Real Journeys TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak - NZ Travel

Real Journeys TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak

Real Journeys TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak High Country Farm, Queenstown
Relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise on Queenstown’s iconic vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Launched in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the only coal-fired passenger-carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere.

The TSS Earnslaw makes several trips daily across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the western shores. A cruise on this heritage vessel is the perfect way to experience Queenstown’s magnificent alpine scenery.

Upon reaching Walter Peak High Country Farm, you can disembark for an insight into New Zealand’s farming lifestyle with a farm tour. Alternatively, join a heritage tour, go horse trekking or go on a cycling adventure. At the Colonel's homestead, enjoy a barbecue lunch or evening dining. All Walter Peak excursions include a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw.

Main Office:Visitors Centre, Steamer Wharf  (Beach St), Queenstown

 

Parking: Metered parking is available out the front

 

Departures: Daily. Please refer to individual adventures for departure times.


Help Notes:

 

What to bring:

  • Non-slip shoes/boots
  • Warm clothing/jacket
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses
  • Camera

Available Activities:
TSS Earnslaw Cruise

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Passengers cruise from Queenstown Bay to Walter Peak High Country Farm (without going ashore) and return. On board the TSS Earnslaw the Captain provides an interesting commentary as visitors enjoy spectacular views of Cecil and Walter Peaks and the western shores of Lake Wakatipu.  The original steam engines can be seen in operation from the open viewing area.  During the cruise the ships pianist entertains with a variety of old favourites and visitors are encouraged to join in the sing-along around the piano.  Guided tours of the ship are available and passengers are welcome to visit the Fo'c'sle Gallery to view the historic displays.  Tea and coffee and delicious cafe style food can be purchased on board.

Please note: On a TSS Earnslaw cruise, passengers can only go ashore at Walter Peak if they purchase the appropriate Walter Peak excursion. In this case, they would return to Queenstown on a later sailing.

Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

Departures: Year Round 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm

Additional Summer Departures: (November - April) 10:00am, 6:00pm, 8:00pm

Key Points:

  • Child rates apply for 5 - 14 years and infants 0 - 4 years carried free of charge
  • The TSS Earnslaw will be on annual survey and not operating from late May - early July

 TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm Excursion

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Disembark from your TSS Earnslaw cruise to a warm kiwi welcome and a taste of New Zealand’s farming lifestyle at Walter Peak High Country Farm.

Beautifully situated on Lake Wakatipu’s south-western shores, this farm is the perfect place to spend a relaxing few hours. Our rural host will meet you when you disembark from the TSS Earnslaw and take you for a walking tour of the farmyard. The first stop is the holding pens, where you can help feed the sheep and deer, and even get up close to the Scottish Highland Cattle. Then stroll through the lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel’s Homestead for a traditional high country morning or afternoon tea of scones and pikelets. Afterwards the farmer will lead you over to the shearing shed where you can watch the farm dogs rounding up sheep from the hill paddocks, and see the farmer shear a sheep. You can even try your hand at spinning wool before boarding the TSS Earnslaw back to Queenstown.

Includes:
  • Morning or afternoon tea provided (scones, pikelets, tea/coffee/fruit juice)
  • Barbecue lunch option (at extra cost - not available June - August)
  • TSS Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak cruise route map
  • Suitable for all ages

Duration: 3hrs 30mins

Departures: Year Round 12:00pm, 2:00pm and 10:00am November to April.

Key Points:

  • Child rates apply for 5 - 14 years and infants 0 - 4 years carried free of charge
  • The TSS Earnslaw will be on survey from late May - early July. During these periods and at other times as required, travel to and from Walter Peak is by launch

 TSS Earnslaw Walter Peak Heritage Excursion

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Gain an insight into Queenstown’s unique heritage with this fascinating excursion.

Cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw accompanied by our onboard historian. As you cruise you’ll learn about the steamship’s early cargo-carrying days serving the remote farms on the shores of the lake. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a guided tour of the Colonel’s Homestead and its beautifully presented gardens. Your guide will show you the homestead’s collection of photographs and memorabilia of the pioneering farming families. Then relax in the idyllic rural surroundings and enjoy a central Otago wine and cheese tasting, accompanied by an antipasto platter. Afterwards, stroll around the farmyard or simply relax in the gorgeous surrounds over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or rich Pinot Noir before cruising back to Queenstown.

Inclusions:
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting accompanied by an antipasto platter
  • Barbecue lunch option (at extra cost)
  • TSS Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak cruise route map

Duration: 3hrs 30mins

Departures: Mid October to Mid April 4:00pm to 7:30pm

Key Points:

  • This excursion is not suitable for children of all ages. Minimum age 18 years
  • The TSS Earnslaw will be on survey from late May - early July. During these periods, and at other times as required, travel to and from Walter Peak is by launch

 TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak Farm with BBQ Lunch

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Combine a TSS Earnslaw cruise and farm tour with a barbecue lunch in the beautiful garden setting at the Colonel’s Homestead.
Sit back on the lakeside terrace and savour the enticing aromas as the chef cooks a selection of food on the barbecue. Fresh salads and crusty bread perfectly complement the food sizzling on the grill. Meat lovers will delight in the locally sourced grilled fish, juicy beef steaks, succulent pork, lamb chops, pork spare ribs and chicken drumsticks. And vegetarians are well catered for with an enticing selection of seasonal salads, roast vegetables and a vegetarian dish of the day. After lunch, there is plenty of time to view the farm animals, join a walking tour of the farmyard and explore the extensive lakeside gardens.

