ride and Scenic Cruise to get your adrenaline pumping!

Does anything dangerous live in or around Lake Taupō?

Taupō, and New Zealand in general have no native or imported predators, there is one kind of poisonous spider (very small) called the whitetail, but a quick GP visit and some antibiotics after a bite and you'd be right as rain. It is the reason why we have So many gloriously fat fish and large flightless birds. The biggest threat to New Zealand's ecosystem is introduced vermin such as ferrets, cats, possums and rats.

What do the smaller sculptures around the Māori carvings represent?

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

How big are the Ngātoroirangi rock carvings?

The Ngātoroirangi rock carvings are a staggering 14 meters tall, they were created by sculptor Matahi Brightwell and reflect his ancestry.

How old are the Māori carvings?

The Ngātoroirangi carvings took four years to complete and were finished in 1980.

How long has Chris Jolly Outdoors been around?

Forty long and wonderful action packed years.

What clothing is best for hiking, hunting, fishing or being outdoors in Taupō?

Conditions are changeable in Taupō, so it's best to be prepared! The local's joke that Taupō can have four seasons in a day!

  • Hiking boots with good ankle support and grip, or other sturdy footwear
  • Sun hat or warm beanie – pack one and wear the other (we lose 70% of heat through our heads alone!)
  • Sunglasses – wear or pack, NZ has harsh sunlight.
  • Base layer: top and leggings in polypropylene/wool, quick dry shorts or pants
  • Mid layer: long-sleeved top in wool or polar fleece – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • Gloves in polypropylene/wool – wear or pack, only in Winter really.
  • Socks in polypropylene or wool ( a spare pair is always a good idea)

A good exterior layer:

  • Wind and waterproof jacket with hood – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • Waterproof overtrousers optional

I’m planning on going hiking while in Taupō, what should I bring?

The Essentials

  • Day pack with a waterproof liner (no one likes wet clothes)
  • Drink bottle –  2 litre, per day you will be out.
  • Packed lunch and snacks – if you are coming on a guided hike with us here at Chris Jolly Outdoors  we can cater your hike
  • Fully charged mobile phone ­
  • Personal medication, eg antihistamines, asthma medication
  • Extra base layer and socks
  • Rubbish bag
  • Map of the area you'll be walking - if you are being guided you will not need this, we will direct you.

Emergency equipment:

if you are coming on a guided hike with us here at Chris Jolly Outdoors we will make sure to have the following list on hand.
  • Basic first aid kit including hand sanitiser, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Head torch/torch and spare batteries in case you take longer than intended
  • Survival blanket to keep you warm in an emergency
  • Whistle in case your split up or need help
  • Extra high energy snack food

Can you swim in Lake Taupō?

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

Does it get cold in Taupō?

Taupo can get to -1 or 2 degrees celsius in Wintertime, with icy winds coming straight off the central plateau mountains. It is best to pack woolly layers and definitely a wind/waterproof jacket.

When is the best time to go fly fishing in Taupō?

From May through to October, the trout spawning gears up and runs upstream into the Taupo rivers. From May onwards and through the following months of winter is a top time to head to fish Lake Taupo and its rivers. If you want a large trophy or very tasty Rainbow or Brown Trout, this is the time to gear up and go!

Where is the best fly fishing in NZ?

Right here with Chris Jolly Outdoors on Lake Taupō and the surrounding river mouths.

Are there any native birds around Taupō?

Tui, Fantail and wax eyes are amongst the beautiful birdsong that serenades lake Taupō's verdant native bush.

What if I want to take a hunting trophy home?

If you were lucky enough to bag your shot, your guide will be happy to cape and salt your trophy/trophies for you. If you would like your trophy mounted, that can be arranged here in NZ and we can arrange to have it dispatched freight forward by air to your specified destination. We will complete all necessary documentation for you so that it is all taken care of!

What should I bring hunting?

There's a list! Although we provide all firearms, food and transport to and from the hunting ground (on our one day tours). We do not provide a firearms licence. By NZ law, visiting hunters bringing their own firearms must obtain a firearms tourist licence from the NZ police at the International airport on their arrival. Visiting hunters, however, using our firearms does not require a licence as our guides are fully licenced. If you choose a multi-day drip we will also provide bedding, food and beverages. We can accommodate all dietary requests so long as we are made aware of them ahead of time. All that aside, please bring:
  • Camouflage clothing
  • Woollen based clothing
  • Additional layers
  • Woollen hat and gloves
  • A rain jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Boots, sturdy with good grip - trainers/runners are not boots.
 

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.    

Do you have transport available?

Yes, we have helicopter transfers available from anywhere in NZ but can also arrange vehicle transfers from Auckland International or Taupo domestic terminals. Our hunting and fishing guided tours have helicopter options to them, with our hunting grounds being either a 90 minute drive or a 25 minute flight from Taupo CBD.

Is it possible to take home venison on the hunting trip?

Yes! Subject to you or your guide hitting the target on your hind or stag. Venison is a lovely lean meat, perfect for a BBQ lunch, or steak dinner with the fam. Pair with a fresh green salad and roasted Kumara for the ultimate kai.

Are any of your activities child friendly?

Absolutely, we recommend the Maori Carving scenic cruise. Our boats are stocked with full amenities and we even have treasure hunts and colouring-in sheets for the kids. Our Cruise Cat Boat has cosy indoor areas if the day is looking a bit overcast or to tuck up the little one who isn't quite feeling it. Our viewing platform means we can get you super close to the carvings for a unique culture filled experience you can chalk up to an educational day out with the fam.

Can kids drive the boat?

Yes! If you ask the skipper nicely.

Is jumping into the lake allowed off the boat?

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

What should I pack for the boat?

It is always a good idea to pack the basics, sunscreen, insect repellent, a muesli bar or two, your own full water bottle, togs, a towel and a spare change of clothes and a warm jersey. The wind can go right through you on a boat so layering up is always pragmatic! A wise person packs a raincoat on a sunny day, just in case.

When were you founded?

Founded in 1980 by Chris & Sue Jolly.
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