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Walter Peak Farm Tours

This is a New Zealand farming tour like no other – a visit to the Walter Peak High Country Farm and the perfect opportunity to spend a relaxing few hours enjoying the interactive experience.

  • Includes a scenic cruise onboard the vintage TSS Earnslaw to the farm
  • A guided walking tour of the farmyard with our rural host
  • Demonstrations of the farming lifestyle
  • Morning or afternoon tea, freshly baked at the farm
  • There are daily departures for the farm tour
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 mins
  • $95 per Adult | $40 per child

More Information

Farming in the New Zealand high country is a way of life – and it’s one you can get up close to at Walter Peak.

Situated on picturesque Lake Wakatipu’s south-western shores, Walter Peak High Country Farm is an idyllic place to spend a relaxing few hours. The farm tour itself is a wonderful, interactive experience, with something to keep everyone entertained and happy.

You will be greeted by our rural host upon disembarking the TSS Earnslaw, who will take you to the amphitheatre, where you will watch the remarkable skill with which the farm dogs round up sheep from the paddocks. 

You will have time for a walking tour of the farmyard, visiting the holding pens, where you can help feed the sheep and deer and even get up close to the Scottish Highland Cattle. Then a stroll to the charming old woolshed for morning or afternoon tea. You may have time to stroll through the lakeside gardens before you re-board the TSS Earnslaw for your cruise back to Queenstown.

Things you should know

  • Includes return cruise on board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw to/from Walter Peak High Country Farm
  • Includes a guided walking tour of the farmyard to view and feed sheep, deer, cattle and alpacas
  • Demonstrations of sheepdogs working 
  • Enjoy morning or afternoon tea including scones, cakes and slices freshly baked at the farm
  • There’s time to relax in the lakeside gardens, in the sunny courtyards or peruse the gift shop for a memorable take-home souvenir.

Extra Information

  • The tour is suitable for all ages – children love watching the dogs at work!
  • A licensed cafe on board the TSS Earnslaw provides great refreshments
  • Please note: The TSS Earnslaw will undergo maintenance 29 May - 1 July 2022 and this trip will not operate during this time.

Departure Location

RealNZ Visitor Centre on Steamer Wharf, 88 Beach Street, Queenstown Bay


What to bring

  • Shoes/boots (non-slip)
  • Warm clothing/jacket
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses
  • Camera

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. 

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 ReaNZ 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 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.

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About Walter Peak High Country Farm

Walter Peak High Country Farm, on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu, is steeped in history. Its sheltered bays were used as camping sites by Maori travelling to the Mararoa and Oreti Rivers on Moa hunting and pounamu (greenstone) gathering expeditions.

European settlement commenced in the 1860s with initial farming attempts by Von Tunzelman. Stock deaths, snowstorms and lack of money eventually forced him off the land.

Following a quick succession of owners, Walter Peak Station was taken over in the late 1880s by the Mackenzies. This family is credited with developing many of the principles of successful high country farming during their 80 years working the property.

At its peak, the station was one of New Zealand’s most famous with 170,000 acres, 40,000 sheep and up to 50 fulltime employees. The original homestead block of Walter Peak Station is now known as Walter Peak High Country Farm.

Over time various permanent homes were established and these included the Colonel’s Homestead with its beautiful lakeside gardens. Originally built in 1902, it was carefully reconstructed in 1977 following an accidental fire.

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Walter Peak family recipes:

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FAQs

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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