TSS Earnslaw. © Real Journeys

Tohu Whenua: TSS Earnslaw


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A cruise aboard Queenstown’s historic steamship TSS Earnslaw is hard to beat. 

It’s not just the majestic mountains and lake that make this trip so great. There’s something special about being on one of the world’s oldest and largest remaining steamships. 

Affectionately known as the Lady of the Lake, the Earnslaw formed an integral part of Lake Wakatipu’s pioneering history.

Launched in 1912, the same year as the Titanic sank, she ferried people, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies to remote lakeside destinations in the days before any roads existed.

At 51m in length she was the biggest of her three sister ships on the lake and the largest steamship ever built in Aotearoa. 

Nearly scrapped in 1968, the Earnslaw was rescued and purchased by Real Journeys, restored to original condition and put to work once again carrying happy passengers around the lake. 

The 90-minute cruise gives you plenty of time to explore the decks and bridge, view the engine room or sit back and relax while enjoying food and a drink from the Promenade Café. There’s an optional stop at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here you can do farm tours, horse treks, heritage tours, independent cycling and treat yourself to first-class culinary delights.

The TSS Earnslaw is recognised as a Tohu Whenua, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best heritage experiences. She is proudly owned and operated by Real Journeys.

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