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“A delightful way to see the surroundings”

Real Journeys - TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruises
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Cruise on Queenstown's iconic vintage steamship, TSS Earnslaw. Relax on board and admire the stunning alpine scenery whilst you cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Explore the decks, view the engine room, watch the stokers in action or purchase delicious snacks/ drinks from the Promenade Cafe. Operates daily, all year (except during annual maintenance early June 2018 - early July 2018).
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed February 1, 2013

The Earnslaw cruise is really a Q'town 'must do'. It is part of the local history, it is a great way to see the local scenery (which is overwhelmingly beautiful), and Walter Peak station at the other end is very well set up. We had a BBQ/buffet lunch and it was very good. I strongly recommend this as a half day orientation outing when coming to Q'town

Thank PeterDS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"engine room"
in 201 reviews
"farm tour"
in 209 reviews
"sheep shearing"
in 284 reviews
"walter peak"
in 328 reviews
"steam ship"
in 115 reviews
"steamers"
in 163 reviews
"lake wakatipu"
in 193 reviews
"bbq lunch"
in 139 reviews
"highland cattle"
in 46 reviews
"piano player"
in 44 reviews
"feeding the animals"
in 29 reviews
"morning tea"
in 90 reviews
"red deer"
in 28 reviews
"grand piano"
in 22 reviews
"sheep station"
in 45 reviews
"coal fired steam"
in 22 reviews
"evening cruise"
in 22 reviews
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1,933 - 1,937 of 2,295 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2013

The scenery of the lake from the wharf is great, but aboard this somewhat environmentally unfriendly ship, they are incredible. The boat has an interesting history that can be explored by all from inside the furnace! The venison pies and live piano playing were hot. The only negative is the overpriced photos, but we discovered with a bit of haggling, you could knock $10 off the price.

Thank Niamh K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

It might be romantic to still use coal fired steam to propel this lovely boat, but the continuous dumping of basic coal burnt smoke on the town of Queenstown and its environs is probably a health hazard and detracts from this experience - I wonder what the Chinese tourists escaping the smogs of China think of this contribution to Pure NZ. Real Journeys, clean up your cancerous act and invest in another propulsion system. The old lady, as she is called, seems to have made you enough money.
The product is great but the awful environmental by product in this day and age can only make you feel guilty for contributing to it.

Thank worldtraveller1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

On December 30th we boarded the TSS Earnslaw at 6pm for our trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm and had a wonderful slow journey down. Beautiful steamship with so much history! Arrived on the grounds of the beautiful High Country Farm and couldn't stop taking pictures of the beautiful Farm house and gardens. We were seated in a beautiful dining room and our drink orders taken and we headed to the buffet. It was bad. Really, really, bad. The meat looks like it was brought back out after being used for lunch, no fresh food, nothing very hot, tons of strange seafood looking stews. I was very disappointed and left still feeling hungry as there was not much edible there. That being said we then walked to the sheep shearing show which was wonderful and the ride back was wonderful as well with a singalong. All in all, I wouldn't do it again but I would recommend it to future tourists as its such a part of the history of Queenstown and other than the food it was a wonderful experience.

Thank lamedic91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 24, 2013

Real Journeys, who own the ship, do well at taking money from people on water based activities in the South Island - and so they should - as they are a very professional outfit who excel at giving people a good time out on the water. I speak with some experience as have done a number of their trips but had not done this one before.

It's great to see the old girl in action and looking so well maintained and having an annual survey etc. It was even better to get out on deck and see the lovely scenery unfold as you head along. I was surprised at how fast she goes. I was expecting a real chugger; but no she really gets going quickly.

Boat lovers/technicians and engineers will love being able to see her engines working and smell the coal as she burns it to make speed. Nice little museum with some interesting photos and lots of history via the onboard speakers make for a really nice couple of hours away from the town.

Would recommend and also take in the farm tour if you haven't seen this sort of thing before as the transition on and off the boat and across to this is very slick. Enjoy and choose a clear sunny day to do this trip; it's just so beautiful it would be a shame to miss it under poor weather conditions.

Thank Minkamonka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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