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.
This cruise is operating weekdays until the 25 September. If you are looking to experience the TSS Earnslaw and Walter Peak High Country Farm on the weekend, please choose between our famous Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ or family-friendly Walter Peak Farm Tour.
The TSS Earnslaw is a 1912 Edwardian vintage twin screw steamer and one of the oldest tourist attractions in Central Otago.
It's the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere.
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.
Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf, 88 Beach Street, Queenstown
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.
We have a wide variety of loose-leaf tea to choose from and bubbles to add some extra sparkle to the occasion.
Gluten-free scones and pastries options Available
Please note: Bookings are essential. High Tea is served in the TSS Earnslaw Saloon and limited to 30 people per day.
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.
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.Book
In March 1990, the TSS Earnslaw carried Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Other royalty to travel on board have been the King and Queen of the Belgians and the Prince of Thailand.