Getting to Walter Peak is an adventure in itself, by way of a leisurely 45-minute cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw. An icon of Queenstown, this 107-year-old vintage steamship is the only hand-fired passenger-carrying steamship still operating in the southern hemisphere. Disembark and join an optional guided farm walk to view the animals at Walter Peak High Country Farm or explore the award-winning gardens in your own time.
There is also the option of purchasing a delicious High-Tea, prepared by Executive Chef Mauro Battaglia and his team, for the return cruise to Queenstown, and our fully-licenced bar serves locally-brewed craft beers and has a large collection of Central Otago wines to choose. The perfect place to sit back and enjoy a nice relaxing drink in a historic setting.
Take time to explore the vessel, view the engine room and study the historic displays of the steamship's former life
Optional guided farm walk at Walter Peak High Country Farm
Enjoy High-Tea on board the TSS Earnslaw during return cruise (additional cost, limited numbers)
Fully licensed bar with tap beers from Canyon Brewing
Food options available from the onboard Promenade Café
It’s New Zealand’s most iconic boat and one of Queenstown’s most historic destinations.
The leisurely cruise on Lake Wakatipu around the Frankton Arm showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering you plenty of time to explore a piece of Queenstown’s living history – the over one-hundred-year-old TSS Earnslaw.
Inside a visit to the engine room reveals the giant steam engines at work. Close by you’ll be able to view the collection of historical photos in our mini-museum, check out the bridge, or, if you’d rather, kick back and enjoy a wine or beer or some café food at our on-board Promenade Café and Bar.
The TSS Earnslaw has carried many a famous visitor, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip and even President Bill Clinton. Undoubtedly, this iconic tour is one not to miss.
The lake cruise is suitable for all ages.
There’s a Promenade Cafe with delicious food and a fully-licensed bar on board
Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf, 88 Beach Street, Queenstown
What to bring
High Tea Sample Menu
Add on a scrumptious high tea, served onboard the TSS Earnslaw for $45 per adult (includes a glass of bubbles), and $25 per child.
Enjoy a selection of finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones with cream and raspberry preserve, and a range of handmade pastries and teacakes.
As well as …..different types of loose-leaf tea to choose from, why not sip a glass of champagne to add some extra sparkle to the occasion.
Manuka smoked ham, Swiss cheese, wholegrain mustard, brioche loaf
Please note: Bookings are essential. High Tea is served in the TSS Earnslaw Saloon and limited to 30 people per day.
About the TSS Earnslaw
The TSS Earnslaw is an integral part of Queenstown’s pioneering history and to this day a Queenstown icon.
She was commissioned by New Zealand Railways to service the communities around Lake Wakatipu. Launched in the same year as the Titanic, the TSS Earnslaw’s maiden voyage was on 18 October 1912.
TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship, 1912
Known as The Lady of the Lake, she provided an essential link between the isolated farming communities along the lake and the outside world. At 48 metres long, she was the biggest boat on the lake and carried passengers, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies.
Nearly scrapped in 1968, she was rescued and purchased by Real Journeys and put to work once again carrying passengers around the Lake. Since then the TSS Earnslaw has been painstakingly restored to its original condition – everything you see is pretty much like it was a 100 years ago. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is the only hand fired steamship in operation in the southern hemisphere, making her one of the most unique experiences in the world.
The TSS Earnslaw has featured in several movies including a cameo in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as an Amazon River Boat. Parts of the trawler SS Venture in Peter Jackson’s King Kong were inspired by the TSS Earnslaw. Famous composer Ron Goodwin composed a piece of music inspired by the rhythm of the TSS Earnslaw’s engines.