Māori Rock Carvings Cruises

Journey to the Māori Rock Carvings in comfort and style with a stunning tour of Taupo’s bays. We’ve been looking after people like you for over 40 years, and our 90-minute tour should be on your ‘top things to do in Taupo’ bucket list activities.

With live commentary and spectacular viewing platforms, let us host you while you on our spacious boats. Free homemade muffin and a hot drink included in your ticket on all our scenic cruises! We offer comfortable booth seating for all ages, full amenities on board, lots of kids activities and we have two levels with viewing platforms to get you close to the carvings. Cruise Cat is large and spacious and an excellent all weather option.

As per New Zealand government guidelines. As of the 4th of April 2022 ,we will not be requiring passengers to provide vaccine passports. Chris Jolly Outdoors will still be ad hearing to government restrictions providing by the “traffic light setting”.

Daily Scenic Cruises  to the Maori Rock Carvings

Our 90-minutes daily scenic cruises offer more than 1 sessions daily to suit your itinerary.

Daily Scenic Cruises

Online Special From NZD $35.00 per adult

(Regular retail: $49 per adult)

Book Now – 10.30am

Book Now-1.30pm+fishing demo

Book Now – 3.30pm School Holidays



Summer Cocktail Cruises

(Only available from December 2020)

From NZD $35.00

Book Now

Taupo Classic Combo 

90-minutes Scenic Cruise + 30-minute Hukafalls Jet boat ride

From NZD $78.00

Book Now – 10.30am session

More Information



Why choose us?

  • – Our boats have spacious viewing platforms to get you close to the scenery and is suitable for all ages
  • – Our live commentary of the history of the region is awesome, with passionate staff to create make your day!
  • – Cruise Cat has comfortable booth seating, warm areas (for the chilly days) and pram, wheelchair access (confirm prior to booking)
  • – Full amenities onboard – toilets, a bar and food options
  • – Spacious boat suitable for large groups
  • – Plenty of activities to entertain the kids like colouring, driving the boat (ask the Skipper), a treasure hunt and friendly staff

If you are travelling in a group of 10 or more, please contact us directly on 07 3780623 as we may be able to organize a bulk discount or a private charter. **

Note :

– Scenic Cruises may also run on other boat Supercat. The boat allocated is dependent on prior bookings.

– You might need to present the credit card used to purchase your tickets to board the boat on the day. This helps us to prevent fraudulent activity. If your ticket was a gift voucher, please let our bookings team know in advance at 07 378 0623 or bookings@chrisjolly.co.nz.

– If for any reason, the Skipper deems travel to the Maori Rock Carvings unsafe, all guests will be notified prior to departure if they wish to disembark and travel on another date or get a refund from their ticket provider. If a passenger chooses not to leave the boat at this time and the Rock Carvings are not visited, no refunds will be given by Chris Jolly Outdoors..

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 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 one of the North Island’s biggest tourist attractions.

Ngātoroirangi is one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary artworks.


Wheelchair access is dependent on Lake water levels and size of the wheelchair. You must call the office to book prior to travelling to see if the wheelchair can be accommodated during the cruise. Note that there is no wheelchair access to the toilets onboard.

In the event of bad weather, it may not be possible to view the Māori Rock Carvings. This decision is made at the discretion of the Skipper for the Health & Safety of all onboard the vessel.


My wife and I booked Waikere II for my Birthday Celebration. Firstly I want to say the day and the experience was amazing, thank you! The Skipper  was great as were the other crew members and the boat suited us fine. The food was delicious and quantity just right.  Everything was Fantastic and everyone on board had a wonderful time.


“Sometimes it feels a bit funny to be a tourist in your own country, but it can be so rewarding. My wife and I did a guided bird watcher walk on a beautiful Saturday morning and are so glad we did. The guide taught us about local plants, birdlife and history of the area.  Now I’m telling everyone how to call in a fantail!”


Thank you so much for looking after us on holiday.  Your guide was awesome, and we really enjoyed his knowledge of the local area.  Having him support the kids up the hills was incredible, and so worth the view”.


hunting testimonial

“Blown away by the location.  Thanks boys, we will be back”


“Your entire team are absolute gems, no doubt about that.  Every request was catered for, and how you worked those activities logistically was astonishing.  One group was biking, the other rafting, boating and hiking – the team are still talking about it – they were fizzing!”


“My first time on the river and my guide was exceptional! Thanks, guys, I’m hooked!”

Fly Fishing