Step back in time when you climb aboard our 111-year-old vintage vessel. The TSS Earnslaw is the oldest commercial passenger-carrying steamship in the Southern Hemisphere and still leisurely ferries passengers from Queenstown, across Lake Whakatipu, to Walter Peak High Country Farm.
Settled by Europeans in the 1860s, Walter Peak is now a preserved rural destination, restored and open for guests to explore its beautiful shores. Admire the view of Queenstown across the bright blue lake, under mountains, and nested in forests before heading out on one of the High Country Farm’s many adventures. Go on a guided gardens tour with an Eco Experience or enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ at the Homestead Restaurant.
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Walter Peak High Country Farm is at the base of Walter Peak, located a short 30–45-minute cruise from Queenstown, across Lake Whakatipu on the western side.
The most popular way to travel to Walter Peak is by a relaxing cruise from Queenstown across Lake Whakatipu. Choose from a vintage steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, or a comfortable and modern catamaran, Queenstown Lake Cruise. An alternative route to travel to Walter Peak is by car. If you’re travelling from Te Anau, you can drive along a gravel backroad through beautiful countryside, past Mavora Lakes and Mt Nicholas Station, before reaching Walter Peak. Driving times from Te Anau will take around 4 hours.
Walter Peak is a working and rural High Country Farm. Popular activities include a gourmet BBQ lunch or dinner, made up of produce straight from the farm’s ‘restaurant garden’ which feeds guests year-round. Walter Peak also operates farm tours which are popular with families. Explore the farmyard, greet the friendly animals (Highland cows, donkeys, sheep, pigs, alpacas and more) and enjoy an afternoon tea. As conservation is important to Walter Peak, RealNZ also offers an Eco Experience, where guests can take a guided walk around the gardens, learn about real New Zealand conservation, pick up planting tips, plant a native tree or shrub, and then enjoy a light lunch or afternoon grazing.
Weather at Walter Peak can change quickly, and it can often experience four seasons in one day. Just across from Queenstown, its climate is usually similar, so typing Queenstown into your weather forecast app will give you a good indication of what the day at Walter Peak will bring. Remember that Queenstown is an alpine town, so even in summer, hot days can usually bring cold evenings and nights.
Booking your experience in advance is always recommended, if not necessary to avoid disappointment. There is limited space available on the vessels that travel across to Walter Peak, which limits the number of guests that can travel per experience.
There is no bad time to visit Walter Peak. Outdoor experiences like the Farm Tour, Eco Experience, or Horse Trekking can be adversely affected by the weather but can still be enjoyed if guests pack suitable, weather-proof clothing. The BBQ dining operates indoors so will not be affected by the weather, besides walking to and from the vessels and farm dog show after lunch or dinner.
Some experiences at Walter Peak are wheelchair accessible and safe for impaired mobility.
The TSS Earnslaw, our vintage steamship which transports guests to Walter Peak, is wheelchair accessible but does not have accessible toilets.
The Gourmet BBQ Dining at Walter Peak’s Homestead Restaurant is wheelchair accessible and safe for those with impaired mobility to gain access to the restaurant. There is a short gravel path between the wharf at Walter Peak and the Homestead Restaurant, which can be challenging for some wheelchair users if they are travelling without someone who can assist. Please make a note of your accessibility requirements when you make your booking.
The Farm Tour involves travelling, without a vehicle, around the farm which has gravelled paths. Unaided wheelchair users will not be able to travel around the farm, and aided wheelchair users may struggle at times. Those with impaired mobility will need to assess how confident they are walking on gravel paths and for short distances with frequent stops.
The Eco Experience is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility, it involves walking a distance along the peninsula over uneven tussock ground before planting a native tree in the ground.
Walter Peak is named after the explorer William Gilbert Rees’s son, Cecil Walter Rees. William Rees was the first European settler of Queenstown, who decided to leave his mark by naming the closest two mountains after his family, Cecil Peak and Walter Peak.
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 Whakatipu.