How it all started

Tongariro Expeditions is a family business owned by Jared and Mandy. We’ve been working in tourism in the Waikato region for over 25 years and providing transport for the Tongariro Crossing since 1998. A warm, welcoming and reliable bunch, we always prioritise the safety and happiness of our wonderful customers. This is our story…

Back in 1996, Jared and I moved to Taupo from Auckland for a lifestyle change and to raise our children in this beautiful area. We both love the outdoors and Jared wanted to make the outdoors the basis of his career path. The Taupo area was his playground when he was a young man going fishing, skiing and hiking – so he wanted to share this love of the outdoors with travellers coming to town. 

We first offered ‘Fish N Trips’ on our little plastic fantastic jet boat. We made a guarantee, 'No fish no pay', which was wildly popular and ran for a few seasons. Jared's love of boats then saw him design and run a jet boat river cruise that went along the Waikato river under the TaupoBungy Site, picking passengers up from the old Cherry Island cafe. We loved this for a few seasons but sold it to focus better on Jared’s other big love... The mountains.


We started Tongariro Expeditions with a van and a good attitude. We would not provide transport to the Tongariro Crossing unless we were prepared to be up there ourselves—and we still stand by this today. We pride ourselves on being an experienced and trusted service provider that has stood the test of time. Our children, Jaime and Jake, grew up with stunning images of the crossing everywhere they looked. Jaime grew up singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ as a little girl on the buses. When she finally got to the top of the crossing as a teenager and saw the emerald lakes for the first time, she cried and said it was like meeting a famous person! Jaime was a courier and drove for us for a season before becoming a nurse. Jake was a courier for years and was working for us right up until Covid 19 hit.

Covid 19 completely changed our business landscape. We managed to continue running shuttles for New Zealanders between lock downs and level changes, but keeping ourselves and the community safe was our highest priority. Ketetahi Park N Ride was the safest option and all bookings were done online to keep everything as contactless as possible, and we used our smaller coasters to keep the number of people traveling together low. Many of our staff and buses moved on to other opportunities and we became a very small shadow of our former selves. But we are still here and ready to build up again to a new future. Wiser and stronger than before.

This is our family. This is our business. And this is our life. We are proud of what we have created and look forward to seeing you all up there soon.

Mandy and Jared, Tongariro Expeditions