Queenstown
Sailing Trips & Tours

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Our most recommended Queenstown Sailing Trips & 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. 

    Wonderful to watch coal being hand shoveled in to the boat's boilers and see the pistons working. Wonderful to feel like you have stepped back in to another day and age. Well worth the trip cost.

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

    2. 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 de...

    We had a wonderful time in the Milford Sound bus tour and cruise with Southern Discoveries. Even though it was raining, our guide and driver, Brad, made sure we stopped for photos along the drive and kept us entertained with useful and interesting knowledge about the area. Due to high winds,however, we had to turn back from going on the cruise around the Milford Sound. Our guide was sincerely apologetic about the cancellation and I reckon he felt worse than we did! So we re-booked to go on the tour again the next day (complimentary passes) to a lovely clear day and were thoroughly mesmerized by the scenery of the road trip to the Sound and the Sound itself! It was 2 tours for the price of 1! We truly live in God's country and many thanks to Brad for sharing his inexhaustible knowledge and genuine love of the South Island with us. His recommendations on eateries and places to visit was also spot on. We will certainly be back! Thank you very much for making our trip so memorable!

  • TSS Earnslaw: Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour

    3. 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.

    Great day overall. Old steamer very interesting and nice cafe and bar. Farm trip was brilliant and well organised. Beautiful facilities at Walter Farm and the animals and dog display were fun and educational.

  • Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

    4. 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.

    It was good. Obviously be better if we were not in level 2.5 Staff were great. Found it hard to hear the commentary but the scenery made up for that. Fantastic value for money too.

  • Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

    5. Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

    Get an adrenaline rush on a 1-hour jet boat ride, operated by the world’s first commercial jet boat company. Take in stunning views of the Remarkable Mountains and journey up 2 of South Island’s most iconic rivers.  Depart from the heart of Queenstown, and climb aboard the big yellow jet boat at the Main Town Pier. Hold on tight as you accelerate across the water and feel the exhilaration of a high-powered twin-engine boat that powers across Lake Wakatipu. Experience the twists and spins as you enter the Kawarau River and race past rocks and under bridges at speeds of up to 95 kilometers per hour.  Grip the heated handrails and experience 360° spins while you speed up the shallow channels of the Shotover River. After 45 kilometers of pure adrenaline, return to the pier and see photos and videos from your trip.

    Fun, quick time filler with easy access fron Queenstown wharf. Really friendly workers and driver

  • Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

    6. Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

    Enjoy a fun and leisurely day trip to admire the glacial features, wild flora and fauna, and picturesque backdrops of the world-famous fiord at Milford Sound.

    Start with a bus journey as you sit back, draw the curtains, and nap en route to Te Anau. Your driver will share their local knowledge as you stop along the way to see spectacular scenery. Marvel at views of waterfalls, wildlife, and the rainforest. Soak up the sights from any of the three indoor and outdoor viewing decks during your cruise and join your jovial crew at the bow as you nose under Stirling Falls for a free shower in some of the world's freshest water.  Complimentary tea service is available for the entire cruise and espresso coffee, snacks cakes, and a selection of drinks can be purchased from "Off The Rocks" onboard bar.

    A wonderful experience seeing Kiwi hospitality at its best and the most beautiful South Island scenery. great value for money. Enjoyed every minute. thanks.

  • Milford Sound Premium Day Tour and Cruise from Queenstown

    7. Milford Sound Premium Day Tour and Cruise from Queenstown

    This coach trip includes a Milford Sound cruise aboard a comfortable, purpose-built cruise boat with optional lunch and refreshments. Enjoy multiple stops on your way to Milford Sound which makes the day even more amazing! When you arrive in Te anau - your first stop of the day - enjoy a toilet break and time to grab something from the cafe. They have great coffee, muffins and snacks! Enjoy a stop at the mirror lakes, a beautiful 5 minute boardwalk through a rainforest and other photo opportunities that make your journey to Milford Sound even more special.  On arrival at Milford Sound you immediately proceed to the boat terminal, where your driver will give you your boat pass and direct you to your cruise boat. On boarding, make yourself comfortable in one of the saloons or catch the scenery from the decks. Milford Sound is famous for its waterfalls, and if it's raining it's even more...

