When you are in Queenstown it is almost a must to go up to Skyline Queenstown platform on the top of the hill.
Or just by taking the Tiki trail and climb up yourself. We chose this option for two main reasons - first, it was for free, second - we already took the gondola ride in Rotorua. Tiki Trail is a steep, zig-zag climb through pine forest uphill, it doesn't take too much time, because it's not very long. But yeah, it is steep and tiring. For us, it took less than 2 hours, but it can be done in one hour. It starts close to the Skyline Gondola ticket office, on the left side of it.
We got some morning coffee and started to climb. The pine trees protected us from a heating sun, so it made the climb easier.
The higher we climbed the better view we got.
So we ended up next to the Stratosfere restaurant and a cafe where you can buy ice cream and some lunch.
The views are breathtaking, so we spent some time up there. The sunny day made the lake look crazy blue and surrounding mountains were hugging it from every side.
Our goal was to climb down using a different trail, so we wouldn't get bored. We chose One-mile creek track. From Skyline restaurant you have to follow Ben Lomond trail and at crossroad take the trail downhill instead of up unless you want to climb more up. I suggest you do so, but that wasn't our plan that day.
So when Ben Lomond trail met One Mile creek trail, we were surprised to see that it is closed (it was December 2018). We could use the Skyline road to continue our way down, but it seemed too boring. Other travelers say it is even closed today in (January 2020) so it could stay that way for a while. BUT, we decided to go anyway. I DO NOT advise you to do so, as it can be very dangerous, especially for kids. We broke the rules and walked down the trail. For the first 20-30 minutes, it was totally fine. So we figured there's nothing that wrong with it, bet then when we reached the actual creek we saw how damaged the trail really is. There were broken trees, multiple landslides and we could barely see where the trail once was. We had a choice - turn around, continue way back via another trail following the Wynyard cresent road. But we needed to get back to our car and this trail would take us a bit too far. I decided that we need to risk it, break the rules (that we already did by passing the sign that the trail is closed) and just continue the hike via One Mile creek trail. Aldis wasn't really on board with that. You can actually see how angry he is in the picture below (also you can clearly see how damaged is the trail).
And I could understand why he is mad. He was reasonable and this trail wasn't. The trail was not a trail anymore. But then I said to my future husband - Look, we can cry about this or we can just remember our childhood and climb trees and cross streams and just have fun.
It worked and he even gave me this smile (that's why I love him. He is okay with my adventurous spirit).
So the trail was in a very bad state, but we could still see how nice it was before the trees damaged it. And some places it was pretty okay. We had so much fun hiking there (more like crawling, and climbing and jumping...).
I am glad we did it anyway. It was one of the best short hikes we have done in NZ. I really do hope they will fix it very soon, so people can enjoy it. I DO NOT advise you to go there now, as it can be in an even worse state than when we were there, but when it will be officially open, go for it!!!