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Queenstown Ecotourism

Our most recommended Queenstown Ecotourism

TSS Earnslaw: Queenstown Cruise & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

1. 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.

Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

2. 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 pickup for the bus journey 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.  Benefit from complimentary tea service is available for the entire cruise and espresso coffee, snacks cakes. Additional drinks can be purchased from onboard cafe / bar.

From Queenstown: Lake Wakatipu TSS Earnslaw Cruise

3. From Queenstown: Lake Wakatipu TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Join the TSS Earnslaw for a cruise across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown. 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. 

Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

4. Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

Travel to Milford Sound for an extended nature cruise on a day trip from Queenstown. Experience one of the most beautiful drives in the world in the comfort of a state-of-the-art coach. After meeting at a central location in Queenstown, you'll board the luxury coach and journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu into rolling countryside through to Te Anau. Take a short break, then continue along the spectacular alpine route of the Milford Road. Enjoy photo stops and short walks along the way. Relax on an extended nature cruise of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea and admire the fiord’s wildlife, waterfalls and mountains along the way. A specialist nature guide will provide live informative commentary. You can also bring your own lunch or purchase snacks and drinks (cash only) on-board. Following the cruise, board the coach for your return journey to Queenstown that allows for bathroom breaks. Be dropped off back in Queenstown at around 7:45 PM.

Queenstown: Scenic Lake Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour

5. Queenstown: Scenic Lake Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour

Get a taste of New Zealand's farming lifestyle in an interactive way with this combo tour in Queenstown. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride across Lake Wakatipu. Disembark at a traditional farm for a comprehensive tour of its facilities and some morning or afternoon tea. Start with a scenic cruise, crossing Lake Wakatipu toward Walter Peak High Country Farm. Explore the decks, visit the steam room, or chat with the captain in the wheelhouse. Take advantage of the onboard cafe to purchase a drink or two. Arrive at Walter Peak and join the host for a farmyard tour. Get up close to sheep, deer, and highland cattle. Help feed the animals, watch a farm demonstration, and explore the lakeside gardens. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea, including delicious scones and muffins.

From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

6. From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

Visit Doubtful Sound on a full-day trip from Queenstown. Board a luxury bus and travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, through the rolling countryside to Manapouri. Enjoy informative commentary along the way from your driver. From Manapouri, cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Then board a coach to cross the alpine route of the Wilmot Pass, through some of Fiordland National Park’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, climb aboard a modern catamaran for a 2.75-hour cruise, exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. See waterfalls, rainforests, mountains, and wildlife. Your knowledgeable nature guides will provide you with engaging and informative commentary throughout.  You'll be treated to the sound of silence when the vessel’s engines are turned off. Experience floating on the fiord, with only the rush of waterfalls and birdsong to break the silence. Bring your own lunch, or purchase snacks on board in the vessel’s cafes. If you would like to preorder a picnic lunch, feel free to contact the activity provider directly after booking. When it rains in Fiordland, the landscape is especially dramatic. The scenery is spectacular, and you will stay dry and comfortable from your vantage point on the catamaran. At the end of your cruise, return over Wilmot Pass by coach and cruise across Lake Manapouri before the bus journey back to Queenstown.

Milford Sound: Premium Small Group Tour from Queenstown

7. Milford Sound: Premium Small Group Tour from Queenstown

Discover New Zealand's renowned Milford Sound on this tour from Queenstown. Take in the sighs in style aboard a Mercedes minivan equipped with Wi-Fi, bottled water, and large viewing windows. Expereince the stunning scenery of Milford Fjord on scenic cruise.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Queenstown or central meeting points along the route. Enjoy plenty of stops along the way to Milford. Board a boat for a 2-hour cruise along the fjord, where you can feast your eyes on the spectacular sights and go under waterfalls. Allow your local guide to provide you with informative commentary while you absorb the lush surroundings views. Along the way, you'll see everything from cascading waterfalls, mirrored lakes, and awe-inspiring mountains to fur seals and dolphins.  Stop at a beech forest where you can take a leisurely stroll. Travel back to your hotel in Queenstown at the conclusion of your tour. 

From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

8. From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Start the tour with a fun drive to the rafting take-off point via Skippers Canyon. The 4x4 drive is an experience in itself; the narrow dirt road hugs the canyon's sheer cliffs and offers spectacular views over the river you'll soon be soaring down. At the rafting base, get fitted in all your gear and listen to a full safety briefing.  Begin your whitewater rafting adventure from Deep Creek. Cruise over peaceful waters before heading towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. Feel the adrenaline pumping as you paddle through the rapids and into the darkness of the historic, 550-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting over Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Tour with Lunch

9. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Tour with Lunch

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. 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, like the uniquely-shaped Mitre Peak and the glacier-scarred rock. 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.

Arrowtown to Queenstown: Self-Guided Bike Tour

10. Arrowtown to Queenstown: Self-Guided Bike Tour

Head out on a scenic 25-minute drive to Arrowtown. Get set up with your bike, receive trail tips, a map, and a safety briefing and then depart on your independent adventure ride. Explore Arrowtown and grab a coffee before setting off to ride at your leisure along the Arrow River Bridges Trail toward Morven Ferry Intersection. From here, either take a diversion to the Kawarau Bungy or follow the Twin Rivers Trail along the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers to the shores of Lake Wakatipu and onward to Queenstown Bay, where you can return your bike. If you are unsure if you can handle the distance, upgrade to an electric bike for only $50 more and keep the good times rolling.

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Frequently asked questions about Queenstown

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Queenstown?

The best day trips and excursions from Queenstown are:

Milford Sound

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What people are saying about Queenstown

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 155 reviews

My husband and I booked a 9.40am day trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound return. The bus driver had lots of stories about Mouri heritage and was informative about the scenery we drove through. There were plenty of stops along the way for photos. The cruise was spectacular and lunch provided was very good. It was quite late when we returned to Queenstown but thoroughly enjoyed our day

Fantastic New Year's Eve activity, the cruise on the Earnslaw was good and the bbq buffet dinner at Walter Peak was absolutely spot on delicious : ) We were seated outside at a table with an umbrella for shade and the view back up the lake towards Queenstown was stunning!

We loved this trip, it was well organised and well worth doing. Wonderful to travel on the beautiful old Earnslaw. The lake scenery was stunning. The farm tour was entertaining and informative. The afternoon tea was generous and delicious.

it was so worthful experience in my life the view of milford sound was perfect also the guid was so nice.

A delightful two-hour cruise with the opportunity to enjoy striking scenery and magnificent waterfalls.