A Family Adventure Aboard the T.S.S. Earnslaw: Sailing Through Queenstown’s History

Ahoy, fellow explorers and adventure-seeking families! In this family travel blog post, we’re excited to share our memorable voyage aboard the T.S.S. Earnslaw—a historic steamship that has been plying the waters of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand, for over a century. Join us as we step back in time, cruise through stunning landscapes, and create cherished memories on this iconic vessel.

Setting Sail in Queenstown:

Queenstown, known for its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures, served as the perfect backdrop for our family’s excursion aboard the T.S.S. Earnslaw. As we arrived at the historic wharf, the sight of the majestic steamship awaiting us filled us with excitement.

Meet the Lady of the Lake:

The T.S.S. Earnslaw, lovingly referred to as the “Lady of the Lake,” is a beautifully preserved steamship with a rich history dating back to 1912. Its grandeur and character immediately captured our family’s imagination.

All Aboard:

As we boarded the T.S.S. Earnslaw, we were welcomed by a friendly crew dressed in vintage attire, setting the stage for our journey back in time. The ship’s polished wood, brass fittings, and nostalgic charm transported us to a bygone era.

Scenic Cruise on Lake Wakatipu:

Our voyage began with a scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu, one of New Zealand’s most stunning bodies of water. The glassy lake reflected the surrounding Southern Alps, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for our family photos.

Engine Room Discovery:

A highlight of the T.S.S. Earnslaw experience was the opportunity to visit the ship’s engine room. Our kids were fascinated as they watched the massive steam engines in action, gaining a firsthand look at the vessel’s inner workings.

Walter Peak Farm Excursion:

The T.S.S. Earnslaw’s destination was Walter Peak High Country Farm, a remote and picturesque station on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Here, we disembarked for an authentic farm experience.

Farmyard Fun:

Our family enjoyed a guided farm tour where we interacted with farm animals, watched sheepdogs in action, and even tried our hand at sheep shearing. It was an educational and entertaining experience for both kids and adults.

Homestead Hospitality:

At Walter Peak, we indulged in a delicious barbecue lunch at the charming Colonel’s Homestead. The hearty meal featured locally sourced ingredients and showcased New Zealand cuisine at its finest.

Return Journey:

After our farm adventure, we reboarded the T.S.S. Earnslaw for the return journey to Queenstown. The cruise back was a chance to relax on deck, take in the stunning scenery, and savor the serene moments as a family.


Our family’s voyage aboard the T.S.S. Earnslaw was a captivating blend of history, nature, and adventure. It allowed us to explore the pristine beauty of Lake Wakatipu, experience a working farm, and gain insights into the region’s rich heritage.

For families seeking a unique and immersive experience in Queenstown, a cruise aboard the T.S.S. Earnslaw is an absolute must. It’s a journey that combines the charm of a bygone era with the beauty of New Zealand’s landscapes, creating memories that will last a lifetime. We hope our adventure inspires you to embark on your own family cruise and discover the magic of the “Lady of the Lake.”