    Great tour guide, he was extremely enthusiastic and witty. Exactly what you need for a big day!

  • Milford Sound & Te Anau 2-Day Small-Group Tour

    8. Milford Sound & Te Anau 2-Day Small-Group Tour

    Day 1: Leaving Queenstown, travel around Lake Wakatipu with amazing views of "The Remarkables" Mountain Range with some stops to take fantastic photos. Then, enter Fiordland National Park and visit Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Lake Gunn, Hollyford River, Falls Creek, the Darran Mountains, and Homer Tunnel. Next, board your cruise on a small boat for an informative and personal tour of Milford Sound. Get closer to the wildlife and nature, including the New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks. See massive rock faces rising hundreds of meters out of the sea and waterfalls cascading from ancient rainforest high in the mountains. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, an iconic steep triangular peak, rising high up above the reflective waters. As day 1 comes to a close, enjoy an overnight stay in Te Anau where you can have dinner at a local restaurant or take an even...

  • Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

    9. Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

    Discover Milford Sound's stunning fjord from high in the air and on the water. Land in Milford and join an unforgettable fjord cruise past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls.Try to spot dolphins, seals, and adorable penguins. Then enjoy an exhilarating flight past spectacular rivers, valleys, and mountains with blue-green ice falls, and experience a glacier or mountain landing in the heart of Fiordland National Park. Today, many of the local landscapes can be recognized because of their use as film locations. You can even fly over where movies were filmed! The pilots regularly work with film production crews and are happy to share plenty of stories of life on the film set. Finally, for the photo opportunity of a lifetime, alight on a glacier and enjoy panoramic views. These highly experienced, well-known local pilots can’t wait to share with you their extensive knowledge and history o...

    It was amazing and so worth the money. It was a beautiful and sunny day in New Zealand and the views were spectacular.

  • Milford Sound Full Day Tour from Queenstown

    10. Milford Sound Full Day Tour from Queenstown

    In the heart of Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is known as one of New Zealand’s top scenic attractions. On this day tour from Queenstown, jump on board an air-conditioned coach and be entertained with commentary from your driver/guide as you pass through Eglinton Valley, the famous Mirror Lakes and Homer Tunnel. After passing through the 1.2-kilometer-long Homer Tunnel, descend into Milford Sound. Here jump on board a boat to cruise along the fjord. Take in the famous sights of Milford Sound, like the uniquely-shaped Mitre Peak and the glacier-scarred rock walls that rise 1,200 meters vertically from the sea. Keep an eye out for marine life like dolphins, seals and penguins too. The fjord is dotted with waterfalls that tumble through the valleys and crash into the sound far below, making the scenery in Milford Sound spectacular, rain or shine.

    Experience was spectacular. Paulie, the driver / tour guide did a tremendous job with the trip. I don’t have any bad reviews overall in our trip.

Other Sightseeing Options in Queenstown

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What people are saying about Queenstown

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 555 reviews

We had a wonderful time in the Milford Sound bus tour and cruise with Southern Discoveries. Even though it was raining, our guide and driver, Brad, made sure we stopped for photos along the drive and kept us entertained with useful and interesting knowledge about the area. Due to high winds,however, we had to turn back from going on the cruise around the Milford Sound. Our guide was sincerely apologetic about the cancellation and I reckon he felt worse than we did! So we re-booked to go on the tour again the next day (complimentary passes) to a lovely clear day and were thoroughly mesmerized by the scenery of the road trip to the Sound and the Sound itself! It was 2 tours for the price of 1! We truly live in God's country and many thanks to Brad for sharing his inexhaustible knowledge and genuine love of the South Island with us. His recommendations on eateries and places to visit was also spot on. We will certainly be back! Thank you very much for making our trip so memorable!

The trip was excellent. Our driver was fantastic. He had great local knowledge but was also very entertaining. His dinner recommendation at Flame was also excellent. I highly recommend this tour!!

It was amazing. Guide was friendly and managed to give us so many facts and stories about the surroundings which I never knew. It was a superb experience overall.

A wonderful experience seeing Kiwi hospitality at its best and the most beautiful South Island scenery. great value for money. Enjoyed every minute. thanks.

Very well organised. Excellent and informative driver, Gabe.