COASTAL PACIFIC UPDATE
Work is continuing at pace on the reinstatement of the Main North Line following November’s Kaikoura earthquake. Parts of the line are open for freight goods and crews are working fast in both directions but higher safety standards and ongoing seismic events mean that passenger services will be delayed longer than freight. Because of this, it is unlikely that the Coastal Pacific will operate this summer season (September 2017-April 2018).
The Coastal Pacific will be back to service as early as possible for the 2018/2019 season and it is hoped the season will be extended if possible. This could mean an earlier start date than September 2018. We will continue to keep you updated as a return to service date becomes clearer. In the meantime we can book coach transportation for you between Picton and Christchurch.
Explore and enjoy the rugged back country terrain at Walter Peak on our electric trail bikes.
Board the historic TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship for a spectacular cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak. At Walter Peak High Country Farm you’ll meet your guide who will provide you with a briefing and familarisation of the electric trail bikes.
This unique experience is exciting and provides a fun, low impact activity in peaceful and stunning surroundings. You will be guided through gentle rolling farmland, then climb "The Hill" and take in the views of the Colonel's Homestead and beautiful Lake Wakatipu below. Then ride the undulating tracks towards the lakeside peninsula at Beach Point reserve. Here there is a stop for refreshments and time for you to learn about the history of Walter Peak and high country farming. Your guide will also update you on Real Journeys award-winning conservation efforts to remove the invasive wilding pine trees, replacing them with pockets of native plant and bush.
Return back to the farm after riding the flat natural terraces overlooking the lake, soaking in the stunning alpine scenery. There's time to visit the gift shop and take photos before boarding the TSS Earnslaw for your return cruise to Queenstown Bay.
Real Journeys Visitor Centre on Steamer Wharf, Queenstown Bay
Includes return cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw
Group size limited to 6 per guide
Full briefing by guide and and rider assessment
Minimum age 13 years
TSS Earnslaw Cruise
Quality Ubco electric motor bike - designed and built in New Zealand
Light refreshments - tea, coffee, bottled water, scone & cookie.
Protective clothing: overalls, gloves, helmet & goggles
What to bring
Walking shoes (closed in footwear)
Warm sweater/fleece jacket
Ubco Electric Motor Bikes
The Ubco dual electric motor bike is light weight with an extremely strong frame (super x frame), designed and built in New Zealand, with silent motors making this the ideal bike for a sustainable farm bike adventure. The bike is charged by a 40 Ah lithium battery. It has rear and front brakes with front and rear shocks and is suitable for anyone over the age of 13 years and above and 150cm’s in height and over.
Safety & risk
This product has been audited by Worksafe under the NZ Adventure tourism regulations. We observe strict safety procedures; however electric trail bikes involve a degree of risk. We cannot be responsible for personal injury, loss and damage to equipment. Participants will be required to sign a liability waiver form before starting the tour.
About the TSS Earnslaw
The TSS Earnslaw is an integral part of Queenstown’s pioneering history and to this day a Queenstown icon.
She was commissioned by New Zealand Railways to service the communities around Lake Wakatipu. Launched in the same year as the Titanic, the TSS Earnslaw’s maiden voyage was on 18 October 1912.
Soon known as The Lady of the Lake, she provided an essential link between the isolated farming communities along the lake and the outside world. At 48 metres long, she was the biggest boat on the Lake and carried passengers, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies.
Nearly scrapped in 1968, she was rescued and purchased by Real Journeys and put to work once again carrying passengers around the Lake. Since then the TSS Earnslaw has been painstakingly restored to its original condition – everything you see is pretty much like it was a 100 years ago. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is the only coal fired steamship in operation in the southern hemisphere, making her one of the most unique experiences in the world.
The TSS Earnslaw has featured in several movies including a cameo in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as an Amazon River Boat. Parts of the trawler SS Venture in Peter Jackson’s King Kong were inspired by the TSS Earnslaw. Famous composer Ron Goodwin composed a piece of music inspired by the rhythm of the TSS Earnslaw’s engines.