Your time in the saddle starts with some time onboard. Take a Lake Wakatipu cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw to disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm before meeting your horse and guide.
This experienced guide will take you on a horse trek across rolling high country farmland to a lookout offering spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. The riding is easy, the scenery incredible and the memories enduring. Suitable for even first-time riders, it’s great family fun.
After returning to the stables you’ll enjoy a delicious morning or afternoon tea at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant. Then it’s time to explore the glorious gardens and farmyard before heading back to Queenstown onboard the TSS Earnslaw, our iconic vintage steamship providing the perfect relaxing end to an exciting trip.
Things you should know
Small group, personalised experience (six per guide)
Scones, cakes and slices freshly baked at the farm
Suitable for riders of all abilities, including first-time riders
Safety helmets and wet weather clothing are provided
There’s a minimum age 7 years
A minimum height of 120cms applies
A maximum weight of 100 kilograms
A licensed cafe is on board the TSS Earnslaw
Real Journeys Visitor Centre on Steamer Wharf, 88 Beach Street, Queenstown Bay
What to bring
Shoes/boots (non slip), warm clothing/jacket, long trousers recommended, sunscreen/sunglasses and camera.
About the TSS Earnslaw
The TSS Earnslaw is an integral part of Queenstown’s pioneering history and to this day a Queenstown icon.
TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship, 1912
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.
Soon 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 coal 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.
In case you haven't found the information you were looking for, we've put together some of the most common questions our customers ask about our trips. If you need more specific answers, please contact us directly.
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Are there weight or age restrictions for the Walter Peak Horse Treks?
Yes, for the welfare of our horses, we have a maximum allowable weight of 100kg (and this is strictly adhered to). The minimum age is 7 years and the minimum height is 120cms.
What is the weather like in Queenstown?
Queenstown has a climate with four distinct seasons however, being located in an alpine environment means the weather can be changeable. A guide for the temperatures you can expect is as follows: summer (December-February) 19-29 Celsius, autumn (March-May) 15-25 Celsius, winter (June-August) 5-10 Celsius, spring (September-November) 9-15 Celsius.
Where is the car parking in Queenstown?
Please allow an additional 30 minutes to find parking for your vehicle prior to your check in time.
There is limited free street parking available in the streets surrounding central Queenstown. There is paid parking available in the Man Street and Church Street parking buildings plus pay and display parking at the Boundary Street and Ballarat Street carparks.
Boundary Street and Ballarat Street carparks are suitable for motorhomes. Please allow 15 minutes to walk to the Real Journeys office from there.
How long does it take the TSS Earnslaw to get to Walter Peak High Country Farm?
The scenic cruise from Queenstown to Walter Peak takes 45 minutes and it takes in views of Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and the Remarkables mountain range plus panoramic views around Lake Wakatipu.
How long does it take to travel to Queenstown?
From Christchurch to Queenstown by car takes around 7 hrs 15 mins. For more information refer to our Driving Times webpage.
Does the TSS Earnslaw operate every day?
The TSS Earnslaw is scheduled to operate every day of the year (except when she undergoes annual maintenance). This is currently planned for early June 2019 - early July 2019 and during this period travel to/from Walter Peak is by one of our smaller boats. Walter Peak Independent Cycling does NOT operate during this time.
Online transactions/prices are conducted in what currency?
All prices and transactions on the Real Journeys website are in New Zealand dollars (NZD). This is specified on the Terms & Conditions page.
What happens if there is an emergency ?
Our staff are trained to deal with incidents and in case of an emergency you should listen to their instructions. We have a portable defibrillator on board each of our overnight cruise vessels (Milford Mariner, Milford Wanderer and Fiordland Navigator). In addition to this we also have portable defibrillators at the following locations: • Milford Sound Visitor Terminal • Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Manapouri • Cavern House (Te Anau Glowworm Caves) • Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant, Walter Peak • TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship • Stewart Island Ferry (Bluff - Oban - Bluff).