Spotlight special: The TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak Station

The TSS Earnslaw Cruise is one of the most popular attractions in Queenstown – join us to find out what this amazing trip offers and why it is so popular with such a range of travellers. We’ve also got a discount just for you, to help make this incredible Queenstown day trip more affordable than ever.

Departing from the heart of Queenstown, a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw is a highlight on any Queenstown itinerary.

Appealing to a wide range of people — families, retired travellers, lovers of fine dining, those that enjoy the great outdoors — this cruise provides incredible views and fabulous Kiwi hospitality.

This is a must do in Queenstown. We went last May and loved the cruise, dinner and farm show. Would definitely do it again.

Acacia Smith, NZTT member.

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Earnslaw ship cruises in the calm waters of Lake Wakatipu with snow-capped mountain ranges on the background.
Earnslaw on lake Wakatipu in Winter, Queenstown. New Zealand.

What to Expect Onboard the TSS Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak Station

Departing from the middle of Queenstown, you’ll enjoy a 90-minute cruise onboard the TSS Earnslaw. This beautiful old steamship is 110 years old, making it one of the oldest tourist attractions in Central Otago.

It is also the only hand-fired passenger steamship in the Southern Hemisphere. We think that makes it all the more special.

Cruising on Lake Whakatipu, you’ll enjoy unbelievable views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak and Cecil Peak — not to mention the azure waters of the lake itself.

Upon reaching Walter Peak Station, you’ll have the choice to disembark (and enjoy optional activities) or to continue straight back to Queenstown.

Should you wish, you’ll be able to

  • head out on a horse trek
  • have a gourmet lunch or dinner
  • check out their guided farm tour.

All up, the cruise takes 90 minutes return, or between 3.5 and 4 hours if you’re booking an optional activity at Walter Peak.

We did a LOT of different things while in Queenstown a bit over a year ago. This was a definite standout. The steamer trip and scenery were stunning. We had the barbeque lunch and it was absolutely delicious.

Elvina Speeden Bier, NZTT member.
Flowers blooming in the fields while a ship sailing in the lake docks nearby.
Photo credit: Emma Tucker.

Optional Extras on Your Cruise

Gourmet BBQ Lunch/Dinner

After disembarking at Walter Peak you have the option to enjoy a gourmet lunch or dinner.

Your meal will be served lakeside, at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant. With a massive selection of beautifully-cooked local meats as well as other delicacies, and a selection of salads, veggies, fresh bread and desserts, this option gets the most incredible reviews.

Once you’ve finished your meal, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the lakeside gardens before watching a sheepdog show, giving an insight into farm life.

We have been several times and it’s amazing. For anyone with food allergies, I am coeliac and dairy free and they are so accommodating at the buffet meal for food allergies. Makes it so easy and still such good food options!

Kelly Coughlan, NZTT member.
Delicious food and shellfish on top of the table.

Guided Farm Tour

If you’re keen for a more substantial glimpse of rural life in New Zealand, we recommend booking the TSS Earnslaw guided farm tour add-on.

This farmyard walking tour is fully guided, giving you the opportunity to learn from a local (whilst asking as many questions as you like).

You’ll be invited to feed their animals and will also see their sheepdogs in action during an outdoor farm demonstration.

When your tour and show are finished, you’ll have time to explore the beautiful gardens.

You’ll also be served a freshly made morning or afternoon tea at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant – all included in your ticket price.

The white exterior and red roof of Walter Peak Farm built near the foot of a mountain.

Horse Trek

If you choose this option, you’ll meet the team at Walter Peak High Country Farm when disembarking your cruise.

There, you’ll be partnered up with your trusty stead and an experienced guide.

These horse riding treks are 40 minutes long and are appropriate for riders of all abilities — even if it’s your first time on a horse. The ride itself is easy and the horses are well-mannered, making this great for the whole family.

Riding over rolling high country farmland, you will enjoy stunning views of Lake Whakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges.

There really is no better way to appreciate this beautiful part of New Zealand than by horseback!

Upon your return to the stables, you’ll be treated to a tasty morning or afternoon tea at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant.

You’ll also have time to check out the extensive gardens and farmland before returning to Queenstown on the TSS Earnslaw.

Important Information About Your Ride
  • Riding helments must be worn on your ride – these are provided.
  • Wet weather gear is provided (if required).
  • We recommend you wear long pants and that you have a warm jacket for the ride.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required for your ride, ideally with a small heel.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and a camera are also recommended.
  • Riders must be 7 years or older.
  • The minimum height it 120 cm.
  • The maximum weight for riders is 100kg.
Tourists riding horses and led by a dog in Walter Peak.

With something for everyone, world-class views and unbeatable Kiwi hospitality, the TSS Earnslaw Cruise is a must-do on any Queenstown itinerary.

Happy travels!

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