One of our last travel destinations in New Zealand on the South Island was Queenstown. Queenstown is one of the most popular destinations in New Zealand and we quickly realized why. In this post I will give you a few tips on what you can do in Queenstown and which excursion destinations we liked best.
Queenstown is located on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by an impressive alpine scenery. Queenstown is definitely the New Zealand city for all outdoor activities. In winter you can ski and snowboard very well here. Throughout the year you can do adventure sports like bungee jumping, skydiving, canyoning, jet boating and rafting.
We chose a boat tour from all the activities. We booked the tour directly from TSS Earnslaw on the shore at lake Wakatipu.
As we quickly learned, the TSS Earnslaw is a classic steamer from the Edwardian era. The boat tour took about 1.5 hours.
It was a real "New Zealand" boat tour: The TSS Earnslow is driven by coal and we watched the stokers at work. For that we went below deck, where stokers fed the coal fire. You can see the TSS Earnslow in the first picture, it is the ship from which the steam rises. We were able to take some nice photos of the ship from a higher mountain. The view of the mountain ranges was incredible and unique.
The TSS Earnslo is located on Steamer Wharf in the harbor district of Queenstown. We booked a tour there directly and were lucky that there were still places available, but I wouldn't rely on that, I would rather book online ;)
In the tour we had booked there was no catering, so bring your own water and food. What should not be missing on the boat tour: a camera, sunglasses and sunscreen. We can definitely recommend the boat tour, it was relatively cheap and we had a great view. Depending on the weather, I would recommend that you take thicker things with you, the wind should not be underestimated.
Since we were not in Queenstown for a long time, I can only give you a few tips for trips to Queenstown from other travelmates and "hearsay": What is a bit more budget, but should be really great, is the TSS Earnslow boat tour with a barbecue Book for lunch or dinner by the lake. This tour then takes 3, 5 hours, you get a whole barbeque for lunch and dinner and the boat tour goes over the lake to Walter Peak High Country Farm. The barbecue includes salads, vegetables and meat that is cooked outside on the grill or rotisserie. After barbecuing, you are then led over the farm, where you can see herding dogs and sheep.
If you prefer to eat in a restaurant, you can do that too. The farm has the Colonel's Homestead restaurant.
We chose the shorter boat tour because we didn't have much time in Queenstown and it saved our money. We have heard from others that the tour should be really great and you can also see alpacas.
If you liked the article, I would be very happy to receive your feedback. Of course I am always happy about suggestions for improvement;) If you are currently in New Zealand, I hope I could convince and inspire you with a small boat tour, whether with or without a barbeque.