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“Gorgeous trip across the lake on a lovely old vessel”

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 2 May 2018

Our first visit to Queenstown and this was recommended to us. We boarded this lovely old coal powered vessel at the wharf next to the Real Journey office. It is a lovely ship and it steams aross the lake to Walter Peak Farm. The trip on the lake itself is beautiful, great views and plenty of opportunities for photos.You can also go below and see the real workings of the ship which was really cool. There is a cafe serving good cofee and yummy cakes and sweets, lots of areas where you can sit both inside and out and someone playing the grand piano to add to the mood. Our kids 8 and 13 really enjoyed it and the lake is quite spectacular. We booked a trip with a farm tour and morning tea. Once at Walter Peak Farm we toured and then had scrumptious morning tea. Everything was super well organised and the Real Journeys team friendly and helpful. We went on a saturday and its a great morning out. Came back to find lovely markets happenning at the wharf. We will definately go again on our next visit.

Thank lindley2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"farm tour"
in 213 reviews
"engine room"
in 195 reviews
"sheep shearing"
in 296 reviews
"walter peak"
in 330 reviews
"steam ship"
in 118 reviews
in 166 reviews
"lake wakatipu"
in 194 reviews
"highland cattle"
in 46 reviews
"bbq lunch"
in 139 reviews
"piano player"
in 46 reviews
"feeding the animals"
in 29 reviews
"morning tea"
in 91 reviews
"red deer"
in 28 reviews
"grand piano"
in 23 reviews
"sheep station"
in 49 reviews
"coal fired steam"
in 23 reviews
"lovely trip"
in 23 reviews

81 - 85 of 2,358 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2018

My husband and I were on a guided tour of New Zealand and this was part of the tour. The cruise on the boat was interesting, since it was a steamboat. On the way back to Queenstown, there was a sing-a-long. They handed out booklets with the songs and lyrics. At the dining venue, the food wasn't that good. I don't remember what I had, but I do remember the food being dry, except for dessert. They had a few mini style desserts so you could try a few different things. There was a lovely garden, which was right out front of the dining room. I spent about an hour enjoying the sight and smells. My husband went to the show and said that it was very interesting and well worth the time.

Thank alpw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2018 via mobile

This is advertised, to put it crudely, as a trip across the lake to a sheep station on a steamship; a bbq and a shearing/ sheep dog demo before a singalong on the way back. But so many people on trip advisor highly recommend so we followed their advice and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I think there was b/w 60 - 70 guests on board as we set off across the lake at 6 pm. Enjoyed the drinks from the bar, commentary and also had a peek in the mini museum that takes in the history of the Ernslaw. The venue for the ‘bbq’ was a huge venue that provided table service for drinks and a smorgasbord style dining experience of a very high quality and even though the venue was feeding scores of people it was done in a very orderly fashion so there was no unnecessary queuing and you didn’t feel like you missed out on anything. The meats were presented ‘bbq’ style and as a carvery and the highlight was the variety and the quality of the desserts! We did have a quick look at the gift shop after dinner but didn’t attend the sheep shearing pavilion (which most did, and from the laughter heard must have been entertained). Few more drinks on the way back to finish off the night and from what we could here from our position below deck quite a number did join in for a singalong around the piano!
A great experience!

Thank Chapps1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2018 via mobile

We sat downstairs on the way across and couldn’t hear any of the announcements. Getting onto the boat was quite hectic with lots of tourists pushing and shoving. Quite scenic after everyone was seated.

Thank TristanEF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 April 2018 via mobile

TSS earnslaw is a lovely steamship and ticks the nostalgia box, but is really overcrowded. We took two children, a three year old and a ten year old. They loved being able to go below to see the inner workings of the engine which was fun. But it was so jammed pack there was no room to sit and barely a place to stand where you weren’t in someone’s way, or stuck in a void of nothingness. It was disappointing in how chockablock/overcrowded it was.

The farm experience was a bit lame, it was only a very brief sheep shearing demonstration and a quick farm dog rounding up of sheep demonstration. After that you could hand feed some sheep, cows, deer or alpaca. But it was all very bland and wasn’t really a farm experience. The kids were a little underwhelmed and didn’t really come away feeling excited by any of it. It feels like it was set up to perform to Asian tourists and not much else and felt fake. Given the huge crowds they were dealing with i guess there’s not much else they can do.

The morning tea was nice and plentiful. The staff are friendly and welcoming. The grounds have beautiful flower gardens which photo savvy folks might appreciate.

Thank Monique W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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