Inclusions:

  • Shortened farmyard tour included
  • 40 minute horse trek can be added to excursion (at additional cost you will return on a later sailing)
  • TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak cruise route map
  • Suitable for all ages

Duration: 3hrs 30mins

Departures: September to May, daily departures - 10:00am, 12:00pm

Key Points:

  • Child rates apply for 5 - 14 years and infants 0 - 4 years carried free of charge
  • The TSS Earnslaw will be on survey from late May. During these periods, and at other times as required, travel to and from Walter Peak is by launch

TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak Evening Dining

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The evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship followed by dining at the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak is the perfect way to end an action packed day in and around Queenstown.  
We offer two different dining options: our expansive Carvery Buffet and the Homestead Roast.
Walter Peak Evening Dining – Carvery Buffet
Sample an expansive array of New Zealand’s traditional cuisine including soup, fresh seafood, succulent roast meats, roasted and steamed vegetables and salads.  Then finish your meal with our irresistible selection of homemade desserts, a New Zealand cheeseboard and freshly brewed tea and coffee.
Walter Peak Evening Dining – Homestead Roast
Enjoy served to your table, soup, your choice of roast beef or lamb (or the vegetarian dish of the day) with garden-fresh vegetables.  Complete your meal with dessert and freshly brewed coffee or tea.

After dinner, an entertaining farm demonstration provides a glimpse into high country farming life. On your return TSS Earnslaw cruise, enjoy a drink in the saloon, join a sing-along with the ship’s pianist, or take a stroll on the moonlit decks.  The views on the return cruise as the lights of Queenstown draw nearer are simply magical.
Includes:

  • Carvery Buffet or Homestead Roast Dinner Options which also include Soup, Dessert and freshly brewed coffee or tea
  • TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak cruise route map

Note: A surcharge applies to 25 December departures.

Duration: 4 hours

Daily Departures: October to May at 6:00pm

Key Points:

  • Child rates apply for 5 - 14 years and infants 0 - 4 years carried free of charge
  • The TSS Earnslaw will be on survey from late May - early July. During these periods, and at other times as required, travel to and from Walter Peak is by launch
  • During August and September, Evening Dining is dependent on sufficient bookings. We will reconfirm 7- 10 days prior to departure.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Half Day Horse Trek

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Cruising on the “Lady of the Lake” is like stepping back in time.
Below deck, the steam engines hiss and thud as the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes. In the wheelhouse upstairs, the skipper rings through directions to the engine room using the traditional telegraph bells - the same method used on board a century ago. A 1 ½ hour cruise on the TSS Earnslaw showcases some of Lake Wakatipu’s most beautiful alpine scenery and allows plenty of time to explore the decks and bridge. Visit the engine room, view the collection of historical photos in the Fo’c’sle gallery or join a sing-along with the onboard pianist. The vessel has a licensed café onboard selling a selection of café-style food as well as beer, wine and spirits.

For added adventure following your TSS Earnslaw cruise, explore Walter Peak High Country Farm the traditional way – by horseback. Our experienced guides will take you across rolling farm terraces to a lookout with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. The riding is easy and suitable for inexperienced riders (40 min trek). After returning to the stables, enjoy a traditional morning or afternoon tea at the Colonel’s Homestead.
Inclusions:

  • Safety helmets and wet weather clothing are provided
  • Morning or afternoon tea included - scones, pikelets (small pancakes), tea/coffee/fruit juice
  • Suitable for riders of all abilities, including first-time riders (40 mins trek)
  • Suitable for children 8 years and over (40 mins trek)
  • TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak cruise route map

Duration: 3 hours 30 mins

Daily Departures: October to Mid- April 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm

Key Points:

  • Maximum weight 100kg
  • Suitable for children 8 years and over
  • Child rates apply for 8 - 14 years

TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Guided Cycling Tour

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Cruise across Lake Wakatipu on board the TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship to Walter Peak and then join our small group guided cycling tour.

On arrival you will be met by an experienced guide and then driven by van to Mavora Lakes where your cycling adventure begins. Cycle along a quiet country road through beautiful tussock high country and enjoy stunning views of the Von River, surrounding mountains and snow covered Mount Earnslaw at the head of Lake Wakatipu.  Cyclists are accompanied by a van with cycle trailer enabling them to cycle as little or as much as they choose.  Along the way visit Pretty Hut and Old Nic (traditional musterers’ huts) and learn about the neighbouring high country sheep and cattle stations.  On arrival back at Walter Peak visit the Colonel’s Homestead before boarding the TSS Earnslaw for the return cruise back to Queenstown.

Key Points:

  • Group size limited to 9 per guide
  • Picnic lunch, hot drinks and afternoon tea included
  • 3 - 4 hours leisurely cycling (15-35 kms depending on fitness)
  • Quiet back country road through mostly gently rolling terrain
  • Moderate fitness required
  • Suitable for children 10 years and over

Equipment supplied:

  • Good quality mountain bikes and safety helmets

Duration: 7 hrs 30 mins

Daily Departures: November to Mid April at 10:00am

Child rates apply for 10 - 14 years and tour is not suitable for children under the age of 10 years


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