The Best Queenstown Boat Tours

Adventure Family Fun Inspiration

Our guide to the lake cruises on Lake Wakatipu

One of the most popular and best ways to appreciate the incredible setting and awesome scenery of Queenstown, is to take a Boat Tour on Lake Wakatipu.  Relaxing on-board and learning about the region’s history as you take in the landscape, is the perfect way to appreciate the magic of this four season destination. 

All the Queenstown boat tour options include insightful commentary to accompany the cruise, as you marvel at the dramatic alpine landscape and ‘star’ of the Lord of the Rings films passing you by.

Need To Know:
 
  • All tours leave from the waterfront and Steamer Wharf area.
  • Boat Tours are typically 90 minutes.
  • It’s best to book online to secure your place and take advantage of any offers.
  • Take layers of clothing with you to warm up / cool down, a warm jacket, non-slip shoes, and sunscreen.

The Boat Tour Operators:

1. Million Dollar Cruise

The locally owned and operated Million Dollar Cruise, is a smaller vessel that offers a great value cruise taking in some of the most interesting parts of the lake, including stunning mountain views wildlife, with a boat cruise to the end of the lake.

There are large windows and spacious seating with heating so the journey is comfortable even in winter.  The friendly team provide an informative commentary to make the most of your trip along with serving refreshments.
 
  • Small and personal, only taking up to 60 passengers
  • Locals share a wealth of knowledge offering a very enjoyable experience
  • The Million Dollar Cruise vessel can also be hired for private charter cruises.

Pricing & Timings:
11.00am, 2.00pm and 4.00pm (no 4.00pm trip in winter).
Adult: $39.00 / Child: $20.00
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2. Spirit of Queenstown

Hop aboard this modern catamaran and discover Lake Wakatipu's hidden gem - Mt Nicholas, enjoy the Remarkables mountain range and cruise up to Glenorchy township.
 
  • Take photos from their open top viewing deck accompanied by a lively commentary from your skipper.
  • Stop at Bob's Cove to view flora and fauna up close.
  • Large, tall viewing windows, comfortable indoor seating, spacious outdoor decks.
  • Get your photo taken with the skipper in the open wheelhouse.
  • Enjoy a snack or refreshing beverage from the onboard café.

Timings & Pricing:
1 May - 30 September: Departs: 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm. Adult: $45 / Child: $25
1 October - 30 April: Departs: 9.00am, 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm. Adult: From $39 / Child: $25
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Extend your cruise and upgrade to the Mt Nicholas Farm Experience where you learn about daily farm life, merino sheep farming and get to meet the friendly farm animals.

3. TSS Earnslaw

The TSS Earnslaw is an iconic steamship that offers visitors a boat cruise across to Walter Peak High Country Farm. More than 100 years old, photographs and information is located around the vessel explain more about its history.

The cruise can combine with a BBQ Lunch or Dinner at Walter Peak, hosted in the Colonel's Homestead.  After the meal, you can enjoy a demonstration of life on the farm or explore the grounds on your own.
 
  • Explore the engine room and observe the giant coal-fired engines at work and visit the bridge.
  • Buy food and drinks from the Promenade Cafe and enjoy the music from the onboard pianist.
  • Option to extend your trip and choose from additional experiences at Walter Peak Farm, a high country working farm located in a sheltered bay once used as Maori camping grounds.

Timings & Pricing:

Departs regularly each day. From $70 for the cruise only option.
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