The TSS Earnslaw and Walter Peak excursion is an outstanding mix of a classic heritage steamer and a lakeside high-country station and attracts New Zealanders from all over the country eager to experience the exceptional combination.
Real Journeys Queenstown experience manager Andrew Husheer says the dual venture of the 1912 steamship, which is the oldest passenger carrying coal-powered steamship in the Southern Hemisphere, and the visit to Walter Peak opens up a remarkable part of New Zealand to visitors.
“Once the TSS Earnslaw arrives at Walter Peak, following a scenic lake cruise, there is a choice of a guided farm tour or a gourmet barbecue lunch at the Colonel’s House. The farm tour includes an authentic performance by sheep dogs which gives city people a taste of working dogs in action.”
A garden tour is a highlight taking people on pathways through the established gardens highlighted by many its trees and other species planted by early owners –some as far back as the 1860s.
“ A high-country tea is a recent addition offering personalised, quality food,” says Andrew. “ This includes traditional Kiwi favourites such as savouries, sandwiches and scones and is served in our new woolshed bar which also has a selection of local wines and espresso coffees.”
“The afternoon teas appeal to New Zealanders and many people like to take advantage of the environment and sit on a rug on the lakeshore to enjoy their food.”
The Walter Peak excursion leaves Queenstown Bay at mid-day daily, sailing back to the resort at 3.00pm.
“We have extended the trip this summer to give people more time to explore Walter Peak,” he says. “We recognise that New Zealanders like to spend longer at the station and that has definitely been the feedback from the domestic market.”
Bike hire is also available at Walter Peak and horse trekking is an option at the weekends.
“There are many activities for visitors to get involved in – or they can simply choose to spend their time wandering around the property gaining an understanding of its role firstly as a significant early farming property and today as an important New Zealand tourism asset.”
High-Country Gourmet BBQ
Walter Peak is renowned for its gourmet barbecue lunches featuring a diverse menu designed by executive chef Mauro Battaglia and served in the historic Colonel’s House.
HOME BAKED BREAD
Focaccia, rosemary and flaky sea salt
White polish baguette
SALADS & VEGETARIAN
Brined beetroot, orange, juniper berries, beet leaves
Roasted kumara, potato, tahini, zaatar spices, red onion, preserved lemons
Organic farro, dates, roasted butternut, radicchio
Shaved fennel, baby rocket, Beurre Bosch Pears, candied walnuts, sumac dressing
Lentils, sun-dried tomato, blue cheese, red onion, herbs
New Zealand cheeses, spicy marinated mixed olives, semi dried tomatoes, artichoke in sunflower oil & herbs, pickled green pimento chilli, roasted red capsicum
Roasted parsnips & pears with maple syrup, sage, fermented cipolline
Butternut squash, chestnuts, brown rice, almonds, sesame seeds, miso dressing
Winter cabbage leaves, chilli, radishes
FROM THE CHARCOAL BBQ
Whole butterfly chicken
Cardrona Merino lamb
Canterbury pork / Zamora sausages
Walter Peak sticky date pudding
Ricotta & lemon cake
Mandarin curd tartelette, burnt meringue
Ice-cream & sorbet