Queenstown
Cruises & Boat Tours

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Our most recommended Queenstown Cruises & Boat Tours

TSS Earnslaw: 1.5-Hour Cruise From Queenstown

1. TSS Earnslaw: 1.5-Hour Cruise From Queenstown

Join the TSS Earnslaw for a 1.5-hour cruise across Lake Wakatipu. Admire spectacular alpine scenery and enjoy plenty of time to explore a piece of living history. Listen to engaging commentary from your experienced captain who will highlight points of interest throughout your cruise. Make your way to Steamer Wharf at Queenstown’s waterfront. Climb aboard the oldest working coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere and feel free to explore! View the collection of historical photos in the small onboard museum and check out the skipper’s wheelhouse. Visit the engine room to feel the heat of the giant steam engines at work and see the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes.  Soak in the dramatic mountain views surrounding Lake Wakatipu and relax at the cafe where you can enjoy a wine or beer and snacks are also available for purchase. 

TSS Earnslaw: Queenstown Cruise & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

2. TSS Earnslaw: Queenstown Cruise & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

This half-day activity begins and concludes with a 45-minute cruise across Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu onboard the historic TSS Earnslaw. Spend a few hours enjoying the culinary delights at Walter Peak High Country Station, including an entertaining farm demonstration the whole family will enjoy. Feel free to take advantage of the extensive lay-out of this incredible steamship – she is a floating museum of her own history, and you are more than welcome to enter the engine room where you can watch our hardy coal-stokers as they keep this beautiful lady of the lake gliding across the waters of Lake Wakatipu. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown’s incredible alpine scenery, the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak is the perfect place to spend a beautiful day in Central Otago. Its colonial architecture and sweeping grounds evoke the elegance of a bygone era. Spend your time wandering the award-winning gardens, or saying hello to the animals that call the station home. The BBQ Buffet includes salads, vegetables, and succulent local meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie or grill. There is a wide range of desserts on offer, including a vast array of fresh bread and cheese. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let the supplier know directly so we can safely accommodate your requests.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

3. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

Take the hassle out of driving to Milford Sound and join a guided coach tour from Queenstown. Sit back, relax and enjoy magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced local coach driver will show you the best views along the Milford Road and connect you seamlessly with a 2-hour nature cruise. Travel in a spacious coach with USB charging ports. Marvel at the native rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Pause briefly in Te Anau before continuing along the spectacular alpine Milford Road. Admire incredible views at Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Knobbs Flat or Monkey Creek and pose for photos. Be wowed by the glaciar-carved Milford Sound as you approach the visitor terminal. Seize your cruise and lunch passes from the driver who’ll help you find your cruise departure gate.  Climb aboard a purpose-built catamaran for a nature cruise along the fiord’s deep blue waters. Savor a freshly prepared picnic lunch. Marvel at the impressive natural landscape and keep a lookout for native wildlife like dolphins, seals and penguins. Be fascinated by live commentary from your skipper in the open wheelhouse. Get within touching distance of impressive glaciar-carved rock walls and feel the full force of the powerful 15,000-year-old Stirling Falls on your face. Awed and satisfied, rejoin your driver for the scenic return journey to Queenstown. 

TSS Earnslaw: Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour

4. TSS Earnslaw: Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour

Start with a scenic cruise, crossing Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Explore the decks, visit the steam room, or chat with the captain in the wheelhouse. You’ll find a licensed cafe on board. Disembark at Walter Peak and join the host for a farmyard tour. Get up close to sheep, deer, and highland cattle. Help feed the farm animals, watch a farm demonstration, and explore the lakeside gardens. Enjoy a morning or afternoon tea including scones, muffins, coffee, and tea. The Walter Peak Farm tour is the perfect way to get a taste of New Zealand's farming lifestyle in an interactive way. This 3.5-hour tour is suitable for all ages.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat

5. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat

Combine a flight and a cruise on Milford Sound on this excursion from Queensland. Take in the area's outstanding natural beauty as you savor the sights from both air and water. Enjoy a pickup and transfer to the air hanger in Queenstown. Listen to informative commentary in English and marvel at the stunning views of lakes, mountains, and waterfalls on the 40-minute flight. Upon landing, transfer to the Milford Sound Boat Terminal. Board in Milford Sound and experience 2 hours onboard an intimate vessel with English commentary by your skipper, and complimentary tea and coffee. Cruise to the mouth of the Tasman Sea, while enjoying views of waterfalls and marine life like fur seals, dolphins, and penguins. Next, board your scenic flight back to Queenstown. Take a different flight path from your outbound flight as you admire the spectacular views of Fiordland National Park. After the 40-minute journey back to Queenstown, enjoy complimentary transfer back to your accommodation.

