One of the local farm tours in the Queenstown region can be a memorable afternoon for the whole family.
Start your adventure with a forty five minute cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. Launched on the 18th October 1912 this Queenstown icon affectionately known as the 'Lady of the Lake' recently celebrated her hundredth birthday. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is the only coal fired passenger steamship in operation in the Southern Hemisphere so a visit to the engine room to watch the stokers shovel coal into the furnace is a must, followed by a 'surprising' sit down on the warm benches just outside the engine room door. Then it's time for a stroll around the restored interiors of the ship and some photo opportunities out on the decks.
As the ship has docks at Walter Peak Station you'll see the charming Colonel's Homestead sitting among beautiful English style gardens with the wool shed and farm buildings off to the right. As soon as you disembark you'll be warmly greeted by your guides ready to give you a taste of New Zealand farm life.
Feeding the various farm animals including the red deer and the sheep will definitely be a highlight with the kids while the freshly baked scones and kiwi style pikelets are a favourite with everyone.
Stuffed to the brim with country style cooking it's time to gather around for some sheep herding with the farmer's faithful collies followed by a sheep shearing demonstration and a spot of shopping.
Back on the boat for your return trip to Queenstown the best spot has got to be upstairs near the bow of the ship for an old fashion sing-along around the piano.