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

6. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

Queenstown: Milford Sound Flight and Cruise

7. Queenstown: Milford Sound Flight and Cruise

Take flight a small luxury plane leaving Queenstown. Admire the awe-inspiring scenery from your very own window seat as you soar over Fiordland National Park, listening to the pilot's commentary. Landing at Milford Sound airport you will be escorted to the Cruise Terminal either by shuttle or 15 minute nature walk to meet your boat. Enjoy 2 hours of spectacular scenery and wildlife on the Gem of the Sound, learn all about the history of the area from the skipper as he skillfully pulls the boat underneath waterfalls and right up to the base of famous Mitre Peak. Your pilots will meet you off the cruise at the Terminal and take you back to the awaiting plane for your return to Queenstown. Your complimentary shuttle will drop you back to your hotel with plenty of time to enjoy the legendary dining scene.

Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

8. Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

Enjoy a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River! Take on the only jet boat ride where you experience the historic gold mining relics that still remain in the river and Lord of the Rings locations.  Meet your friendly driver in central Queenstown and head up into historic Skippers Canyon. Enjoy live on-board commentary from your knowledgeable driver and marvel at the stunning scenery. Journey through a land rich in gold mining history and breathtaking views via the infamous Skippers Canyon Road, hand-carved out of the vertical rock face over 120 years ago.  Upon arrival to the Shotover River, you will be provided with a life jacket and warm gloves. Feel your adrenaline surge as you power deep into Skippers Canyon through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. Highly skilled jet boat drivers maneuver the boat just inches from the sheer canyon walls. Your excitement levels will be sky high with speeds in excess of 80kph and a series of full 360° spins. After your ride, your driver will take you back to the jet boat base to view footage from your ride before the trip back to Queenstown through the breathtaking canyon!

Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

9. Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

Discover Queenstown’s untouched and pristine wilderness during an authentic jet boat adventure across Lake Wakatipu and along the historic Kawarau River. Choose from a 25-minute or 1-hour experience and spend more time on the water with a convenient departure right from the heart of Queenstown. Depart from Thunder Bay next to Steamer Wharf in the heart of Queenstown and travel far up the Kawarau River, covering a distance of 47 km. Along the way, listen to interesting commentary from your experienced driver. After getting equipped with a life jacket and spray jacket, climb on board and experience exhilarating 360-degree spins, skimming the water at speeds of up to 95 km/hour.  Then, travel down the river where it is calmest, even when the lake is rough. Take your camera along to capture the stunning scenery of your jet boat experience with frequent photo opportunities.

Milford Sound: Fly | Cruise | Fly

10. Milford Sound: Fly | Cruise | Fly

Gaze down at the mountains and glaciers of Milford Sound as you take the flight of a lifetime onboard a fixed-wing aircraft. Savor the awe-inspiring scenery from your window seat as you enjoy an informative commentary from a knowledgeable local pilot. Soar over incredible features of the surrounding landscape, such as Coronet Peak skifield and Skippers Canyon. Absorb panoramic views over the Shotover River, the second-richest gold-bearing river in the world. Marvel at the sight of shimmering Lake Wakatipu below, as you fly along the Dart River Valley into World-Heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park. Enjoy an unforgettable experience as you jet across snow-clad peaks, the Olivine Ice Plateau, Mount Tutoko, and the Tutoko Glacier. Take in the breath-taking scenery of Fiordland National Park, the rugged West Coast, and the Tasman Sea, before descending into Milford Sound. Be amazed by the dramatic cliff faces and aerial views of cascading Stirling Falls, as you are led on a walk through beech forest and onboard a 1hr 45min cruise through the natural wonders of Milford Sound. Get the camera ready to snap the iconic Mitre Peak, standing 1692 meters above sea level. Look out for seal colonies, penguins, and dolphins from the open-air viewing deck, as you travel the full length of the fiord. Soak in the stunning landscape as you are greeted by your pilot for another memorable flight back across a World-Heritage-listed area to Queenstown.

Frequently asked questions about Queenstown Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in Queenstown?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Queenstown

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What people are saying about Queenstown

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 162 reviews

Wonderful trip to the farm… guide was excellent very informative.. thankyou to her.. the Earnslaw is gracious don’t let them put an electric motor in her!! Let our grandchildren enjoy how it was..

The Earnslaw lunch trip is fabulous. The food was outstanding and the boat trip amazing. A beautiful sunny day made it one of the best experiences I’ve had in New Zealand.

Was really excellent in all ways. Beautiful scenery, beautiful and fascinating historic boat, great service. Totally recommended

The guide was lovely, helpful and very knowledgeable. The boat ride was awesome! The scenery along the way was breathtaking

Wonderful trip and a truly delicious lunch! Not your normal bbq at all! It was very special.